2012 Who Ya Gonna Draft? – Kevin Zeitler

PJD is on vacation. During this time, we’ve decided we’ll take a quick look at potential Minnesota Vikings draft picks for the second or later rounds. With so many needs and so many draft picks to get this team back to a place where we can at least pretend they are respectable, we’ll have plenty of ground to cover. Let us know what you think of each prospect in the comments, and whether or not they’d be a good fit or impact player, and of course if you can think of a funny nickname for them.

Today, we look at Wisconsin guard Kevin Zeitler, who might be German, although I cannot verify that by being lazy.

From ESPN’s draft analysis, which is as insightful as asking a dyslexic kid about Zeitler:

Overall Football Traits

Production 2 “2008: Appeared in three games along the offensive line. 2009: Started all 13 games at RG. 2010: Played in 13 games while making nine starts at RG. 2011: Started all 14 games at RG.”
Height-Weight-Speed 2 Possesses prototypical measureables for the position along with above-average top-end speed.
Durability 2 Missed time during 2010 summer camp with a high ankle (left) sprain sustained during practice.
Intangibles 1 Hard worker that won the Badger Power Award for his dedication to the weight room in 2010. Has added substantial weight and gotten much stronger during collegiate career. Lost starting job because of an injury during 2010 camp but stayed positive and regained it in time for the Big Ten season opener. Has practiced at center. 2010-11 All Academic Big Ten.

1 = Exceptional2 = Above average3 = Average4 = Below average5 = Marginal

Offensive Guard Specific Traits

Pass Protection 3 Initial quickness is just average and can get beat off the snap when footwork isn’t sound. Flashes quick hands in sets and can get into defenders pads and lock on. Also shows ability to shuffle and mirror to stay in front of rushers once engaged. Can get caught lunging at times which can make him vulnerabl to quicker interior rusher. Does not panic when getting knocked off balance initially and flashes ability to recover and get back into position. Can sink and anchor to neutralize bull rush attempt.
Run Blocking 2 Sound initial fit more times than not and can wall off assignment. Displays quick and compact hands to lock on to defenders. Drives legs once in position and flashes ability to drive defenders when stays low and generating leverage. However can play too high on occasion and does not have an elite inline power base to overcome and get adequate movement when pad level raises up. Shuffles feet well upon contact to stay engaged with blocks. Plays under control and takes good angles in space or when climbing to the second level. Also displays ability to adjust on the move to cover up targets in space.
Awareness 2 Possesses above-average instincts and football I.Q. More instinctive as run blocker than in pass pro at this point. Generally assignment sound in the run game. Locates targets pre-snap and executes assignments. Also does a nice job of identifying targets at the second and third level on the move. Keeps head on a swivel in pass pro. Can be step late getting into position when picking up pressures from the second and third level.
Toughness 3 Flashes an edge and can deliver the big block when catches defenders off guard. Needs to become more of a finisher at this point. Does not back down from challenges but would like to see more of mean streak.

1 = Exceptional2 = Above average3 = Average4 = Below average5 = Marginal

You would be hard pressed to find a Vikings fan who would argue that the offensive line isn’t one of the top needs for the Vikings to address this offseason. We all know we need a left tackle after Bryant McKinnie was let go to eat more cheeseburgers and Charlie Johnson played about as effectively as his name would indicate. That’s where USC tackle Matt Kalil comes in, who is the overwhelmingly supposed pick for the Vikings at #3. But, offensive line casualties may also include bearded legend Steve Hutchinson AND funny man Anthony Herrera. If both individuals were cut, the Vikings would likely be looking for cheaper help somewhere else. Now, if the Vikings were to draft a player like Zeitler, who probably won’t last past their 2nd pick (MAAAYBBBEEE 3rd, but I would doubt it) as he’s rated 54th overall by ESPN, it’d be interesting to see what his role would be on the team. Likely Kalil will start from day one, moving Charlie Johnson to left guard and leaving a hole at right guard. Would the team start another rookie when center John Sullivan occasionally needs help as is, and Phil Loadholt is essentially a walking baby woolly mammoth? It’d be dicey, but has been done before (Steelers and 49ers recently, I think?), but to mixed results.

Either way, Zeitler looks like he’ll develop into a solid interior guy, and is definitely someone we could use on the team. Even if he DID play at Wisconsin, which should ensure him living a terrible life if this were a just world.

What say you?


About PJD

I once saw Paul Edinger kick a 56-yard field goal for the Minnesota Vikings against the Green Bay Packers to win a game in the Metrodome. It was exhilarating.