#72 Travis Frederick
Travis Frederick was born in Sharon, Wisconsin on March 18, 1991. He played his collegiate football career at Wisconsin and is a center in the NFL for the Dallas Cowboys, who drafted him in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft.
Travis Frederick attended Big Foot High School in Walworth, Wisconsin. While at Big Foot, Frederick enjoyed a successful high school career in both the classroom and playing several different sports. He made a name for himself on the football field as a two-way lineman, but he also wrestled and was part of the track and field team.
Frederick was a student athlete at Big Foot High School. He graduated with an impressive 4.06 GPA and finished ranked second in his class.
As part of the track team, Frederick threw the discus and shot put. In 2008, he finished second in shot put at the BDN Invite, with a throw of 15.23 m (49’11”). Frederick also took silver in the discus throw at the 2008 WIAA Sectional Championships, with a throw of 49.30 m (161’10”).
Travis Frederick really made his mark in high school on the football field. In fact, he is the only player in the school’s history to have his jersey number retired. He was an All-State two-way lineman and helped lead his team to the 2008 WIAA Division 4 state playoffs, where they finished second.
Frederick was a three-time All-State selection and was named the Beloit Daily News and Wisconsin State Journal Player of the Year as a senior. Also as a senior, Frederick was named All-County, All-District and Conference Lineman.
Travis Frederick’s recruitment statement to collegiate programs:
“My name is Travis Frederick and I am a 2009 graduate from Big Foot High School in Walworth, Wisconsin. Football is my passion and I cannot wait to play at the collegiate level. I also love math and science which will suit me very well as I pursue a degree in Aerospace Engineering. I’m looking for a college that offers an engineering curriculum so I can work towards my goals of being an aerospace engineer. I work very hard both on and off the field carrying a 4.06 GPA and holding a 2nd in class rank. I look forward to looking at my options and hope to find the right college match.”
Travis Frederick was considered a three-star recruit by Rivals.com coming out of high school. He received interest from Iowa, Michigan State, and Stanford, but his only offers were from Air Force, Navy, North Dakota State, and the Wisconsin Badgers.
Frederick ultimately decided that he would attend Wisconsin and even graduated a semester early from high school in order to be ready for spring practices.
Travis Frederick’s decision to graduate high school a semester early so that he could participate in Wisconsin’s spring practices paid off. He was the first true freshman offensive lineman to start the season opener in school history, when he lined up at center against Northern Illinois in 2009. Unfortunately, an ankle injury in week 2 would keep him out of the starting lineup until the final two games when he played left guard as an injury replacement.
In 2010, Wisconsin’s coaching staff decided to red-shirt Frederick in order to preserve a year of his NCAA eligibility. In his red-shirt sophomore season, Frederick started 11 of 13 games at left guard and also started two games at center as a substitute for Peter Konz.
As a junior in 2012, Travis Frederick took over the center responsibilities permanently when Peter Konz left for the NFL. He was named All-American and All-Big Ten Conference first-team based on his 2012 performance. He also added Academic All-Big Ten honors and was named to the watch list for the Remington and Outland Trophies.
Travis Frederick announced that he would forgo his senior season and enter the 2013 NFL Draft after the Badgers were defeated by Stanford in the 2013 Rose Bowl.
In his collegiate career at Wisconsin, Travis Frederick appeared in 32 games and started 31 of those contests. He started 13 games at left guard and another 18 at center for the Badgers.
2013 NFL Draft
Draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. for ESPN considered Travis Frederick to be the #1 center in the 2013 NFL Draft. Frederick was projected to be a second or third round selection before the Dallas Cowboys ultimately decided to draft him in the first round.
The Cowboys traded their first-round draft pick (18th overall) to the San Francisco 49ers in exchange for the 49ers first-round pick (31st overall) and their third round selection (74th overall), which they used to draft Terrance Williams. With the 31st draft pick, the Dallas Cowboys selected Travis Frederick, Center out of Wisconsin.
The selection of Frederick was widely considered a reach at the time because he was projected to be a second or third round draft pick. It was believed that the Cowboys received poor compensation for trading down 13 spots. Also, Travis Frederick’s poor performance at the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine played a big part in the criticism. He ran the second slowest 40 yard dash (5.58 sec.) among offensive lineman and posted below average reps on bench press (21).
Travis Frederick was named the starter at center from day one of Organized Team Activities when he replaced Phil Costa, who started for the Dallas Cowboys at center the two previous seasons.
Frederick became the first rookie offensive lineman to start every game at center in franchise history and went on to be selected to the NFL All-Rookie team in his first year in the NFL.
In 2014, Travis Frederick was voted into his first Pro Bowl and anchored arguably the best offensive line in the NFL. Frederick was also named Second-team All-Pro and PFWA All-NFC in his second year in the NFL.
In 2015, Travis Frederick earned his second Pro Bowl appearance and was also named Second-team All-Pro. He had to really earn his second Pro Bowl, because he had to work with four different starting quarterbacks with different degrees of knowledge of the offensive scheme, which required him to make more protection calls than usual.
Travis Frederick is entering the final year of his rookie contract, but the Dallas Cowboys still hold his fifth year option.
The total value of Travis Frederick’s rookie contract is $6,870,028 and he will make an average of $1,717,507, $5,528,206 of which is fully guaranteed. Frederick is the 21st highest-paid center in the NFL out of 95 centers.
He is entering the final year of his rookie contract and is guaranteed to make $1,341,822. He will have a cap number of $2,185,918 in 2016. The Dallas Cowboys will then have to decide if they want to pick up his fifth year option or try to sign him to a long-term contract.
Terrance Williams Was OK, But Cowboys Need More From Michael Gallup
Just yesterday, the Dallas Cowboys declined an option on Wide Receiver Terrance Williams' contract and ended his six-year tenure with the team. One reason the veteran was no longer in their plans was the presence of Michael Gallup, who the team has high hopes for entering just his second NFL season.
It's interesting to compare Gallup and Williams on several levels. Just as Terrance's time ends, having only made a few appearance last year in just three games, Michael was a fast learner as a rookie and emerged as the team's number-two receiver by the playoffs.
Both were third-round picks, with Williams (74th) being selected just seven spots higher overall in 2013 than Gallup (81st) was in 2018.
Terrance came to Dallas when Dez Bryant was firmly entrenched as the team's primary receiver. Michael was drafted less than a month after Dez was released, but Amari Cooper soon established himself as the number-one WR midway through the year.
In both cases, the Cowboys hoped that their third-round selection would yield a player who could at least play a complimentary role as a solid roleplayer, if not regular starter.
For all his warts Terrance Williams was ultimately a solid draft pick. He started in about 75% of the games he played in and was a proficient run blocker, helping both DeMarco Murray and Ezekiel Elliott have big years. He also made some highlight reel catches in his time.
But with those big plays came some big blunders. Terrance often had a bad drop for every good catch he made. A huge mental error may have cost Dallas the 2016 season opener against the Giants. And if the team wasn't already starting to turn on him, his 2018 arrest for public intoxication seemed to push them over the edge.
That said, the biggest issue with Williams was his inability to produce without other plays drawing attention. He didn't rise to the occasion when Dez Bryant was injured. He rarely even made defenses pay for giving Dez too much attention.
At his best, Terrance was a solid number-two receiver. Plenty of teams who've spent first-round picks on receivers wish they could they'd gotten as much in return. Nobody should be disappointed with how that 2013 third-round pick turned out.
But when it comes to Michael Gallup, Dallas should hope that Williams' career is the floor for Gallup's potential. As teams key on Amari Cooper going forward, can Gallup do damage in ways that Terrance rarely could?
Even more importantly, if Cooper were to ever get injured, could Michael step up and take on a larger role? Can Dallas finally have a number-two receiver with the capacity for occasionally taking the lead?
That may be putting too much pressure on young Mr. Gallup but it's really not an unfair expectation. Recent drafts have produced highly productive third-round receivers such as Keenan Allen, Cooper Kupp, Kenny Golladay, and Tyler Lockett.
Even more pressure comes if Cole Beasley leaves the team in free agency. While his role lessened toward the end of 2018, Cole remained one of Dak Prescott's favorite options in clutch situations. He was almost impossible to stop with just one man covering him, and that gave defenses a real dilemma once Amari Cooper arrived.
Can Gallup fill those shoes? Can he become a reliable target when the game is on the line?
In the end, all Michael has to do is be a solid starter to provide a great value for his draft selection. The Williams standard isn't a bad measure.
But if the Cowboys ever want to win more than just the occasional playoff game then they need another receiving threat who truly punishes opposing defenses. They need the next Alvin Harper, not the next Terrance Williams.
We can only hope, as the team does, that Michael Gallup is up to the task.
Cowboys Draft Target: Kentucky CB Lonnie Johnson Jr.
Since Kris Richard has taken over the back-end of the Dallas Cowboys defense, they have clearly shown a bias towards a "type" of cornerback. Richard, looking to build this Dallas unit in a similar form to his Seattle teams, has prioritized long corners both in height and arm length.
As his responsibilities within the organization increase, it's only fair to expect Kris Richard to have more say in who the Cowboys' defense acquires in terms of talent. This means we should anticipate more defensive backs who fit his type, such as Kentucky Wildcats cornerback Lonnie Johnson Jr.
So why does Lonnie Johnson fit the mold of what Kris Richard tends to look for? Well, for starters, he is 6'3" and 206 lbs with 32 1/4" arms. He's a long corner with excellent size and the trait profile which indicates he could be the perfect candidate to play cornerback in Dallas.
But while he might look great on paper, the tape is always the most important factor for evaluating and projecting talent. And, for Johnson, the tape isn't all-that great. Despite his length, Johnson struggled mightily in press-man coverage at Kentucky. Too often he is late or ineffective with his hands, leaving him susceptible to being blown by by the opposing receiver. He often loses balance due to poor footwork, and is rather average with his hips and quick change of direction.
Where Johnson was his best in college was in zone coverage, playing his deep third of Kentucky's cover-three look. Rarely did he allow receivers behind him in zone coverage, and displayed good instincts when deciding whether to jump routes or play more conservatively when playing in that deep third. He was not nearly as comfortable underneath, and Kentucky didn't ask him to play in that role too often. Because of how big he is, Johnson is able to contest at the catch point regularly, yet he only deflected 9 passes in 2 years.
What gives me the most hope for Lonnie Johnson as a prospect (besides his length) is his Senior Bowl performance. Johnson impressed daily at the Senior Bowl, looking more comfortable in man coverage and playing much better in his press technique.
Was this Johnson becoming more comfortable over time and a sign of things to come at the next level, or was it an anomaly that we shouldn't read too much into? The answer to that question is up to the individual teams, but his combine performance will play a huge role in how those teams answer.
As I've discussed already, Lonnie Johnson Jr. fits what Kris Richard tends to look for in his cornerbacks. He is long, tall, and relatively athletic, making him a clay piece for a coach like Richard to develop.
The question is, however, how much development can really occur? The highs for Johnson are rather high when he maximizes his natural abilities on the field. But too often he is sloppy in technique, or looks lost in man coverage. Whether or not Richard can "fix" Johnson completely may never be seen, but teams (especially this one) could fall in love with him as a prospect for what he can become if it all comes together.
Cowboys Draft Target: Oklahoma Sooners RB Rodney Anderson
NAME: Rodney Anderson
CONFERENCE: Big 12
POSITION: Running Back
CLASS: RS Junior
JERSEY: No. 24
RECRUITMENT RATING: 4-star
Rodney Anderson || 2017-18 Highlights ᴴᴰ || Oklahoma Like, Comment, and Subscribe for More! Follow my Instagram: @szhighlights Songs: - "Don't Know Me" by Trae Tha Truth - "Better Days" by Trae Tha Truth I do not own any of these highlights or music clips.
Before we get into the player, we should really try to get to know Rodney Anderson the person. He attended Katy High School in Katy, Texas, one of the powerhouse HS football programs in the state. He was a four-star recruit who received offers from Auburn, Baylor, Texas A&M, and Oklahoma. He originally committed to Texas A&M, but changed his mind and decided to go to Oklahoma instead. He had an up-and-down career on the football field at Oklahoma because of injuries, but did graduate with a degree in Arts and Sciences in May 2018 and is pursuing his Master's in Human Relations.
Rodney Anderson has the ideal size and athleticism to become a featured back in the NFL. He shows good patience and vision on film to allow his offensive lineman to secure their blocks before sticking his foot in the ground and exploding through the hole. He runs behind his pads and shows good strength, loose hips, and balance to run through arm tackles. More than capable of picking up those "dirty yards" and is surprisingly slippery as a runner in the open field.
Anderson is capable of playing in a power scheme or a zone heavy scheme like the Dallas Cowboys deploy. He has been featured in a number of rushing concepts including gap/power, read action, and power sweeps. His talent also carries over to the passing game. He possesses soft hands and looks natural catching the ball both out of the backfield and down the field as a receiver. Solid in pass protection, but this is an area of his game where he can improve.
The biggest negative about Rodney Anderson is his injury history at Oklahoma. He is basically a one-year wonder because of three separate season-ending injuries, but bad things happen in three so maybe that's behind him. Durability will be a question mark entering the NFL though.
His vision is sometimes questionable, especially on inside and outside zone reads. Has a tendency to to try to bounce runs to the outside too often or cut back too quickly. Shows good explosiveness, but only average burst through the hole. Seems to have adequate long speed on tape, but is 40 yard dash time will be heavily scrutinized if he's able to run at the NFL Scouting Combine.
In the passing game he needs to improve his route running and pass protection if he wants to be a three-down back in the NFL. The talent is there, just not the production and consistency. Will also have to prove he can be productive against stacked boxes at the next level since he rarely saw any in college due to Oklahoma's spread offense.
If the Dallas Cowboys are looking for a running back capable of being a featured back in the NFL, while also spelling Ezekiel Elliott from time to time, then Rodney Anderson is there guy. His combination of power, balance, explosiveness, and scheme diversity could come in handy as their RB2. Not only would he provide a good insurance policy if the unthinkable were to happen to Zeke, but he could take over if they decide not to give No. 21 a contract extension.
There is a lot to like about Rodney Anderson's game and his ability to contribute in the running and passing game, but he is not by any means a clean prospect. Despite his immense talent, his injury history and lack of consistency in college is bothersome. But, as a mid-round pick the reward far outweighs the risks. Paired with Elliott, the Cowboys could have a formidable one-two punch in their backfield and could pound opposing defenses into submission.
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