The DC Times

A New Way to Look at the Cowboys, NFL, and Fantasy Football

By Jonathan Bales

A Bunch of Cowboys Draft Analysis: More on Frederick, Escobar & Co.

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I’ve published a bunch of Cowboys draft content over the past two days. Here are a few links and previews.

A statistical view of Travis Frederick and Gavin Escobar at DallasCowboys.com

From a numbers standpoint, what we know about Frederick is that he’s 6-4, 312 pounds with 33-inch arms, which is right around average and certainly adequate for a center. Arm length is a good predictor of offensive tackle success. I haven’t seen any analytics on arm length for interior linemen, but I’d assume the correlation extends inside. Frederick ran a 5.58 40-yard dash, jumped 28.5 inches, and recorded 21 reps on the bench press. He’s not an explosive athlete, but you don’t need to be to play well at center in the NFL. You simply need to possess a baseline level of athleticism. Frederick isn’t so athletic that you automatically know that’s the case, such as with a guy like Eagles first-rounder Lane Johnson, but his quality game tape suggests he can play with the big boys.

TE Gavin Escobar

Although it’s “blasphemous” in some circles to use a player’s college stats to help grade him, I think it’s one of the most overlooked aspects of scouting. Simply put, if a guy played well against a high level of competition in college, he has a good chance to do it in the pros.

Escobar didn’t play in a major conference, but it’s still important to look at numbers for small-school players. We’d expect exceptional small-school athletes to dominate inferior competition; if they don’t, that might be a sign that something is amiss.

During his three-year career, Escobar’s personal bests in catches, yards and touchdowns all came in 2011, when he turned in a 51/780/7 season. That’s hardly dominant, but don’t forget that tight ends aren’t typically utilized in the same way in college as in the NFL, and there were some concerns that Escobar was actually misused as an in-line tight end at San Diego State.

More on Escobar at NBC

More on Frederick at NBC

What I Like

Obviously, Frederick has some really good tape out there. He plays with awesome technique, and you can tell just how cerebral he is on the field. After hearing him in his first press conference in Dallas, you can tell he’s a really intelligent kid. That’s important, especially for a player who will be making the line calls.

From all accounts, Frederick is also a natural leader. He seems confident in himself—which will be vital for someone the fans already dislike because of his draft spot—and he seems to be very focused on improving his game.

What I Don’t Like

Again, I question if Frederick has enough athleticism to really thrive in the NFL. You don’t need to be a freak athlete to play center, but I watched more tape of Frederick struggling with speed at the college level. I think he has the determination and work ethic to improve, but it won’t matter if he’s not athletic enough to play with NFL talent.

I also don’t like that Frederick is a low-ceiling player. I really doubt that he can ever play at an All-Pro level, even if he maxes out on his potential. It’s smart to invest in safe players in the first round, but the Cowboys probably could have drafted a safe player with more upside.

My initial reaction to the Cowboys’ first four picks

A look back at the Cowboys’ 2010 big board at Dallas News

  • FIRST ROUND

1. Sam Bradford
2. Gerald McCoy
3. Ndamukong Suh
4. Russell Okung
5. Trent Williams
6. Eric Berry
7. Rolando McClain
8. Joe Haden
9. CJ Spiller
10. Mike Iupati
11.  Blocked by Jerry’s arm, but likely Earl Thomas or Dez Bryant
12.  Blocked by Jerry’s arm, but likely Earl Thomas or Dez Bryant
13. Bryan Bulaga
14. Sean Lee
15. Jared Odrick
16. Jason Pierre-Paul
17. Derrick Morgan
18. Kyle Wilson
19. Maurkice Pouncey
20. Navarro Bowman
21. Jahvid Best
22. Tyson Alualu
23. Jermaine Gresham

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