Today we're going to talk about the process going into the NFL Draft. I mean, it's a long way from the Rose Bowl to the NFL Draft this week. And in the process? Players will sometimes fall through the cracks. A running back fails the weird and archaic interview process. A defensive tackle can't manage 20 reps at 225 pounds. Then of course there's the 40-yard dash.
And if you didn't just stumble upon this side from popular internet add-ons from 2008? You know there's a reason why we're starting with the downfall. For if Travis Frederick had himself a good process, he would have had a chance to slot into the last quarter of the first round.
But he didn't. Frederick ran a 5.56-second 40-yard dash. And he stood pat at the local pro day. Should this matter? I don't think so. But like Phillip Fathom's parents dying at sea, it's the backstory that drives the scouting report.
Because like I said, Frederick was going to be a first-round pick. Then he was timed as the second-slowest center at 40 yards. That other guy might not even be a camp body. 5.56 from a guy that is still going to be drafted is still historically bad. There's been only one center who has been drafted with a time slower than Frederick's. It was back in 1993. He was Iowa's Mike Devlin. He ran a 5.63 way back in 1993. He started a couple of seasons and had himself a career. But still, when you draft Travis Frederick, there's always going to be on wag on the internet that's going to scream "5.56! You fools! He's slow."
But here's where and why you may be getting Frederick at value prices. For one? Frederick was always going to be one of those linemen that play in a smaller space. He's got veteran experience (30 starts over his three-year career) and he's always been on the interior. And like John Moffitt and Peter Konz before him? He's been a great technician. Especially on running plays.
If you're the team that drafts Frederick, you're going to get a player with the leg drive, the motor and the technique to move most every player off of him. He doesn't have the most spectacular power to his game, but he's not going to get blown off the ball, either. He can help a guard in pass protection, and for someone with questions about his athleticism? As a trapping guard or when he was needed to go to the second level, he's not prone to whiff in space.
As a pass blocker? He's pretty good, as well. There weren't many times on the pre-snap reads that a defender was unaccounted for, and while I already told you of his power questions, Frederick is always one to stand his ground. Otherwise, he will clamp down on blitzers and is able to maintain and help in other instances.
The big question for a pro team is if the offensive line runs the zone blocking scheme or not. Some would say that even despite his limits in athleticism, with the angles he takes, Frederick won't be a complete ill-fit in a zone blocking scheme, and his second level success shows there's something to that. Then there are the Badger fans who recall the Mike Markuson dork age and would say that Frederick wouldn't work in a zone scheme.
Me? If I want Frederick to be a safe pick on the second day? I'd hope that my team isn't running a zone. Because the fact of the matter is, while there's going to be some analyst that will praise him because he's a good football player because leadership and all that, Frederick's at his best when it's man on man, big on big, and let's see who wins.
If you're that team, and you get Frederick in the second or third round? Celebrate. He's going to do good things for you.
Also because you get a man with a majestic beard. Look at it. It makes Daniel Bryan look clean shaven.