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Kevin Zeitler, NFL Draft 2012: Big Badger With Blocking Prowess

The University of Wisconsin has been producing excellent offensive linemen over the last few years. Being a run first team allows these players in the trenches to be featured in a way linemen haven't been able to in other programs. Zeitler is a player who was already highly regarded, but he showed a mobility in 2011 with Russell Wilson under center that we hasn't seen from him earlier in his college career. That being said- he shouldn't be mistaken as an elite pass blocker, however for a team needing a stout run blocker he is yet again another solid offensive lineman who could be had in the 2nd or 3rd round.

At the combine he measured an impressive 6'4", 314lbs and coupled this with a solid 32 reps on the bench. I really like his knack in the run game to hit the second level quickly and take out a player. He's great at making big holes, and as such would be a huge benefit to Michael Turner. One area of concern though is how he'll manage to protect Matt Ryan.

Needs to do a better job getting off the ball consistently in the pass game. Too often is one of the last lineman moving and will allow defenders to threaten gaps off his frame or get into his body. Possesses natural anchor strength when he can get his hands on you, but when he's late off the ball will get rocked on contact and doesn't display the type of athleticism to quickly recover. Possesses average lateral quickness when asked to mirror. At his best when engaged and showcases some shuffle and slide ability through contact with good hand placement.

National Football Post

When it's all said and done teams will have their choice of solid offensive linemen in the mid rounds of the 2012 draft. Zeitler is another player who has some deficiencies, but he is an elite run blocker who could be a first round starter in the right situation.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.