Alabama’s Barrett Jones was one of the best known lineman in college football last year, but Wisconsin’s Travis Frederick might be the better NFL center prospect of the two.
Jones has been a starter across Alabama’s offensive line and in 2011 as a left tackle won the Outland Trophy as the nation’s best offensive lineman. He switched to center last season, and that figures to be his best position in the NFL. But Fredrick, who started at center and guard during his career at Wisconsin, is rated the No. 1 center ahead of Jones by some or maybe even many NFL teams.
Russ Lande of NationalFootballPost.com compared the two (link: http://tinyurl.com/cnf8fzk) and predicted Frederick will be the better NFL center. The two probably will be selected in the second round.
“In the end, it is likely that both Jones and Frederick will become starting centers in the NFL,” Lande wrote, “but I think the level of player they will become is different. Jones will be the tough, scrappy over-achiever who cannot get movement on in-line run blocks and constantly has trouble blocking the big 320-plus pound DT’s, both on run blocks and in pass protection.
"Frederick on the other hand will never be confused with one of the most athletic centers, but he will be one of the more physically dominant ones in the league. He will get his hands on the defensive lineman and will be able to dictate the play to them. Frederick’s skill set will enable him to stop power rushers in their tracks, adjust to quick pass rush moves in a small area and constantly control his man to open holes on inside runs. In addition, in today’s NFL where so many teams run 34 defenses, Frederick will have no trouble blocking the nose tackle one on one, while Jones will struggle in that area. For these reasons, I would definitely draft Frederick before I would select Jones.”