For additional information on Wisconsin center Travis Frederick, picked 31st overall by the Cowboys in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft, check out this article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Here is the story:
Green Bay - Wisconsin's Travis Frederick is going to become the slowest center drafted by a National Football League team in 20 years.
As the saying goes, the farther Frederick goes, the worse he looks. His new employer almost can forget about him ranging far afield on screens, knocking defenders off piles downfield, coming across the field on a reverse or recovering a fumble close to the boundary.
That became apparent Feb. 23 when Frederick lurched down the FieldTurf surface at the combine in a pair of 40-yard dashes clocked at 5.56 seconds.
"I thought he'd run at least 5.4," an executive in personnel said. "He's not a good athlete on tape, but I didn't think he'd run 5.6."
To think Frederick dropped an estimated 20 pounds in seven weeks and still looked awful caused some but certainly not all teams that liked him to reevaluate.
"Yes, the workout did expose him," said an AFC personnel man. "His feet are so (expletive) slow. He's beginning to scare me the more I watch him. Before, I had him 25 to 40. There's no way he goes first round now."
When scouts assembled 10 days later at UW pro day, Frederick elected not to run another 40 and to go back to performing football drills only.
"His workouts were horrible, but I just don't think it's that big of a deal," another AFC personnel director said. "He needs to quit losing weight and be a 335-pound Wisconsin guy. He's talented. He's going to start and be a good pro."
From a historical perspective, Frederick's 40 was remarkably bad.
The last center to be drafted that ran over 5.5 was John Wade, who ran 5.52 in 1998. A fifth-round pick, he went on to start 110 games in an 11-year career.
The last center to be drafted that ran slower than Frederick's 5.56 was Mike Devlin in 1993. A third-round draft choice out of Iowa, he was clocked in 5.63 before becoming a starter in two of his seven seasons.
In the last decade, 12 centers have been drafted in the first two rounds. Starting from 2003, their 40 times were 5.25, 5.01, 4.93, 5.15, 5.22, 5.47, 4.87, 5.06, 5.24, 4.96, 4.99, 5.22, 5.17, 5.60, 5.31, 5.16 and 5.22.
A 40 time probably is less significant for an offensive lineman than any other position except specialists. Still, speed is one sign of athleticism, and Frederick's 10-yard splits weren't good, either.
"His play is more indicative of who he is than the 40 time," Tennessee scout Johnny Meads said. "He can identify things and run the offensive line."
One scout said Frederick, who scored 34 of a possible 50 on the Wonderlic intelligence test, "might be the smartest guy in the draft." His intellect was renowned at UW, and line coaches that have interviewed him are amazed at his recall and football knowledge.
Last season, Atlanta general manager Thomas Dimitroff used a second-round pick for what he hopes will be his center for the next decade in Wisconsin's Peter Konz. He watched Frederick as the left guard in 2011 and at center last season, and is convinced he moves well enough to succeed.
"Sure he can," said Dimitroff. "This guy is an urgent, aggressive, tough guy. He is adept and alert inside in a small area. He has really good feel for it."
Since the football renaissance began at UW in 1990, one thing can be said about Badgers linemen. They don't always run and work out well, but they almost always play.
Other than guard Bill Ferrario (6-2, 313, 5.52), the Green Bay Packers' fourth-round draft in 2001 whose playing time consisted of the equivalent of 1 ½ games, every lineman of substance started at least 10 games in the NFL (measurements, 40 times reflect pre-draft workouts).
At tackle, Mark Tauscher (6-3 ½, 315, 5.42) made 132 starts, Jerry Wunsch (6-6, 324, 5.34) made 51, Aaron Gibson (6-6, 374, 5.35) made 34 and Chris McIntosh (6-6 ½, 310, 5.42) made 13 before a neck injury ended his promising career.
Among the guards, Joe Panos (6-3, 296, 5.30) started 56 games, Dan Buenning (6-4, 313, 5.35) started 23 and Mike Verstegen (6-5 ½, 305, 5.45) started 12.
The start total for the centers included 118 for Casey Rabach (6-4 ½, 298, 5.32), 83 for Cory Raymer (6-3, 293, 5.13) and 45 for Al Johnson (6-3 ½, 305, 5.01).
Among active former Badgers, tackle Joe Thomas (6-6 ½, 311, 4.92), guards Kevin Zeitler (6-4, 312, 5.35) and Kraig Urbik (6-5, 328, 5.32) and Konz (6-5, 313, 5.22), a center, are starters, and guards John Moffitt (6-4, 317, 5.52) and Gabe Carimi (6-7, 315, 5.20) and center Bill Nagy (6-3, 302, 5.09) already have combined for 35 starts in their first two seasons and could start again.
"Wisconsin guys have played well in the league," an AFC personnel man said. "Frederick can play center, but I think he's going to play guard. I think he's a second-round pick, but he may go in the back end of the first because there's not that many centers."
The Badgers faithful will be following Frederick's fortunes, of course, but with an abnormally large number of capable offensive linemen in the draft he will take a backseat early in the draft.
The record for most O-linemen selected in the first round, which was eight in 1996 and 2008, could be threatened.
"It's hard to find left tackles in this league," said Howie Roseman, general manager of the Philadelphia Eagles. "At the top it's a really good group. Then you've got a chance throughout to address the position. It's a meat and potatoes draft, an O-line, D-line sort of draft."
The Journal Sentinel polled 16 personnel people, asking them to rank their six favorite linemen in order regardless of position. A first-place vote was worth six points, a second-place was worth five and so forth.
Luke Joeckel led with 90 points (12 firsts), followed by Eric Fisher, 80 (three firsts); Lane Johnson, 50; Jonathan Cooper, 41 (one first); Chance Warmack, 36; D.J. Fluker, 19; Menelik Watson, 14; Frederick, three; and Kyle Long, Justin Pugh and Brennan Williams, each one.
"I'm very impressed with the upside of this tackle group," Dimitroff said. "There's no question you could land a starter in the third to fourth rounds. I (like) the level of athleticism and fluidity of movement for these big Hoss-type offensive tackles."