Initial National Reactions To Cowboys Drafting Travis Frederick

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

We take a quick glance at some of the initial national reactions following last night's 31st pick of the NFL draft.

ESPNDallas reports that Travis Frederick was the No. 22 player on the Cowboys board, a board which had 19 players with first-round grades. Much to the chagrin of many fans, the Cowboys decided they could get more value by trading down to No. 31 (and adding the 74th pick) than had they stayed put and drafted whichever first-round graded player left on their board.

The trade down caused additional consternation because it was felt the Cowboys had given up too much value in the move. Stephen Jones said that the Cowboys felt "we got it right." Todd Archer of ESPNDallas reports that Jones said the Cowboys checked out two trade charts that had them winning the deal or receiving equal value. Chase Stuart of advanced stats site FootballPerspective.com analyzed all the first-day trades and came to a similar conclusion:

Clearly, the Cowboys weren’t high on any of the players available at eighteen; Jerry Jones even hinted as much earlier in the week. Dallas then surprised everyone by selecting Wisconsin center Travis Frederick, who had a third round grade according to Mike Mayock. As for the trade itself, the Football Perspective Draft Value Chart says Dallas received 123 cents on the dollar by trading down; according to the Jimmy Johnson chart, the Cowboys received only 91 cents on the dollar. San Francisco drafted safety Eric Reid to replace Dashon Goldson.

Winner: Both teams. The 49ers were obvious trade-up candidates, as they have arguably the most talented roster in the NFL and way more draft picks than they could use. They overpaid according to my chart, but not egregiously so, and “won” versus the traditional chart. Dallas, meanwhile, was able to add a third round pick. They probably could have used that pick on Frederick, but at least the Cowboys didn’t spend the 18th pick on him.

With that out of the way, here's a summary of some early reactions to the Cowboys picking an offensive lineman for the second time in three years, which is also only the second time since Jerry Jones acquired the Cowboys.

Russ Lande, National Football Post

Comment: "Clearly, the Cowboys wanted to add a physically dominant interior lineman as that describes Frederick to a tee. He is not a top athlete, but he is a functional player who uses his ability to physically dominate his man at the point of attack to make up for it. Frederick makes it look easy stopping power rushers in their tracks and getting movement on in-line run blocks with surprising ease. He started at guard and center during his career at Wisconsin, so he could start at either spot for Cowboys."

Dan Hanzus, NFL.com

Comment: It's not a flashy move, but Frederick gives Dallas' line much-needed stability. Phil Costa was signed to a two-year extension last month, and he could kick over to right guard, fortifying a trouble spot for the team. Frederick is in line to be a starter, whether that's at center or guard. Remember, the Cowboys just paid massive dollars to keep Tony Romo in Arlington until the end of days. Keeping Romo upright is tantamount. Frederick helps toward that goal.

Louis Bien, SBNation

Comment: The Cowboys needed interior offensive linemen, so this was a good fit. While Frederick started as a center last season, he has the versatility to move to guard. With Cowboys center Phil Costa an injury concern, Frederick can step in at center and also provide depth at guard.

Jesus Flores, rantsports

Comment:

Here’s a kid who holds several Wisconsin weight room records and shows exceptional power when engaged against defensive linemen. At 6-4 340 lbs. Frederick will provide a huge upgrade over incumbent starter Phil Costa and could be used at guard thanks to his versatility.

What I like the most about Frederick is that he’s mean; he’ll knock defensive tackles on their rear end in the run game. He’s not the most fluid offensive lineman, but he will fit head coach Jason Garrett’s power running scheme. I also like that he’s an immovable force in the passing game. His strength and technique will help alleviate the pressure up the gut that quarterback Tony Romo has faced the last few seasons.

Without a doubt the Cowboys needed to upgrade the center position so in my opinion, this is a solid pick. I had Frederick going early in the second round so; this isn’t a reach by any means.

Dan Graziano, ESPN

Comment:

  • They needed interior offensive line help more than any team in the NFL needed anything in this entire draft, and this guy is an interior offensive lineman. He can challenge Phil Costa for the center's job or either starting guard for his.
  • He's a giant -- 6-foot-3⅝, 312 pounds -- and known as a physical presence in the run game. Run blocking might be a higher priority for the Cowboys in their ongoing hunt for line help than pass protection is, since left tackle is the one spot at which they're set and Tony Romo is pretty good at protecting himself and making plays on the run.
  • Just because Scouts Inc. ranked Warford 53rd and this guy 70th doesn't make the pick ridiculous. You pay your scouts to find guys who fit what you want to do, and then you trust them. All week, everybody told me the Cowboys needed to trust their board, and it appears what happened here was that they didn't have anyone they liked at 18 so they snagged an extra pick and moved down to take a guy they did like. If you think all that's left to you is second-rounders, then why not just start the second round two picks early and add a third-rounder that might help you maneuver into that second round Friday night?
Nick Korger, The Badger Herald

Comment: The Cowboys used several centers last season but failed to find a consistent rock to anchor the position, giving Frederick a strong chance to start Week 1 over Cowboys’ center Phil Costa. Frederick also started at guard for the majority of his 2011 season at Wisconsin, making him a flexible option for Dallas offensive line coach Bill Callahan. Callahan was the offensive line coach at Wisconsin from 1990-94.

One thing that most scouts agreed on that made Frederick such an appealing pick is his well-documented football IQ. Frederick, who graduated this past fall with a degree in computer engineering, rarely committed mental mistakes in his collegiate career. Scouts also used the term "nasty" to describe Frederick’s tenacity in the trenches.

FOXSports.com's Brian Billick nd Charles Davis react to the Cowboys' selection of Travis Frederick.

Bill Polian describes as Frederick as a "Bill-Callahan-prototype. A big, solid, wide road grader. He can handle any nose tackle in football, he can drive block exceptionally well."

On a final note, Frederick was the last available offensive linemen the Cowboys had brought in for pre-draft visits. At the time when we put together our Visit Tracker, we assumed that of the five linemen brought in, only Warmack and Cooper would be first-round picks. Turns out, all five ended up as first-round picks.

Proj. Round Actual Pick Name POS College Source
Offensive Linemen
1 10 Chance Warmack OG Alabama ESPNDallas
1 7 Jonathan Cooper OG North Carolina DallasCowboys.com
2 19 Justin Pugh OG Syracuse Mike Fisher
2 20 Kyle Long
OT Oregon Mike Fisher
2 31 Travis Frederick OC Wisconsin Mike Fisher
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