Tyler Biadasz was a 4th-Round draft pick for the Dallas Cowboys this year. However, many are already calling him, “the next Travis Frederick.” This optimistic outlook could prove true, but it won’t happen right away and may ultimately be unfair to the rookie.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about the Cowboys’ 2020 draft class in general and the massive expectations they will face as rookies. But today I want to focus on Biadasz and the unique challenge he faces.
Tyler joins the Cowboys immediately following Frederick’s unexpected and untimely retirement. After Travis’ successful return to football in 2019 from his neurological disorder, we figured he’d be here for at least the next few seasons if not the end of his contract.
Still stinging from that loss, fans perked up when Dallas drafted another center from the Wisconsin Badgers. But while he was a standout player in college, Biadasz enters the NFL without the same scouting appeal as his predecessor.
Remember, Travis Frederick was a 1st-Round pick and was generally considered the top center in the 2020 draft class. Tyler was one of the better centers in the 2020 class but was seen as more of a mid-round pick, which is exactly where the Cowboys took him.
Of course, Frederick was called a reach when Dallas originally took him in 2013. He proved the doubters wrong by becoming one of the elite centers in the NFL, but he also had a stronger scouting report going into his draft than Biadasz had.
So comparatively, before ever taking a practice snap for the Cowboys, Frederick was already viewed as a superior player than Biadasz. Keep that in mind.
Another point in Frederick’s favor; he had the privilege of learning from offensive line guru Bill Callahan during his two seasons in Dallas. Callahan was a huge factor in how Travis, Tyron Smith, and Zack Martin all quickly became top talents at their positions.
Dallas got a brand new o-line coach in 2020 when Joe Philbin became part of Mike McCarthy’s staff. Philbin has an extensive background with offensive line work and won a Super Bowl with McCarthy in Green Bay. However, he hasn’t ever had the kind of prolific success with offensive lines that Callahan had with the Cowboys.
Will Philbin give Tyler Biadasz the same developmental boost as a coach that Bill Callahan gave to Travis Frederick?
Somewhat related is that Frederick walked onto the Cowboys roster as a new starter. He got to work with the first-team offense right away and received all of the attention needed to help a rookie make that quick transition into a starting role.
Biadasz isn’t coming in with the same immediate level of responsibility. Joe Looney will likely get the veteran nod at starter and there’s also 2018 3rd-Round pick Connor McGovern in the mix. Biadasz likely isn’t starting in 2020 and may not for at least the next few seasons.
That could stymie Tyler’s growth overall in his career. Part of what made Frederick the player he came was invaluable playing time in real games. There’s no guarantee that Biadasz will ever get that in Dallas.
Obviously I’m not rooting for Tyler Biadasz to fail. Him actually becoming an equivalent player to Travis Frederick as a 4th-Round selection would be an incredible success.
This is just a reality check; Biadasz isn’t coming in with the same projection for NFL success or opportunities to play and develop. He has a longer way to go to reach Frederick’s peak and more hurdles to get over.
Calling Tyler Biadasz “the next Travis Frederick” is a hope, not a logical projection. It’s certainly possible but shouldn’t be the expectation we hang around his neck for the next four years. Otherwise, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment.