UND's Matt Waletzko selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the fifth round of the NFL Draft

Apart from transfer Kenny Golladay, Waletzko is UND's first NFL Draft choice since 2006 (Chris Kuper).

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UND offensive lineman Matt Waletzko participates in drills in front of NFL and CFL scouts as part of a Pro Day event held at the Fritz Pollard Jr. Athletic Center on the UND campus in Grand Forks on Thursday, March 24, 2022.
Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

GRAND FORKS โ€” Matt Waletzko is going from GF to Big D.

The Dallas Cowboys have selected the UND offensive tackle in the fifth round of the NFL Draft with pick No. 155 on Saturday afternoon.

"Very impressive firing off the ball and drives defenders for his size," ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr. said after the pick. "He gets to the second level very effectively.

"I thought there was a lot to work with with Matt Waletzko. He has a chance to make the grade at the pro level."

ESPN analyst Louis Riddick also chimed in with a positive scouting report on Waletzko.


"He just needs to get stronger," Riddick said. "When he does, this guy could be a problem and a very good offensive tackle."

Waletzko, a 6-foot-7 left tackle and FCS All-American, was projected nearly identically as the draft played out.

According to the Athletic consensus big board, which averages the analysis of more than 80 projections, Waletzko entered the draft as the No. 152 prospect.

UND was the only NCAA Division I scholarship offer for Waletzko, a Cold Spring, Minn., native.

Other than Kenny Golladay, who transferred to Northern Illinois after two seasons at UND, Waletzko is the first NFL Draft pick for UND since Chris Kuper went to the Denver Broncos in 2006.

Kuper, who was recently named the Minnesota Vikings' head offensive line coach, was selected with pick No. 161 in the fifth round in 2006.

Apart from Golladay, Waletzko is the highest UND draft choice since Jim Kleinsasser in 1999. Kleinsasser was picked in the second round by the Minnesota Vikings with choice No. 44.

Waletzko is the second offensive lineman selected by Dallas in the 2022 draft. The Cowboys picked Tulsa's Tyler Smith in the first round.


According to Dallas media reports, Smith is expected to compete at guard. Waletzko could compete for a starting job at right tackle with Terence Steele, who has been with Dallas for two seasons and was the primary starter in 2021.

Miller has covered sports at the Grand Forks Herald since 2004 and was the state sportswriter of the year in 2019 and 2022.

His primary beat is UND football but also reports on a variety of UND sports and local preps.

He can be reached at (701) 780-1121, or on Twitter at @tommillergf.
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