Versatility and the work Matt Farniok has put in over the course of the past year seems to have paid off.
The former Husker tackle and guard was selected with the 10th pick in the seventh round (238th pick overall) of the 2021 NFL Draft on Saturday by the Dallas Cowboys.
.@MattFarniok1 : DRAFTED → Round 7 Pick 238 @dallascowboys ←#ProBigRed /// #NFLDraft pic.twitter.com/BP1jfo32TX
— Nebraska Football (@HuskerFBNation) May 1, 2021
Farniok wasn’t a consensus draftable prospect by various big boards and mock drafts leading up to the weekend, but the longtime Husker starter on the offensive line bumped himself up into the field with his work since the 2020 season ended.
“I lost about five pounds of fat and gained about 10 pounds of muscle, so it’s been a good process so far,” Farniok said before his pro day. “It feels good. Obviously the more correct weight you put on, the easier it is to control your body and move it the way you want to move. Everything’s just felt a lot smoother.”
He then followed the talk up with a strong showing in front of scouts. Farniok put up 28 reps on the bench, registered a 33-inch vertical, and clocked a 5.1 40-yard dash. Sometimes you can say you’ve trimmed up but it doesn’t quite show; with Farniok, it showed.
His main goal throughout the draft process was to show teams he could do what they asked.
“I’m ready to play whatever position they want me at,” Farniok said.
He spent the first part of his career playing at starting at tackle for Nebraska, then switched to right guard as a senior. Throughout the 2020 season, he also moved over to center when Cam Jurgens needed a moment.
Farniok’s chops as a swing lineman, coupled with his experience—36 starts in the Big Ten—made him worth a flier late in the draft.
“I’m obviously not going to be walking down the red carpet,” Farniok said. “I’m going to be kind of trying to sneak in the back door. And I’m fine with that.
“I’ve always prided myself on being a hard worker, being tough, finding a way to overcome whatever is thrown in me. And seeing other guys do it as well, it’s possible.”
Derek is a newbie on the Hail Varsity staff covering Husker athletics. In college, he was best known as ‘that guy from Twitter.’ He has covered a Sugar Bowl, a tennis national championship and almost everything in between (except an NCAA men’s basketball tournament game… *tears*). In his spare time, he can be found arguing with literally anyone about sports.