– Players are finally starting to roll through the media room and one of the top interior linemen (and the best center in the draft in this corner of cyperspace) made his appearance just a few minutes ago.
– Rocking a beard straight out of Duck Dynasty, Wisconsin OL Travis Frederick answered questions for about 10 minutes and offered his thoughts on what it means to play offensive line for the Badgers, his versatility and what he thinks separates him from other interior linemen in this draft.
– Here’s a sample of Frederick’s thoughts:
(On the tradition of Wisconsin offensive linemen)
Wisconsin has always been a great place with a tremendous tradition for offensive linemen. That’s one of the reasons that I chose to go to Wisconsin. Dating back several eras, it’s gone through and it’s been something to look up to. That’s one of the reasons I went there, the way that they can get new talent in but also it’s something that as a player you want to live up to. You want to be able to fill those expectations and be the next person in that line. That gives you great motivation to continue to work hard and do as much as you can to be one of those guys.
(On his versatility)
Absolutely. I think one of my best qualities is the fact that I can play both center and guard. In today’s age with the smaller rosters it’s really valuable for teams to be able to have somebody that can play both, especially in a backup position or if they can start somebody over mid game they don’t have to back up all three positions and they can do something like that a little bit easier. I think something like that I have is going to help me out a lot.
(On the breakdown of his games at center and his games at guard)
I started my true freshman year the first two games at center, I got hurt then I started the last two games my freshman year at guard. I took a redshirt year my sophomore year. My junior year I started all at guard up until Peter Konz got hurt at the end of the year and I moved over to center. I played about three games at center and then last year, I played completely at center.
(On if his knowledge of center gives him a leg up when playing guard)
I practice a lot at both positions. Even when I was only playing one, I often times would be practicing both of them. I think knowing the other positions, so let’s say I am playing guard, knowing the center position helps you tremendously knowing where the center is going or getting up to the line you should know what the center is calling and you can be one step ahead and read the next level. By knowing what the other person is doing, it’s going to help you become a better player.
(On what he thinks could make him the best center in the draft)
I think there’s a lot of great talent out there both at center and guard. I have seen some of the other guys play and they are very, very good. I think that I play very well as well and I think I rank up there with those guys. I think the things I do in the run game definitely help me out and in the pass game being able to stop some bull rushes and things like that, that definitely helps me. I certainly have a long way to go in my progression and I’m excited to get a chance to play for an NFL team and get a chance to improve my craft.
– Frederick is projected as a second-round pick or so but could well work his way into the first round mix. The Rams don’t have a pressing need at center right now but that could change depending on how Scott Wells comes back from another offseason knee surgery. Regardless of that, the Rams do have a need for help at guard and Frederick seems capable of stepping in and starting early there as well.
– Should the Rams lose Robert Turner to free agency, Frederick would be a heck of a piece to add to replace him in the near term and a potential long term solution at either guard or center.
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