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Prospect Profiles: Kevin Zeitler


TRIANGLE NUMBERS: 6-4, 315, 5.39



A good looking guard prospect with a thick trunk and natural girth through his base. Sits into his stance well, displays natural bend, can keep his base under him off the football and create an initial snap into contact. Isn’t overly powerful as an in-line guy, but creates good initial movement, works his legs hard through the play and extends his arms well into defenders. Displays very good hand placement, consistently is able to gain inside leverage and stick to blocks well through the play. Demonstrates above-average balance as well through the play making him tough to disengage from. Is also coordinated on the move. Possesses good short area quickness for his size when asked to pull from the backside, displaying solid range. Breaks down well and can hit a target off his frame and eliminate on contact.

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. However, isn’t’ overly laterally gifted in space and will lose balance into blocks trying to get his hands on defenders and will overextend. Works well in tandem, sits into his stance well and can keep the pocket clean when picking up the blitz. Displays good awareness and keeps his head on a swivel.

Impression: A tough, strong in-line guy who you can run behind and also has some coordination on the move. Not as effective in the pass game, but can mature into an average NFL pass blocker if he learns to get off the ball more consistently. Looks like a gritty type starter early on in his NFL career to me.

NFL’s Future:

Pass Blocking:  Kevin Zeitler has some natural strength that allows for a solid base and anchor strength.  Excels with his hands on defenders and is clearly more comfortable while engaged.  He is seasoned and keeps his head on a swivel, recognizing blitzes quickly.  Zeitler is a bit slow off the snap and allows defenders into his body before he is prepared.  He’s a limited athlete that doesn’t have a ton of lateral agility so he struggles to mirror defenders.

Run Blocking:  Better run blocker than pass protector.  He’s got a thick lower body and it shows as a drive blocker.  He was much improved from 2010 in terms of being a move blocker.  I thought he looked smooth pulling and in the second level.  He’s a solid technician that uses his hands really well.  He breaks down in space better than expected.  He doesn’t generate a ton of power off the snap and would like to see more pop from his initial punch.  Excellent run blocker.

Bottom Line:  Kevin Zeitler played on one of the top offensive lines in college football at Wisconsin.  He is a little undervalued and should go somewhere in the latter stages of round two in April’s draft.  He’s not a flashy prospect but wins with grit and toughness.  Typical Wisconsin OL.

FF Toolbox:

Kevin Zeitler may be one of the better interior linemen in the nation. Using great technique and blessed with a frame with long arms and strong base, he’s tough in the middle. Zeitler really gets after defenders and plays tough until the whistle. He’s a multi-year starter on the interior.

If he can work on his reaction time off the snap, there wouldn’t be much to critique in his game. Most of his problems stem from the occasions when the defenders gets their hands on him first. When he can drive forward and lean into his block, he can manhandle his man and open things up inside. As a pass protector, he does well to anchor and to hold his ground while absorbing the pass rush. He is one of the better run-blocking prospects in this draft class.

Improving his hand placement (which isn’t bad by any means) will make up for what he lacks in athleticism. His footwork is solid, but he is so strong in his lower half that he hasn’t yet needed refinement.

His continued development should make him a reliable offensive lineman in the NFL for many years.


[pro-player width=’530′ height=’253′ type=’video’][/pro-player]

GiantsGab Thoughts:

Kevin Zeitler is a typical Wisconsin lineman. Tough. Gritty. Smart. He’s big. Really good in the run game. Needs to improve pass blocking. NFL ready as a run blocker. Will need some seasoning in the pass game, but as a right guard, could play right away. Zeitler will be a 2nd or 3rd round pick. The Giants need a guard; Kevin Boothe is not a long term option. Zeitler can start relatively soon and stay there for 10 years. Yes, 2nd or 3rd round is a bit high for a guard, but Zeitler is good, and you don’t pass on these ready made guys. Zeitler would fit in nicely.





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6 Responses to “Prospect Profiles: Kevin Zeitler”

  1. Joe D says:

    I highly doubt he will be there in the second round. Let alone the 3rd… I think he will Be late 1st or early second pick.

  2. ArthuroMolenda says:

    Any way we could get a profile on DeQuan Menzie out of Alabama please ?

  3. […] The Giants aren’t a flashy team. Zeitler isn’t a flashy player. He fits a huge need at guard. He can start right away, too. And, as a nice bonus, stay for 10 years. Zeitler is a nasty run blocker. Needs some work at pass pro, but is close. The Giants have shown interest in him. He’s a good fit. It’s not a sexy pick. But it’s the kind of pick that makes teams better. The Giants are already pretty good. This just makes them better. His profile is here. […]

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