Kevin Zeitler

Draft Grades: Cincinnati Bengals

The Cincinnati Bengals put together the best draft class, at least on paper, that I have ever seen in the nine years I’ve been covering the draft. Of their 10 selections, I gave a 3rd-round grade or better to eight players, and the other two received 4th-round evaluations. This was the best draft class of the year, and there isn’t a close second.

Dre Kirkpatrick was overrated by the media early in the draft process, which created the perception that his stock started to slip during the draft process. He’s not as physical as you’d like, and he’s still developing his coverage technique, but the Bengals have the depth at cornerback to bring him along slowly.

Kevin Zeitler was a reach in the 1st round, especially with Cordy Glenn still on the board. But he does have the ability to step into an immediate starting role at right guard.

Devon Still doesn’t necessarily fill a need, but was a great value pick for the Bengals in the 2nd round. He will back up Geno Atkins and should be used as part of the defensive line rotation from day one.

Mohamed Sanu is one of the more underrated prospects in this draft class and could win a starting job in training camp. Due to ineffective quarterback play at Rutgers, his role was limited to that of a possession receiver, but he has the size and speed to develop into more of a true No. 1. Obviously in Cincinnati he’ll always be the No. 2 behind A.J. Green, but he has more raw talent than most No. 2 receivers.

Brandon Thompson was purely a value pick, especially after they already picked up Still in the 2nd round. He’ll compete for playing time with Domato Peko and Pat Sims in the nose tackle role.

The hype surrounding Orson Charles was purely a media creation, so it was not a surprise to see him fall to the 4th round. And while I think he was one of the most overrated prospects in this draft class, he’s a solid pickup for the Bengals. He’s essentially an oversized receiver, which is exactly the role he’ll play in Cincinnati. He’s not a threat to Jermaine Gresham’s job, but they’ll find ways to work him into the game plan.

Shaun Prater will have to fight hard to earn a spot on the final roster, but could be helped if the Bengals decide to cut ties with Nate Clements. He has the skills to win a job, but the secondary is suddenly very crowded in Cincinnati.

Marvin Jones may prove to be the steal of the draft. He lacks elite athleticism, but makes up for by being one of the most efficient route runners in this year’s class. The difference between him and Sanu is minimal, and Jones may actually be more NFL ready.

George Iloka is built like a strong safety but tackles like a kicker, which lead to his fall. He’s a developmental prospect who probably shouldn’t see the field until he improves his tackling technique, but he definitely had value in the 5th round based on his raw talent.

Boom Herron is to running backs what Marvin Jones is to receivers. He’s not the biggest, strongest or fastest player on the field but he’s smart and gets the job done. The Bengals have a crowded backfield right now, so Herron has his work cut out for him, but don’t be surprised to see him receive some significant carries this season if he impresses during training camp.

From top to bottom this was the strongest draft class. The Bengals landed better players in the 5th and 6th round than some teams landed in the 2nd and 3rd. They upgraded their depth at multiple positions and are now poised to make a serious run at the Steelers and Ravens. If this class pans out as expected, there will be a new powerhouse in the AFC North within the next three years.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Bengals, Draft Grades - 2012 Comments Off

Rounds 1-3 Winners: Cincinnati Bengals

I haven’t loved every pick made by the Cincinnati Bengals, but the class as a whole is a phenomenal haul for one of the up-and-coming teams in the league.

Dre Kirkpatrick gives the Bengals a very deep secondary, and he should compete for a starting job. It wasn’t necessarily a glaring need, but the value made it the right choice.

Kevin Zeitler was a reach in my opinion, but he will step into a starting role and help solidify the offensive line. He’s a power run blocker, which is the type of team the Bengals appear to be morphing into with the combination of BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Bernard Scott at running back.

The additions of Devon Still and Brandon Thompson give the Bengals an extremely deep group at defensive tackle, which should allow them to use a rotation to keep every fresh. The Steelers, Ravens and even the Browns all feature power-running offenses, which the Bengals are now equipped to stop.

Mohamed Sanu was hurt by poor quarterback play at Rutgers, and his best football is ahead of him. He’s exactly the type of possession receiver the Bengals needed to pair with A.J. Green.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2012 NFL Draft, Bengals Comments Off

Cincinnati Bengals select Kevin Zeitler, Grade C+

The Cincinnati Bengals already added guards Travelle Wharton and Jacob Bell this offseason, so I’m a little confused by the selection of Kevin Zeitler. Does he even have a spot on the first team offense?

On top of that question, Zeitler wasn’t even the top guard on the board. Cordy Glenn is more NFL ready and has more upside than Zeitler. I do think he can develop into a decent starter but I would not have spent a 1st-round pick on Zeitler, especially considering the other options available.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2012 NFL Draft, Bengals 3 Comments

Kevin Zeitler scouting report

Kevin Zeitler OG Wisconsin #70
Ht: 6’4″

Wt: 314

Prototypical size and strength. A physical run blocker who can drive defenders backwards. Quick off the snap; gets into position quickly and shows strong all-around fundamentals. Strong lower body allows him to anchor against the bull rush. Hard worker off the field; won team award for work in weight room in 2010.
Limited athleticism; struggles to get to the second level. Lumbers along and does not have the foot quickness to excel when pulling/trapping. Not polished in pass protection; gets into position quickly, but instincts and vision are lacking; struggles to adjust to delayed blitzes. Tends to play too upright in pass protection and will lunge at defenders at times. Struggles against more athletic interior linemen; lacks the overall quickness to adjust to pass rush moves of interior pass rushers. Suffered a sprained ankle in 2010.
Zeitler has the size and skill set to excel as a power run blocker at the next level. He definitely has the skills to start, but may not be a great fit for every scheme due to his struggles in pass protection. His size/strength is an asset at times, but he could probably improve his mobility and quickness in pass protection by dropping a few pounds. If he doesn’t drop weight, then what you see is what you get – there is very little, from a fundamental/technical aspect, that Zeitler can do to improve his game.
2011 vs Nebraska (Konz video, Zeitler is #70)
2011 vs Ohio State 
Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2012 1 Comment