INDIANAPOLIS – Travis Frederick leaned on a plethora of former teammates, coaches and family when making the decision about declaring early for the NFL Draft.
In the end, the Wisconsin junior center followed in the footsteps of his predecessor and fellow Wisconsinite, Peter Konz, when finally making the choice to enter.
The 6-foot-4, 338-pound Frederick talked with both Konz and former Badgers’ guard Kevin Zeitler when making his choice to leave school early, and is considered by many scouts to be the best center available in this year’s draft.
Projected as a late first-round or second-round selection, that could leave Frederick on the board for the Packers, who drafted 26th in April’s Draft.
Last year, the Packers passed on Konz, who eventually fell to Atlanta in the second round (55th overall), but they could be in position again this year to take the Wisconsin product given their interior need with Jeff Saturday’s retirement.
A native of Sharon, Wis., Frederick attended Big Foot High School on the western side of the state, but steered clear of any questions about what it would mean to be drafted by the in-state Packers.
“Everybody has their own thoughts and hopes. Like I said, I’m just excited to be able to get a chance to play in the league,” said Frederick, who started primarily at left guard as a junior before supplanting Konz when he left early.
“I would say any of the 32 teams is going to be a great opportunity for me. And I’m going to be able to go out and make my mark on a NFL team and hopefully go out and play for a championship-caliber team.”
long with Frederick, Badgers’ senior tackle Ricky Wagner is also a part of this year’s draft class. Lauded for his long arms and strength, Wagner isn’t considered the same caliber of athlete as Frederick and is projected as a fifth-or-sixth round selection.