Ex-Browns GM Phil Savage continues to pore through his notes from a visit to Ohio State's practice facility last week. His latest reports are on senior cornerback Travis Howard and senior offensive lineman Reid Fragel -- the grandson of former Rossford basketball coach Joe Stalma. Interesting -- and blunt -- thoughts on the 6-foot-8, 310-pound Fragel, who looks to have an NFL future after moving from tight end to right tackle for his final season. Savage said if Fragel gets nastier "and embraces the opportunity in front of him, the ceiling for him could be as a potential starter in the league." If his performance Saturday against Michigan State is any indication, Fragel took the message to heart.
Here are Savage's write-ups, courtesy of seniorbowl.com.
Summary: A tall-framed prospect with long arms and a developed lower body and bubble. He has added over 20 lbs. since the spring and can certainly carry even more weight in the future (maybe, in the 325-330 lb. range).
As stated, he aligns as the RT and plays from both 2- and 3-point stances in this version of OSU’s spread option offense. He has natural knee bend to his play and consistently stays on his feet. As a run blocker, he will latch on and run his feet, but is not an explosive road grater off the line. He will body position and wall off opponents with his overall size and ability to keep his balance.
On “down” blocks, he can cover people up with his frame, but again, would not consider him to be a mauler. In pass protection, he can get out of his stance and slide laterally while extending his arms. When he keeps his weight back and head up, he can be difficult to get around due to his body and arm length. When he leans at the waist or drops his head, like every offensive lineman, he can get exposed and is vulnerable to counter moves.
For the most part, he keeps his hands inside, but there are times when he has them outside and gives too much ground. Still, this is a prospect that flashes athletic ability with the skill to adjust and confront an alternate pass rush move.
For the NFL, Reid is an intriguing player because of his limited experience as an OT, his further body development and the fact that he stays off the ground. He gives a consistent effort, but does not have a nasty demeanor. If he will understand and embrace the opportunity in front of him, the ceiling for him could be as a potential starter in the league. Otherwise, his floor will be as a journeyman developmental candidate that has the physical traits and a questionable football temperament.
What the NFL scouts want to see in 2012: For Reid to turn up the intensity on and off the field and demonstrate that he is very serious about playing professional football. Through four games (visit on 9/26), he has shown steady improvement, but will need to continue in that regard as the Buckeyes will take on eight straight Big Ten opponents to close out the 2012 season.
Summary: As a senior, interestingly enough, he is playing as the “field” corner even though he has the build of a “boundary” corner at 6000/195. He has an angular body with long arms and legs with thin wrists and ankles. He is “leggy” in his transition, yet shows quality athletic ability and more quickness than expected for a tall corner.
In the Buckeyes’ first five games, he has registered 3 interceptions and is playing the best football of his career. In run support, he takes up space on the perimeter with his length and, overall, is a drag-down style tackler. He will get involved, but is not a physical striker in space.
As a pass defender, he will pedal-and-react to routes in front of him and does a solid job in his backward-and-forward transitions. Travis does have some tightness when changing directions laterally out in the open field, but his best attribute may be when he is at the line-of-scrimmage. In press, he has the arm length to jam the receiver and then the needed speed to carry his opponent downfield.
On Tuesday, September 25, he had an excellent day in the 1-on-1 WR/DB drills when he demonstrated more short area quickness and reactionary movement than his long build would indicate. He has not been challenged vertically very often in games, so it is difficult to assess his ball awareness and judgment in the deep part of the field. He catches the football easily and has 7 interceptions in 16 career starts.
For the NFL, by virtue of his height-weight and speed, he will be thoroughly evaluated this fall. With the dearth of 6000 corners available in college football, every team in the league will have to make their determination on him as a future backup or potential starter. He probably fits best for a Cover Two team (with rolled up corners) that will ask for some MM skills in their scheme.
What the NFL scouts want to see in 2012: If he can stay healthy for the remainder of the season and continue making plays on the football, with his past contributions on special teams, his stock can elevate for the 2013 draft.