[Ed. Note: This is the first in a series of interviews with Cowboys rookies conducted by Ryan Ratty on behalf of BTB. Thanks Ryan!]
With the 2016 NFL Draft in the books, the Dallas Cowboys are focusing on bringing in their rookies, both drafted and undrafted, for rookie minicamp. This is the first stage of the post-draft offseason where the Cowboys start to shrink down their roster. Dallas had a ton of needs to address going into the draft, one of which came at the safety position. Not only were Barry Church and J.J. Wilcox simply not that good in 2015, but both of their contracts are up after the 2016 season and the Cowboys would be wise to start thinking about long-term upgrades.
That's why the Cowboys drafted Kavon Frazier out of Central Michigan in the sixth round of the draft. I had the chance to watch Frazier in person and I can honestly tell you that he's going to be a player that provides huge hits every time he's on the football field. He's a physical specimen that has the ability to play as a box safety in the NFL. With Byron Jones making the move to free safety, the Cowboys will have some competition at the strong safety position and Frazier will without a doubt be in the equation. Let's get onto the interview!
Blogging The Boys: Who were you a fan of growing up?
Kavon Frazier: Growing up, I didn't really watch a lot of football, I was more of a basketball guy. But I always liked the Cowboys. I mean who doesn't like America's favorite football team!
BTB: When did you start playing football?
Frazier: 7 years old.
BTB: How early did the Cowboys express interest in you?
Frazier: At the combine, I spoke with a scout and also the defensive back coach. Then at my pro day I spoke with the same scout again. That's all though.
BTB: Talk about the pre-draft process. What was it like? How did it help you?
Frazier: It was definitely stressful. Lots of ups and downs and definitely challenged me mentally. I believe that it helped me become mentally stronger because I had to overcome multiple things.
BTB: What are your strengths?
Frazier: Versatility, tackling, and passion.
BTB: What are your weaknesses?
Frazier: I would probably say off man-to-man technique. NFL rules are a lot different than college. I was a very physical man-to-man guy.
BTB: Talk about Coach Marinelli and Coach Baker.
Frazier: Love both of them. Had very minimum conversation with them so far, but I am very excited for being on their team and contributing.
BTB: Are you excited to play in the Cowboys’ 4-3 scheme? Talk about your scheme at Central Michigan.
Frazier: Very excited. That's what we played my last year at Central Michigan, which was also my most productive year. I think I can definitely make lots of plays in that scheme.
BTB: Are you friends with any current Cowboys?
Frazier: Nobody currently, only Jaylon Smith, who also just got drafted. But, I am looking forward to building a close bond with my new teammates!
BTB: What do you know about fellow rookie defensive back Anthony Brown? Have you two gotten in touch?
Frazier: No I haven't talked to him yet. I'm sure we will get in contact soon though.
BTB: What are you most excited about?
Frazier: Helping the team win the Super Bowl. And being a part of Americas favorite team. I am also very excited to play in front of these great Cowboys fans!
BTB: What are your expectations for the 2016 season?
Frazier: Make the 53 and play whichever role that is best to help the team win a Super Bowl.
BTB: Do you expect to be a starter in 2016?
Frazier: I expect to help the team contribute in any way possible.
BTB: Tell us an interesting story about your pre-draft process.
Frazier: I was at the combine and they told me that I couldn't work out because I had a surprise stress fracture in my foot. I had to get multiple second opinions to get cleared for pro day. I did work out at my pro day and performed really well.
Despite being a rookie, the Cowboys like what Frazier can bring to the defense, mainly his physicality and his grittiness. The Cowboys place a lot of emphasis on athleticism with their drafting and evaluation process. Using the SPARQ metric as a measure of athleticism, Frazier tested in the 86th percentile among all safeties - despite the stress fracture in his foot mentioned above. That's grittiness on full display.
I'd like to thank Kavon for taking the time out of his busy schedule to answer my questions. I wish Kavon nothing but the best!
If you'd like to read my film study on Frazier, you can see it here.