The Dallas Cowboys' selection of Travis Frederick with the 31st pick in the first round was just as bad as it was shocking.
The Cowboys got off to a great start in the draft by trading the 18th pick for the 31st and 74th picks in the draft. That value quickly died as the Cowboys took a safety that many considered as a late pick on the draft's second day.
The worst part of the Cowboys' first round was passing on defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd. The big-bodied defensive lineman would have given the Cowboys great value and provided them with a replacement for Jay Ratliff. They could have also gotten good value at safety with Eric Reid, Matt Elam or Jonathan Cyprien.
Let's take a look at some of the reaction following the pick:
First off, Bleacher Report's Matt Miller listed the selection among his worst of the night:
Worst picks: EJ Manuel to the Bills. Sheldon Richardson to the Jets. Travis Frederick to the Cowboys.— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) April 26, 2013
Yahoo! Sports' Doug Farrar had an amusing tweet on the subject:
The NFL's official online shop was also confused by the Travis Frederick pick. nflshop.com/product/index.…— SC_DougFarrar (@SC_DougFarrar) April 26, 2013
Frederick was even surprised that the Cowboys picked him in the first round, as reported by Cowboys Radio Network reporter Armen Williams:
Uh, Travis Frederick said he was surprised Cowboys picked him because, "I thought I was a 2nd round offensive lineman." That kinda night.— Armen Williams (@ArmenWilliams) April 26, 2013
The surprise seemingly added even more to Frederick's excitement:
Thanks everyone for the nice words! So glad to be a Cowboy! I'm so excited! Thanks to everyone who helped get me here.— Travis Frederick (@tfrederick72) April 26, 2013
While E.J. Manuel going 16th overall to the Buffalo Bills was also a surprise, it's not as shocking to see a team reach for a quarterback they want. Success in the NFL is ultimately connected to the quarterback, and the Bills didn't have that before the first round.
What grade do you give the Cowboys' pick?
Frederick will contribute for the Cowboys, but they likely could have gotten him in a later round. With so many holes on both sides of the ball, it would have been nice to see the Cowboys be more aggressive in the draft in order to get a player who can have a bigger immediate impact.
The Cowboys still have some opportunities to come away with a solid draft class, but they must hit on their second-day selections. Those picks are the 47th, 74th and 80th overall. With needs on the defensive line and at safety, the Cowboys have to find good value at those positions.
If they can do so, picking Frederick won't look as bad. If they miss out on an impact defensive tackle, this pick will look terrible next season.