Several Wisconsin Badgers football players are getting ready for the 2013 NFL Draft this weekend. Center Travis Frederick, running back Montee Ball and offensive tackle Ricky Wagner are all guaranteed to be drafted at some point. However, which of the three players will be selected first in the draft?
The big name player out of Wisconsin is Ball for obvious reasons. The 5-foot-11, 212-pound running back was a Heisman Trophy candidate in 2011 and posted some staggering numbers in his four-year career with the Badgers. Even though Ball may be the most famous player of the trio, the unanimous decision has to be Frederick going off the board first. In fact, the center could go as early as Thursday night.
The 6-foot-4, 335-pound offensive lineman is widely considered the top player at his position. There is no telling if a center will be drafted in the first round, but at least one analyst over at CBBSports.com has him going No. 24 overall to the Indianapolis Colts.
Playing for Wisconsin, intelligence is typically a given among the players. With that being said, Frederick’s football intelligence is one of his greatest strengths. He is able to sniff out defensive schemes and quickly relay adjustments to the other linemen. He also has the overall size to move defensive linemen and get to the second level to secure blocks on running plays. Frederick is certainly not the most athletic center who ever played the game, but there is still some team that is going to take a chance on him in the first three rounds.
It is hard to say if Ball or Wagner will fall second behind Frederick, but either way the two players will not be far apart when their names are called. I have to imagine some team will take a chance on Ball before they pick up an offensive tackle considering there are several talented offensive linemen projected to go early. Not to mention, Ball is considered one of the top running backs in the draft. Expect to see both players get selected in the third round, and no later than the fourth round.