When Cowboys offensive line coach Bill Callahan and Wisconsin center Travis Frederick got together for a pre-draft interview, one particular name came up.
Good thinking. The New York Jets center is a two-time All-Pro and four-time Pro Bowl player selected in the first round in 2006. Callahan joined the Jets two years later, in 2008, Mangold’s first Pro Bowl year.
“He did talk about Mangold and how he coached him and some of the things that he did with him that made him into a really good player,” Frederick said last week after the Cowboys made him their first-round pick. “I’m really excited to hopefully take that coaching and really move forward.”
Mangold came into the league as the 29th pick in the first round. Frederick was the 31st pick.
Mangold also came into the league with a slow 40 time, and he was undersized at 290 pounds. He plays now at 6-4, 307.
Frederick is listed at 6-3, 312.
Both players come from big-time programs. Mangold made 21 consecutive starts for Ohio State before being drafted. Frederick started 28 consecutive games at Wisconsin before being drafted.
Both were the first centers taken.
“I’m very excited to not only be here in Dallas, but be the only center taken and be taken in the first round,” Frederick said. “It’s really a dream come true.”
Callahan and Frederick shouldn’t lack for anything to talk about. Frederick grew up in Sharon, Wis., about 90 miles outside of Chicago. Callahan is a Chicago native who coached at Illinois in the ’80s and Wisconsin in the ’90s.