What Teams Read: Zeitler's Scouting Report

Ever wonder what a real scouting report looks like? This look at Kevin Zeitler is provided courtesy of NFL Draft Report's Dave-Te' Thomas. Here is his official biography, game-by-game highlights, statistical comparisons with his peers in the 2011 and 2012 drafts, and much, much more.

Publisher's note: This profile and scouting report by NFL Draft Report's Dave-Te' Thomas shows the detail he provides to NFL teams for their draft preparation and hints to the insight he is providing to Packer Report for our draft preparation. This report, which may not be republished in any fashion, has been provided to Packer Report with the expressed consent of Thomas.

Kevin Zeitler

Offensive Guard

University of Wisconsin Badgers

#70

6:03.4-322

Waukesha, Wisconsin

Wisconsin Lutheran High School

OVERVIEW

While he may not have garnered the national attention given to former Badgers offensive line teammates, Gabe Carimi (Chicago) and John Moffitt (Seattle), any player that suited up for Wisconsin the last four years, along with any Big Ten Conference defensive lineman that faced him can tell you that Zeitler is one of the most intense blockers in the collegiate ranks. With three seniors having graduated on the front wall, the 2011 season saw the national media finally recognize the immense talent that the Badgers right offensive guard possesses.

Zeitler's legend no longer resides in the Wisconsin locker room and on the football field, as he has received All-American first-team accolades as a senior. Ever since the UW former coaching staff first caught a glimpse of his fierce desire, impressive strength and tremendous tenacity during the high school camps he attended, Badgers fans have learned to appreciate the man that his teammates dubbed as "The Terminator" upon his arrival on campus as a freshman.

Wisconsin center Peter Konz had the "displeasure" of matching up against Zeitler during one of Wisconsin's summer camps while both were entering high school. Now, lining up next to the right guard on the Badgers' front wall, Konz was recently asked his thoughts on Zeitler and simply responded, "he is wound up pretty tight."

2010 All-American left guard, John Moffitt joked that the goal of the offensive linemen was to transform Zeitler from machine into a man. His legend grows with each game that he suits up for Wisconsin and the coaches know that while their right guard is a man of few words, no one on the team displays his passion and tenacity for his work on the football field, in the weight room and in the classroom.

"He is a great worker," Moffitt said of Zeitler, "He is relentless. He is focused. He is a serious guy. He wants to hit people and he is a very physical player." Yet if Moffitt and the rest of the UW offensive linemen could make one change in Zeitler it would be this: "They said their goal for the rest of my time here is to make me human," Zeitler said sheepishly. "They're working on it."

They can rebuild him. "He's a cyborg," Moffitt said, only half-joking. "He is the Terminator. If he ever gets a cut, be careful. His circuits will electrocute you. He doesn't bleed blood. It's just oil - WD40." Translation: Zeitler's focus, drive and determination to make himself into a great lineman make him seem more like a machine than a man.

His intensity in the classroom was so pronounced during his freshman year that members of the academic staff in the Fetzer Center expressed concerns to the UW coaches. An official once told coach Bret Bielema: "Some of the academic people are afraid of Kevin and his antics. If he doesn't get something he really gets frustrated and angry." Bielema's response: "He's not going to hit anybody. Just work it through with him."

Zeitler, a Kinesiology major, remembers those days. "My first semester I picked way too tough of a schedule for a freshman," he said. "I was about to blow my mind. I had a horrible schedule as far as time commitment with football and school. I was so busy and that really got me. I was so stressed to get everything done."

So stressed that he would scratch his head to the point that existing scabs ruptured and he was bleeding from his scalp. "I do have these (scars) on my head and I did scratch that and there was a little blood," Zeitler said. "But it wasn't like I dug into my scalp."

Much like Rodney Daingerfield, offensive linemen rarely "get any respect" from fans and media, but that seems to suit Zeitler's personality, as he prefers to let his actions speak volumes for his ability. The consensus from professional scouts is that there is no other offensive lineman eligible for the 2012 draft that possesses the bone-crunching hand punch that the senior right guard delivers on a consistent basis.

In 35 games as a starter for Wisconsin, Zeitler has been a dominant force on the right side of the line. The team's renowned running game amassed more that 60 percent of their yardage on the ground on that side of the field in 2010, with Zeitler leading the charge, an impressive figure, considering that he did not start until the team's fifth game that campaign. In 2011, he established a Big Ten Conference record, registering 33 touchdown-resulting blocks, including 29 for a ground game that found the end zone 46 times.

In 2010, Zeitler registered more touchdown-resulting blocks (19) than any interior lineman in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision ranks and his average of touchdown-resulting blocks per game (1.46 overall/1.78 as a starter) were the most by a Badger since All-American tackle, Joe Thomas (1.64 per game) captured the prestigious Outland Trophy in 2006.

Those numbers were "pale in comparison" to his 2011 performance, as he became just the third player in the collegiate ranks, at all levels of competition, since 1985, to produce two blocking consistency grades of 100 percent, joining Larry Allen of Division II Sonoma State (1993) and Southern California's Tony Boselli (1994) in accomplishing that feat. Just four other linemen have garnered 100 percent grades for blocking consistency more than once in a career (see story below Career Notes).

Even Wisconsin offensive line coach Bob Bostad will tell anyone willing to listen that Zeitler hasn't received enough credit for his play. "I've always said he is probably the most underappreciated guy on our team," Bostad said. "He is a really, really good player who has been overlooked. But his time is coming right now."

Bostad, who moved from tight ends coach to offensive line coach after the 2007 season, is a tenacious technician. He wants his unit to be smart and unyielding, physically and mentally. That tenacity is a perfect match for Zeitler's makeup. "He has mellowed," Bostad acknowledged. "But has his preparation declined? His time spent? His intensity? No. I think he would be disgusted if anybody mentioned that."

"From recruiting him I really liked his work ethic, and I thought he was going to work himself into a player," offensive line coach Bob Bostad said. "He has probably been one of our more consistent guys. So from that standpoint he has been invaluable. I think if you were to ask him, he knows where he has to improve and he is aware of that. The good thing about him is that if you tell him something he'll try to do it.

"He sets a level of practicing at that position that is second to none," said Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema, noting Zeitler has yet to allow a quarterback sack at Wisconsin. "I think if you ask our entire roster who is the hardest-working guy on the team, Kevin would get more than half the votes."

Zeitler entered the 2011 season rated as the fourth-best senior guard nationally by NFLDraftScout.com and placed second on The NFL Draft Report's preseason list, a scouting information service used by league headquarters and their affiliated college scouting directors. "Really?" Zeitler said. "That's kind of cool. I didn't know that. Any of that stuff doesn't matter if I have a bad season. I need to have my best season."

Now, entering the 2012 NFL Draft analysis process and after his sensational 2011 campaign, Zeitler is the top-rated offensive guard prospect, according to The NFL Draft Report. When you're driven to succeed, as Zeitler is, you're oblivious to such ratings. "Kevin knows that his true rating still lies ahead of him," Bostad said. "It's the season. That is the meat and potatoes."

Prior to enrolling at Wisconsin, Zeitler attended Wisconsin Lutheran High School, in Milwaukee, where he moved into the starting lineup as a sophomore. He was ranked third on the Rival.com's Wisconsin Top 100 team, as that recruiting service regarded him as the 39th-best offensive lineman in the prep ranking, awarding him a three-star prospect grade.

Scout.com also gave the blocker a three-star rating and placed him 22nd among the nation's down linemen, and called him the fourth-best player in the state. He was a major reason for the Vikings ranking second in the state and 65th nationally during his first year as a starter, leading the squad to a 13-1 overall record en route to capturing the Wisconsin Little Ten title.

As a junior, Zeitler earned first-team All-Conference and All-Region honors, adding second-team All-Area accolades in 2006, as he also received All-State honorable mention for the Vikings, who shared league championship honors. He was chosen first-team All-State, All-Conference, Wisconsin Little Ten Lineman of the Year, All-Area and All-Region recognition in 2007, as the Vikings again recorded a 13-1 record to rank third in the state.

Lutheran High School head coach Kirk Denoyer said, "Kevin's put together extremely well, he works hard and he understands angles. I believe Kevin is the best offensive line prospect in the state." In addition to his success on the gridiron, Zeitler lettered twice in wrestling and once in track.

The National Honor Society member graduated with a 3.8 grade point average. On June 27th, 2007, he signed his letter-of-intent to attend the University of Wisconsin, despite not making his initial visit to the school until December 7th of that year. He also received scholarship offers from Michigan, Minnesota and Purdue, in addition to drawing interest from Central Florida, Iowa, Miami, Michigan State and Northern Illinois.

Zeitler's first season at Wisconsin saw the true freshman letter, but he received minimal playing time, appearing briefly in the first two contests on the schedule (vs. Akron and Marshall), sitting the next seven contests before playing at the tail-end of the Indiana

clash. The front wall struggled with protecting Badgers' quarterback, as Wisconsin ranked 83rd in the nation in sacks allowed (29.0) for the 2008 campaign.

As a sophomore, Zeitler earned All-Big Ten Conference third-team honors, as he started all thirteen games at right offensive guard. The offense steadily improved with him blocking up front, as the Badgers finished 54th nationally in sacks allowed (23.0), improving to 416.92 yards per game in total offense after averaging 399.23 yards the previous season.

He registered 16 touchdown-resulting blocks and recorded 118 key blocks/knockdowns, coming up with eight downfield blocks for a rushing attack that averaged 203.85 yards per game, leading the conference in that category.

Bill Nagy opened the 2010 campaign at Zeitler's normal right guard spot, but when Nagy shifted to center, Zeitler "made up for lost time" when he started the final nine contests. He dominated the action in the trenches, as the UW Badger Power Award (weight room dedication) and Academic All-Big Ten Conference choice added first-team All-Big Ten honors (The NFL Draft Report), as he registered 100 key blocks/knockdowns and paved the way for 19 of the team's touchdown drives.

Having Zeitler in the lineup helped the Badgers drastically improve their pass protection, as Wisconsin finished 18th in the nation by giving up only 14 sacks. They placed first in the conference and fifth in the FBS ranks in scoring offense (41.46 ppg), 21st nationally in total offense (445.15 ypg) and 12th in the country with an average of 245.09 yards per game on the ground.

His dedication to his craft saw Zeitler take on another task during the Summer of 2011, after the staff suggested he should begin working on his snapping in case he was needed at center. "It was pretty rough, so I came up here after we worked out in the summer and snapped," he said. The lineman attached tape to the wall in the form of a square to form a target area so he could work on his snaps.

Zeitler has practiced at center occasionally but hasn't been needed there. Nevertheless, that work ethic and focus are part of the reason his teammates fondly refer to him as a robot. "I started getting motivated my freshman year of high school," he said. "I was determined to do anything. I was real serious and because I was big they started calling me the Terminator or robot."

Zeitler missed a week of 2011 August camp with a left high ankle sprain, but he "answered the call" in the Badgers' season opener, coming up with a pair of touchdown-resulting blocks and eight key blocks/knockdowns vs. Nevada-Las Vegas. The media also seemed to be "waking up to this sleeping giant," as he was named to the prestigious Lombardi Award Watch List, an honor given to the top interior lineman in college football.

Through the team's regular season schedule and his classic battle vs. All-American defensive tackle Jerel Worthy of Michigan State in the inaugural Big Ten Conference Championship Game, Zeitler has graded at least 95 percent for blocking consistency in each contest (13), breaking the previous school season-record of nine performances of 90 percent or better by All-American offensive tackle Joe Thomas in 2006.

Zeitler leads the nation's offensive linemen with a 97.23 percent grade for blocking consistency, along with producing 142 key blocks/knockdowns and 33 touchdown-resulting blocks in 2011. His thirteen down-field blocks paced all Big Ten Conference linemen, as he has had classic battles vs. some of the elite defensive lineman in the collegiate game, including his "complete shutdown" of Penn State's Devon Still and Jordan Hill, regarded by many as the best defensive tackle tandem in the nation.

Career notes

Zeitler started 35-of-39 games that he played in for Wisconsin since the beginning of his sophomore campaign in 2009, holding the distinction of being the only active player (at least two years as a starter) in the Big Ten Conference to not allow any quarterback sacks during his career…The right offensive guard has posted 360 key blocks/knockdowns that included 68 touchdown resulting blocks and 28 more blocks down field…The lineman has been penalized just three times as a collegian and has a blocking consistency grade of 89.57 percent, scoring at least 90 percent in 23 contests…His string of thirteen consecutive 90 percent-plus blocking consistency performances in 2011 set the school record and is shattered the Badgers' annual record of nine 90 percent-plus contests recorded by offensive tackle Joe Thomas in 2006.

100 percent

In 1985, The NFL Draft Report began using a complicated and in-depth grading system to evaluate an offensive lineman's performance on the football field. The grading is based on several areas of the lineman's performance and during the course of the last three decades, attaining that "perfect score," a 100 percent mark in a game, has been attained by only a handful of elite performers.

In 2011, one of the "rarest of rare" occurrences took place, a lineman grading 100 percent in a game more than once in the same season. Wisconsin offensive guard Kevin Zeitler attained that "perfect score" in the Indiana and Penn State contests. He joins Larry Allen of Division II Sonoma State (in 1993 vs. Cal-State Hayward and San Francisco State) and Southern California's Tony Boselli (in 1994 vs. Baylor, California and Arizona) as the only players in college annals (since blocking consistency grades were compiled by The NFL Draft Report beginning in 1985) to post more than one 100 percent blocking performance in the same season.

Only four other lineman, all at the major college level, have graded 100 percent for blocking consistency more than once in a career. Those that reached that level of excellence are offensive guard Will Shield of Nebraska (vs. Kansas in 1991 and Oklahoma in 1992), offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden of UCLA (vs. Arizona State in 1994 and Miami in 1995), offensive tackle Orlando Pace of Ohio State (vs. Indiana in 1995 and Pittsburgh in 1996) and offensive tackle Jake Long of Michigan (vs. Michigan State in 2006 and Minnesota in 2006).

Zeitler is just the fourth Wisconsin Badger to record a blocking consistency grade of 100 percent in any contest. Other UW linemen to reach that level of excellence were offensive tackles Paul Gruber (vs. Ball State in 1987), Aaron Gibson (vs. Illinois in 1998) and Joe Thomas (vs. Buffalo in 2006).

2011 season

All-American and All-Big Ten Conference first-team selection by The NFL Draft Report, as that scouting service calls him the "most underrated player in the league and most underrated offensive lineman in college football," in addition to placing him at the top of their prospect ratings chart for offensive guards eligible for the 2012 NFL Draft…Added All-American first-team honors from the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), in addition to receiving All-Big Ten Conference first-team accolades from the league's coaches and media…Member of the Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List, an honor given to the top interior lineman in the country…Missed a week of August camp while recovering from a left high ankle sprain, but the senior right guard was back at his usual position with the first unit for the season opener vs. Nevada-Las Vegas…Joined Joe Thomas (vs. Minnesota, Purdue, Illinois and Penn State in 2006) as the only Badgers to post blocking consistency grades of 90 percent or better in nine consecutive games during a season, as he would go on to set a new mark with thirteen-straight efforts, all with marks of 95 percent or better…Through the team's regular season schedule and the Big Ten title clash, the senior right guard led the nation with a 97.29 percent grade for blocking consistency, becoming only the third player in college football since 1985 to register two or more 100 percent blocking performances during the same season…Also leads the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision ranks with 142 knockdowns/key blocks and 33 touchdown-resulting blocks (includes 29 for a ground game that scored 46 times)…Leads the Big Ten linemen with thirteen down-field blocks, thanks to his stellar performances executing the "power sweep-left" that highlighted the guard's foot speed and balance working through the "trash"…Did not allow a quarterback sack or pressure on 302 pass plays and was penalized just twice, but his holding call late in the Illinois contest is highly questionable…Helped the Badgers rank fourth in the nation and lead the conference in scoring offense (44.62 ppg), as he was a major reason Wisconsin led the league and placed tenth in the Football Bowl Subdivision ranks in rushing (237.38) and pace the Big Ten while finishing 15th nationally in total offense (466.92 ypg).

2011 season game analysis

Nevada-Las Vegas…Despite missing a week of fall camp with a left high ankle sprain, the offensive line's leader was more than prepared to dominate vs. the Rebels, as he came up with a pair of first half touchdown-resulting blocks, to go with eight knockdowns in a 51-17 triumph…Zeitler wasted no time establishing his presence, as he cleared a rush lane used by Montee Ball for an 11-yard carry on the game's first play from scrimmage. He then held off a pair of defenders from getting to Russell Wilson in the QB's Wisconsin debut, as the passer lobbed a 4-yard scoring pass to Ball that ended a 7-play, 65-yard series…Zeitler's alertness on slide protection kept Wilson protected long enough to spot Nick Toon with a 39-yard toss and on second-&-goal, the right guard drive into defensive tackle Alex Klorman on a 1-yard touchdown run by tailback James White, concluding an 8-play, 80-yard possession…Another 63-yard strike from Wilson to Ball was the result of Zeitler utilizing a slid step to stave off an edge rusher. That pass play led to Ball's 1-yard scoring burst two plays later, giving the Badgers a 27-0 lead…At the close of the first half, Zeitler upended middle linebacker Nate Carter, as Wilson slipped past the trenches to break free on a 46-yard touchdown jaunt, giving UW a 34-3 lead heading into the locker room at half-time…Head to Head Competition: DT#95-Alex Klorman (6:02-277)-No tackles…Zeitler Offensive Impact: The lineman posted eight key blocks/knockdowns, including a pair of touchdown-resulting blocks and one downfield block, grading 97 percent for blocking consistency…The Badgers rushed for 241 yards with five touchdowns on 38 carries (6.34 ypc) and generated 499 total yards on 53 snaps (9.42 yards per play), as the front wall allowed one sack.

Oregon State…Zeitler repeated his performance from the season opener after producing eight knockdowns with a pair of touchdown-resulting blocks, as the Badgers amassed 397 yards in a 35-0 shutout…The right guard knocked down linebacker Feti Unga to spring QB Russell Wilson for a 14-yard gain on a broken play. Tailback Montee Ball used a rush lane cleared out by Zeitler and center Peter Konz to get the ball to the OSU 26. On third-&-3, Unga was shoved into defensive tackle Castro Masaniai by the Badgers' right guard, as Wilson hid behind his senior blocker to lob a 6-yard scoring pass to Jacob Pederson, capping a 72-yard, 12-play second quarter possession…On the team's first possession for the second half, Zeitler's cut block on linebacker Michael Doctor led to a 19-yard touch-down run by Ball, as Zeitler set up that score by springing tailback James White for 12 yards on the previous snap…later in the fourth quarter, Ball took a fourth-&-1 handoff, went through the rush lane at right guard and picked up 25 yards. Three plays later (start of the fourth quarter), Ball finished his day with a 1-yard scoring burst…Head to Head Competition: DT#98-Castro Masaniai (6:03-334)-No tackles…Zeitler Offensive Impact: The lineman posted eight key blocks/knockdowns, including a pair of touchdown-resulting blocks and one downfield block, grading 97 percent for blocking consistency…The Badgers rushed for 208 yards with two touchdowns on 43 carries (4.84 ypc) and generated 397 total yards on 65 snaps (6.11 yards per play), as the front wall allowed one sack.

Northern Illinois...A model of consistency, the senior right offensive guard again recorded two touchdown-resulting blocks and for the third consecutive game, he graded 97 percent for blocking consistency in a 49-7 triumph…Early in the second quarter, his trap block on defensive end Joe Windsor allowed tailback Montee Ball to cut back against the grain for a 10-yard run. QB Russell Wilson used a crunching block by Zeitler on linebacker Victor Jacques to uncork a 55-yard completion that was caught by Jacob Pederson, placing the ball at the NIU 2. Two plays later, Zeitler shoved his way into the end zone with Ball in tow for a 1-yard touchdown that concluded a 10-play, 97-yard drive…On the first series of the second half, Ball got to the NIU 1 on an 8-yard run, using Zeitler's down block on nose guard Nabal Jefferson to clear a path for the ball carrier. On third-&-goal, the right guard used a fold block to capture Windsor in his large "mitts," as Ball raced into the end zone for a 1-yard score and a 35-7 Badgers lead…Head to Head Competition: DT#91-Anthony Wells (6:03-271)-One solo tackle and NG#99-Naba Jefferson (5:11-281)-No tackles…Zeitler Offensive Impact: The lineman posted twelve key blocks/knockdowns, including a pair of touchdown-resulting blocks, grading 97 percent for blocking consistency…The Badgers rushed for 266 yards with four touchdowns on 47 carries (5.66 ypc) and generated 621 total yards on 81 snaps (7.67 yards per play), as the front wall allowed no sacks.

South Dakota…The offensive juggernaut built in Madison continued to roll, pulling off a 59-10 romp over the Coyotes, as Zeitler delivered eleven knockdowns…He opened a rush lane for a 12-yard pick-up by James White, as the tailback used a kick-out block by Zeitler on a pair of South Dakota defenders, along with then helping out center Peter Konz to pave the way for White's 49-yard touchdown jaunt…In the waning moments of the first half, Zeitler teamed with Konz on a slip block, giving QB Russell Wilson room to flip a 2-yard scoring pass to Nick Toon, giving Wisconsin a 31-3 lead heading into the locker room…Before joining the rest of the first unit on the sidelines for most of the fourth quarter, the right guard leveled defensive tackle David Giese with a scramble block, as the Coyote collided with his teammate, Tyler Starr, allowing tailback Melvin Gordon to redirect inside for a 4-yard touchdown run…Record Watch-Zeitler became just the second player in school history to grade over 90 percent for blocking consistency in four consecutive games, joining Joe Thomas (vs. Minnesota, Purdue, Illinois and Penn State in 2006). Thomas also holds the school season-record with nine blocking performance grades of 90 percent or better in 2006…Head to Head Competition: DT#91-David Giese (6:03-283)-Two assisted tackles and NG#96-Jesse Weisbrod (6:05-277)-No tackles…Zeitler Offensive Impact: The lineman posted eleven key blocks/knockdowns, including one touchdown-resulting block and one downfield block, grading 96 percent for blocking consistency…The Badgers rushed for 267 yards with five touchdowns on 43 carries (6.21 ypc) and generated 612 total yards on 70 snaps (8.74 yards per play), as the front wall allowed two sacks.

Nebraska…The Badgers offensive line dominated the action in the trenches vs. one of the more formidable defensive front walls in college, as Wisconsin rolled to a 48-17 victory behind Zeitler's three touchdown-resulting blocks for the ground game, all coming on sweeps. He finished with thirteen knockdowns, as he also had a crucial block on a UW scoring strike before being forced to the sidelines in the fourth quarter after re-injuring the ankle sprain he suffered in August camp…The offense started slowly, but later in the first quarter, the "human locomotive" wearing jersey #70 took matters into his own hands, as that hand punch he delivered stunned Will Compton, sending the Husker middle line-backer flying towards the sidelines, clearing space in the "B" gap for tailback Montee Ball to pick up 11 yards and a first down to the Nebraska 11. On first-&-goal, Zeitler pulled to the left side, flattening defensive end Tobi Okuyemi and then pushing All-American defensive tackle Jared Crick out of the way to spring Ball for a 3-yard touchdown to cap a 9-play, 91-yard series…Early in the second quarter, he cleared a rush lane for a scrambling Russell Wilson, as the QB raced 22 yards into the end zone, but the touchdown was nullified by a holding penalty charged to UW left offensive tackle Ricky Wagner. The right guard sealed the right edge to give Wilson time to fire a 28-yarder to Jacob Pedersen that placed the ball at the Husker 4-yard line. Two plays later, Zeitler was again on the move, executing a kick-out block to the left side of the field, shoving Crick into safety Austin Cassidy to see Ball follow through the rush lane created for a 3-yard score…Just before halftime, the senior guard joined his fellow linemen in shoving the Nebraska front wall out of the way, giving Wilson room to throw a 36-yard touchdown to receiver Jared Abbrederis to give the Badgers a 20-14 lead they would not yield the rest of the game…The third quarter saw Zeitler again pull to the left with another kick-out block, as he ran over Cassidy with a crunching block, letting Ball bounce away from the pile and a few would-be tacklers to score from four yards out…During a fourth quarter drive with 13:26 left in the game, Zeitler's day ended as he limped to the sidelines with an ankle sprain after Ball had picked up two yards to the Nebraska 11 on another touchdown drive…Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema gave the media an update on wounded Badgers in the post-game press conference, noting, "On the injury front, Jake Byrne was just cramping up on both legs there. Kevin Zeitler looks like he may have aggravated that ankle injury he had at fall camp."…Record Watch-Zeitler became the first player in school history to grade over 90 percent for blocking consistency in five consecutive games. He was previously tied with Joe Thomas (vs. Minnesota, Purdue, Illinois and Penn State in 2006) with four. Thomas also holds the school season-record with nine blocking performance grades of 90 percent or better in 2006…Head to Head Competition: DT#55-Blake Steinkuhler (6:06-292)-Two assisted tackles…Zeitler Offensive Impact: The lineman posted thirteen key blocks/knockdowns, including three touchdown-resulting blocks (two for the ground game and one for the aerial attack), while providing crucial pass protection on a scoring strike, adding two downfield blocks, grading 99 percent for blocking consistency…The Badgers rushed for 231 yards with five touchdowns on 50 carries (4.62 ypc) and generated 486 total yards on 70 snaps (6.94 yards per play), as the front wall allowed two sacks.

Indiana…The first unit left the field in the third quarter after piling up 52 points in an eventual 59-7 victory, as the Badgers amassed 219 of their 332 yards rushing behind the stellar blocking of their right guard, who delivered eleven knockdowns and three touch-down resulting blocks…His first impact hit saw Zeitler shove defensive tackle Larry Black into rush end Bobby Richardson, as tailback Montee Ball used the "A" gap for a 46-yard gain, setting up the team's first score for the day, as Ball then took off for a 5-yard touchdown…Later in the first quarter, Zeitler pulled to the left side, leading the charge on James White's 15-yard scoring scamper…The second quarter had the right guard crashing into defensive end Javon Cornley to spring QB Russell Wilson for a 17-yard pick-up on a broken play. Ball then used a rush lane cleared by the senior blocker for an 11-yard carry. Wilson took the snap on the next play, pitched out to Ball and raced down the left sideline. Zeitler rolled right, saw Brandon McGhee closing on Ball's blindside, but Zeitler met the weak-side linebacker and shoved the Hoosier to the ground, allowing Ball time to fire a 25-yard touchdown strike to Wilson in the end zone…With 4:53 oleft in the first half, Zeitler was steamrolling downfield, driving middle linebacker Jeff Thomas into Indiana's two safeties, who had taken the wrong angle on the play. Ball was following his right guard's lead and raced 35 yards for a touchdown to cap a 5-play, 80-yard possession…With 0:50 left in the second quarter, Zeitler leveled defensive tackle Larry Black on another broken play, but that block helped Wilson escape the pocket pressure for a 25-yard carry that was followed by the passer lobbing a 3-yard scoring toss to tight end Jacob Pedersen for a 38-7 Badgers lead heading into the locker room at half time…Record Watch-Zeitler's perfect score for blocking consistency marked just the second time since the turn of the century that a Badgers offensive lineman accomplished that feat. The last blocker to do so was Joe Thomas vs. Buffalo in 2006…Head to Head Competition: DT#97-Larry Black (6:02-305)-No tackles…Zeitler Offensive Impact: The lineman posted eleven key blocks/knock-downs, including two touchdown-resulting blocks for the ground game while providing another crucial TD-resulting block on a scoring strike, adding two downfield blocks, grading a perfect 100 percent for blocking consistency…The Badgers rushed for 332 yards with four touchdowns on 42 carries (7.90 ypc) and generated 524 total yards on 65 snaps (8.06 yards per play), as the front wall allowed two sacks.

Michigan State…It took a "Hail Mary" touchdown pass from Spartans' QB Kirk Cousins to Keith Nichol as time expired for MSU to down Wisconsin, 37-31, but the Badgers' right guard again recorded a blocking consistency grade over 95 percent for each and every game of his final campaign, adding a pair of touchdown-resulting blocks as the UW front wall dominated vs. the Michigan State heralded defensive line…Whether taking on defensive end Denzel Drone or working in unison with center Peter Konz to neutralize All-Big Ten defensive tackle Jerel Worthy (Worthy would record his two stops for loss vs. each of Wisconsin's offensive tackles), Zeitler was rock-solid for a running game that totaled 220 yards…Rush end Marcus Rush was shoved out of the way as Zeitler led the charge with a kick-out block to spring tailback Montee Ball for a 9-yard touchdown run in the first quarter…Receiver Jared Abbrederis gained 21 yards on a reverse after his right guard took out the legs from under nose guard Kevin Pickelman on the play in the second frame…In the fourth quarter, Zeitler joined center Peter Konz in locking down Worthy long enough for Ball to rush for 21 yards deep into MSU territory…The next snap resulted in a broken play, but Zeitler was out in front along the right sideline to seal off two defenders while QB Russell Wilson turned the corner to scoot 22 yards for a touchdown…Ball later picked up 13 yards on a carry, thanks to Zeitler engaging Pickelman and pushing the defender into strong-side linebacker Denicos Allen to open the rush lane utilized by the ball carrier. That play set up Wilson's 2-yard scoring lob to Ball that temporarily tied the game at 31-31 with 1:26 left in the contest…Head to Head Competition: DE#52-Denzel Drone (6:02-262)-One assisted tackle…DT#99-Jerel Worthy (6:03-310)-One solo tackle… Zeitler Offensive Impact-The lineman posted nine key blocks/knockdowns, including two touchdown-resulting blocks for the ground game, adding one downfield block, grading 95 percent for blocking consistency…The Badgers rushed for 220 yards with two touch-downs on 41 carries (5.37 ypc) and generated 443 total yards on 62 snaps (7.15 yards per play), as the front wall allowed two sacks.

Ohio State…It took another final second rally by the Buckeyes to hand the Badgers their second-straight loss, 33-29, but Zeitler continued to dominate in the trenches, as he posted his seventh multiple touchdown-resulting blocks performance in eight games on the 2011 schedule. It also marked his eighth consecutive contest in producing a blocking consistency grade of 95 percent or higher…OSU stacked the line, but in tight coverage, the UW right guard latched on to and rode defensive tackle Jonathan Hankins away from the pocket, tying up two OSU defenders on the edge by creating a pile, as QB Russell Wilson used that opportunity to uncork a 22-yard scoring strike to tailback Montee Ball…Midway through the third quarter, Zeitler led the sweep around the right side, where his crack block stunned strong-side outside linebacker Etienne Sabino as Ball bounced wide for a 13-yard carry…On the Badgers' next possession, the senior used a swift log block that again took Hankins off his feet on a second-&-goal option run by Wilson around the right corner for an 8-yard gain to the OSU 1. From there, fullback Bradie Ewing followed Zeitler up the middle of the line, as that duo cleared out the rush lane, driving back left defensive tackle John Simon, nose guard Garrett Goebel and defensive tackle Adam Bellamy to pave the way for Ball's 1-yard touchdown surge…A late fourth quarter sprint-draw play saw Zeitler chip block Goebel and he then baited weak-side linebacker Andrew Sweat, twisting the Buckeye to the ground to open a hole used by Ball for a 40-yard scamper. That run was the key play leading to Wilson's 17-yard touchdown pass to receiver Jared Abbrederis to cap a 66-yard, 6-play series…Head to Head Competition: NG#53-Garrett Goebel (6:03-290)-One solo tackle…Zeitler Offensive Impact: The lineman posted eight key blocks/ knockdowns, including two touchdown-resulting blocks (one for the ground game and one for the aerial attack), adding one downfield block, grading 95 percent for blocking consistency… The Badgers rushed for 89 yards with one touchdown on 29 carries (3.07 ypc) and generated 342 total yards on 61 snaps (5.61 yards per play), as the front wall allowed three sacks.

Purdue…If not for a first quarter false start, Zeitler would have produced the second "perfect game" for blocking consistency by the right guard in 2011, but he was still simply dominant, as he produced four touchdown-resulting blocks for a ground attack that scored six times in a 62-17 victory…Zeitler wasted no time establishing his "pedigree" as the country's best trap blocker, as he delivered a kick-out block that took down defensive end Brandon Taylor on the game's first play from scrimmage, resulting in a 44-yard gain on the ground by tailback Montee Ball, as that play set up a 2-yard scoring lob from QB Russell Wilson to tight end Jacob Pedersen…On the team's next possession, their right guard was flagged for a false start, but immediately made up for that miscue, as Ball ran for 11 yards with Zeitler battling Taylor away from the play, hooking the defensive end and riding him into the right sidelines…The senior cleared a rush lane used by James White for a 6-yard carry and on third-&-6, Zeitler locked into defensive end Ryan Russell after offensive tackle Josh Oglesby missed his assignment, keeping the Boilermaker away from Wilson, allowing the QB a chance to unleash a 66-yard deep pass that was caught by Jeff Duckworth, placing the ball at the Purdue 5, where Wilson then flipped the ball into the end zone and Jared Abbrederis came down with it for a 5-yard touchdown…A first-&-goal run by Ball to the Purdue 1-yard line was because of Zeitler flattening Russell on the play, but the right guard was hungry for his team to put six points up on the board. On the next snap, he fired off the ball, drove Taylor into Russell and Ball skipped into the end zone though that hole to stake the Badgers to a 21-10 lead…Taylor was again stymied by Zeitler on Wilson's 13-yard run towards the right sidelines. Wilson's 20-yard carry around the left side was the result of his right guard again taking Russell out of the action. The 7-play, 57-yard series concluded with Zeitler running "interference" down the line and around the left guard, with Wilson in tow for a 6-yard touchdown…Like dominoes, Zeitler's next big block saw him collide with strong safety Logan Link, who then toppled over linebacker Will Lucas, creating the room needed for Ball to score on a 3-yard carry, concluding an 87-yard, 7-play drive with 2:59 left in the first half…On Wisconsin's first series for the third quarter, Zeitler first used a kick-out block to level Taylor and then climbed into the second level to neutralize linebacker Joe Holland on Ball's 21-yard scoot to the Purdue 44. He then teamed with fellow guard Travis Frederick to take out linebacker Chris Carlino on a 9-yard carry by Ball. On the next snap, the senior ran over Taylor and then crushed Lucas ten yards down field, taking away the final obstacle on Ball's 29-yard touchdown run…The 320-pound right guard used his body mass to literally sit on top of All-Big Ten nose guard Kawann Short to pave the way for James White's 5-yard scoring burst that staked the Badgers to a 52-17 lead with over twenty minutes left in the contest…Head to Head Competition: DE#55-Brandon Taylor (6:01-288)-No tackles…Zeitler Offensive Impact: The lineman posted eight key blocks/knockdowns (it would mark a string of five-straight games that Zeitler would register double-digit key blocks), including a then career-best four touchdown-resulting blocks for the ground game, but was penalized once for a false start, grading 99 percent for blocking consistency…The Badgers rushed for 364 yards with six touchdowns on 29 carries (6.74 ypc) and generated 605 total yards on 80 snaps (7.56 yards per play), as the front wall allowed one sack.

Minnesota…Wisconsin, which leads the FBS level in red zone scoring, had reached the end zone 45 times in 52 trips inside the 20-yard line by the time they went to Minnesota to play the Gophers, with Zeitler delivering touchdown-resulting blocks on nineteen of those drives to date. The Badgers pulled off a 42-13 victory behind the senior right guard's twelve knockdowns. After two losses, the Badgers had got back on the winning track the previous week vs. Purdue, but Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema didn't want his players' minds to stray, "We have to concentrate on being in the moment. That's the way we will do it," Bielema said. Well, some of them sneaked a peek at the scoreboard during the game, but that didn't seem to matter. "I was like, `Oh, cool.' I didn't really pay attention. We had to take care of business here," Zeitler said…With the senior leading the charge, Zeitler opened a hole used by Montee Ball for an 11-yard gain, as the guard knocked down nose guard Brandon Kirksey on the play to clear the rush lane. Two plays later, he joined his fellow offensive linemen in pushing the Minnesota front wall to the right side, with QB Russell Wilson turning the left corner on a 12-yard option run, setting up his 5-yard scoring lob to Ball that completed a 14-play, 81-yard drive…Later in the first quarter, Zeitler headed into the second level, where he neutralized outside linebacker Mike Rallis on a 29-yard carry by Ball to the Gophers' 16-yard line…The fourth quarter saw Zeitler run over defensive end D.L. Wilhite on Ball's 8-yard run to the Minnesota 3. On the next snap, the right guard pulled left with #28 (Ball) in tow, as Zeitler barreled over safety Cedric Thompson and the junior tailback completed the 50-yard, 7-play possession with a 3-yard score…Record Watch-Zeitler graded over 90 percent for blocking consistency for the tenth-straight game, increasing his school-record consecutive string. Those ten perfect blocking efforts also surpassed the previous Badgers' season-record of nine, established by Joe Thomas in 2006…Head to Head Competition: NG#96-Brandon Kirksey (6:02-294)-One assisted tackle…Zeitler Offensive Impact: The lineman posted twelve key blocks/knock-downs, including one touchdown-resulting block for the ground game, as he produced two downfield blocks, grading 96 percent for blocking consistency…The Badgers rushed for 283 yards with two touchdowns on 45 carries (6.29 ypc) and generated 461 total yards on 62 snaps (7.44 yards per play), as the front wall allowed two sacks.

Illinois…Despite pulling off a 28-17 win, the Badgers' offense were in for a major battle, as the Illini held Wisconsin to a season-low 285 yards. But, thanks to a pair of touchdown-resulting blocks by Zeitler, UW was one more victory away from playing in the inaugural Big Ten Conference Championship Game…On the game's second play from scrimmage, he blasted through to clear a rush lane used by tailback Montee Ball for a 19-yard gain into Illini territory…In the second quarter, Zeitler raced to the left side on a sweep, where his log block not only took out linebacker Earnest Thomas, but also flattened weak-side line-backer Jonathan Brown, as Ball leaped over the pile of Illini for a 1-yard touchdown that put the Badgers on the scoring board…Zeitler fired off the snap to clear a rush lane used by Ball on first-&-goal for a 3-yard run to the Illini 5, where QB Russell Wilson then hid behind his right guard on a pass play that saw Ball snare the 5-yard toss for a score…The end of the third quarter saw Zeitler pinch defensive tackle Akeem Spence into the middle of the line, as Ball used the hole between right guard and tackle for a 34-yard scamper before he was tackled at the Illini 1. From there, Wilson took the ball on the next snap, turned left and scored on a 1-yard run…Zeitler led the way on a fourth quarter sweep, taking out Jonathan Brown with a kick-out block on Ball's 19-yard run to the Illini 23. On second-&-4, the senior blocker teamed with right tackle Josh Oglesby to drive the Illini defensive line to the left, as Zeitler crushed defensive tackle Glenn Foster and Ball executed a spin move, redirected and followed his right guard 17 yards into the end zone…Zeitler's day ended with a questionable call, as he was flagged for holding Spence on the play at the Illini 29, but film view shows that the Badger's left hand was actually touched by Spence's right arm when the defensive tackle tried to run around and push off the Wisconsin lineman…In the post-game press conference, Zeitler was asked about the offense's reliance on Montee Ball and stated, "He's been able to get the job done, he's been reliable, he's been productive, so why not rely on him?"…On the game being about running the ball, he said, "I think every game for us comes down to being a running game, I had no idea what the game plan would be like with Coach Chryst, but he made the right calls and it worked."…On the team's second-half turnaround after ending the first half on the short end of a 17-7 score, the senior right guard noted, "We needed to have some resolve. We just kept grinding the entire second half and it started to get going at the end and we were able to finish it out."…Head to Head Competition: DT#94-Akeem Spence (6:01-305)-Two assisted tackles…Zeitler Offensive Impact: The lineman posted eleven key blocks/knockdowns, including two touchdown-resulting blocks for the ground game, as he also produced one downfield block, but was flagged for holding on a very questionable call, grading 96 percent for blocking consistency…The Badgers rushed for 195 yards with three touchdowns on 45 carries (4.33 ypc) and generated 285 total yards on 58 snaps (4.91 yards per play), as the front wall allowed two sacks.

Penn State…It is a rare occurrence for an offensive lineman to register a 100 percent blocking consistency grade in a contest, a feat that has been accomplished just three times in Badger annals until Zeitler joined that elite group with his stellar performance vs. Indiana earlier in the 2011 season. It is even rarer for a lineman to produce two 100 percent blocking efforts, but the right guard is now the first NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision performer to produce that "perfect score" twice in the same season since the turn of the century. The Nittany Lions defense was the "victim" of Zeitler's latest assault on the record books, as he not only delivered a season-high fifteen knockdowns, but registered a career-best six touchdown-resulting blocks, including five for the Badgers' ground game in a 45-7 win… Midway through the first quarter, the senior knocked down All-American defensive tackle Devon Still, who had his worst game of the season, despite recently garnering Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year honors, as tailback Montee Ball picked up 6 yards on the play. Zeitler crushed Jordan Hill, Penn State's other half of what was called the best defensive tackle tandem in college, as Ball ran for another 13 yards. Hill and middle linebacker Glenn Carson fought feverishly to get to Russell Wilson on the next snap, but Zeitler held both defenders at bay and the Badgers quarterback used that protection to toss a 21-yard touchdown to receiver Jared Abbrederis, ending a 76-yard, 10-play drive… On Wisconsin's next possession, Hill was again barreled over by Zeitler, as the guard bounced off his assignment to bait right defensive end Jack Crawford. Tailback James White capitalized on the hole created to run for 13 yards. That series carried over into the second quarter, where Zeitler mauled Still, driving the defender into the ground, as Ball followed his guard around the left side for a 1-yard touchdown…Still was in for a long afternoon, as Zeitler would make him earn every ounce of sweat he left on the field, dragging down the lineman in the backfield, as Ball took a third-&-3 handoff for a 14-yard gain during UW's next series…Midway through the second stanza Wilson pulled down the ball and bolted from the pocket, en route to a 20-yard gain, as Zeitler raced to the left side, knocked down Hill and in the second level, he neutralized rush end Eric Latimore. On second-&-goal, Zeitler and right tackle Josh Oglesby moved the "scrum" to the middle, letting Ball slip through his two blockers for a 2-yard touchdown run that capped an 83-yard, 11-play drive…The second half began with Zeitler delivering a down block on Hill, as Ball planted his left foot into the ground, slipping laterally to the right corner to score from 9 yards out…Ball used Zeitler as his lead blocker around the left corner for a 16-yard carry and then followed Zeitler into the end zone on an 18-yard scamper, as his right guard simply ran over middle linebacker Glenn Carson on the play…Record Watch-Zeitler's six touchdown-resulting blocks is a career-best…He graded 100 percent for blocking consistency for the second time in 2011 (earlier vs. Indiana), joining Larry Allen of Division II Sonoma State (in 1993 vs. Cal-State Hayward and San Francisco State) and Southern California's Tony Boselli (in 1994 vs. Baylor, California and Arizona) as the only players in college annals (since blocking consistency grades were compiled by The NFL Draft Report beginning in 1985) to post more than one 100 percent blocking performance in the same season…Zeitler also established a school record, as he is the only player in Badger annals to produce a pair of perfect blocking efforts during the same campaign. The only other Wisconsin offensive linemen to grade 100 percent in a game were Joe Thomas (vs. Buffalo in 2006), Paul Gruber (vs. Ball State in 1987) and Aaron Gibson (vs. Illinois in 1998)…Head to Head Competition: DT#47-Joran Hill (6:01-297)-No tackles and DT#71-Devon Still (6:05-310)-No tackles…Zeitler Offensive Impact: The lineman posted fifteen key blocks/knockdowns, including six touchdown-resulting blocks (five for the ground game, one for the aerial attack), as he also produced one downfield block, grading a perfect 100 percent for blocking consistency…The Badgers rushed for 264 yards with four touchdowns on 49 carries (5.39 ypc) and generated 450 total yards on 78 snaps (5.77 yards per play), as the front wall allowed two sacks.

Michigan State (Big Ten Conference Championship)…In the inaugural Big Ten title game, it was a classic battle in the trenches that allowed the Badgers to pull off ac 42-39 decision over the Spartans, as Wisconsin exacted revenge for a last-second loss to the same team earlier in the season. With injuries causing massive shuffling on the UW offensive line, all eyes were on the 60-minute confrontation between right offensive guard Kevin Zeitler and MSU's All-American defensive tackle Jerel Worthy. The end result was Zeitler producing eleven knockdowns and three touchdown-resulting blocks, while limiting his opponent to just a pair of tackles. Still, it was a battle of two "battering rams" that will make this game what old-time football experts will call "A game for the ages."…Worthy's motor was constantly running, and at times, Wisconsin needed to keep their fullback on the field (rather than utilize their normal two-tight end formation) to protect the pocket, as Zeitler was mentoring a line with different starters at three positions from their previous MSU encounter…Zeitler established his presence from the "opening bell," as he rode out Worthy to clear a rush lane used by Montee Ball for a 16-yard run on the game's second play from scrimmage, but an illegal block penalty by Badgers receiver Nick Toon brought the ball back ten yards. Undaunted, the right guard led the charge on Ball's 13-yard pick-up two plays later, smashing into defensive end William Gholston with a thud to pave the way for the All-American ball carrier's first down rush. On third-&-goal, Zeitler retreated into the backfield, where he teamed with right offensive tackle Josh Oglesby on a slip block that gave QB Russell Wilson time to lob a 3-yard scoring pass to Jeff Duckworth…

Later in the first frame, Ball took the ball on a pitch-out. Zeitler led the sweep around the left corner, as the tailback picked up 8 yards on the play. Ball was then involved in another pitch-out, but this time, he rolled right, hid behind Zeitler and Oglesby, firing the ball to the left sideline, where Wilson had slipped out of the backfield to haul in the pass for a 32-yard gain. On second-&-goal, Ball saw that his right guard had driven nose guard Kevin Pickelman into the ground, as the tailback followed behind fullback Bradie Ewing through the hole Zeitler created for a 6-yard touchdown that gave the Badgers a 14-7 lead…The first quarter action ended with Zeitler dropping Worthy to the ground on Ball's 18-yard carry, before the guard rooted out defensive end William Gholston from the "A" gap on Ball's 6-yard touchdown burst through the UW center and right guard…In the second quarter, MSU went through a few injury issues up front, thanks to classic drive blocks by Zeitler that first saw Worthy leave the game with a left leg contusion after being chopped down by the right guard with 10:21 left in the first half, followed by Pickelman suffering the same injury after being taken down by the Badgers' senior less than two minutes later…

The savvy veteran was also successful into baiting Worthy into a few blown calls during the game, including one that negated a 9-yard loss by Ball on a third quarter rushing attempt, as the defensive lineman got a bit "antsy" by the chatter in the trenches and Zeitler was able to induce the Spartan to jump off-side in the neutral zone between right guard and tackle less than three minutes into second half action…On the Badgers' game-winning, 8-play, 64-yard drive, Zeitler flattened linebacker Max Bullough on the way to the end zone with #28 (Ball) following on a 7-yard scoring scamper with 3:45 left on the game clock…Head to Head Competition: DT#99-Jerel Worthy (6:03-310)-Two tackles (one solo)… Zeitler Offensive Impact-The lineman posted eleven key blocks/knockdowns, including three touchdown-resulting blocks for the ground game, coming up with a key fan protection on one aerial touchdown, grading 97 percent for blocking consistency…The Badgers rushed for 126 yards with three touchdowns on 37 carries (3.41 ypc) and generated 345 total yards on 62 snaps (5.56 yards per play), as the front wall allowed three sacks.

2010 season

Zeitler earned UW Badger Power Award (weight room dedication) accolades and was an Academic All-Big Ten Conference choice, adding first-team All-Big Ten recognition from The NFL Draft Report, despite not joining the first unit at right offensive guard until the season's fifth game…Was selected All-Big Ten honorable mention by the league's coaches and media…Selected UW's co-Offensive Player of the Game vs. both Michigan and Minnesota…Registered 100 key blocks/knockdowns, 19 touchdown-resulting blocks and seven blocks down field, as he helped the team greatly improve its offensive output…

The Badgers finished 18th in the nation in sacks allowed (14) after placing 54th in that category in 2009 (23)…He also helped UW rank 21st in the nation in total offense (445.15 ypg), lead the league while ranking fifth in the NCAA FBs ranks in scoring offense (41.46 ppg) and 12th among major colleges in rushing (245.69 ypg)…Registered an 89.89 percent grade for blocking consistency, producing marks of 90 percent or better vs. Austin Peay, Minnesota, Purdue, Michigan and Northwestern, as he did not allow a quarterback sack in any of his thirteen appearances.

2010 season game analysis

Nevada-Las Vegas…Zeitler came off the bench in the season opener, but in the third quarter, he jumped offside, recording the first penalty for his career…He made up for that miscue inside the red zone, as he helped cap that 6-play, 78-yard series with a trap block that cleared the way for a 16-yard scoring scamper by Montee Ball…Zeitler Offensive Impact: The lineman posted five key blocks/knockdowns, including a touchdown-resulting block, but was penalized once, grading 86 percent for blocking consistency…The Badgers rushed for 278 yards with four touchdowns on 50 carries (5.56 ypc) and generated 475 total yards on 70 snaps (6.79 yards per play), as the front wall allowed two sacks.

Austin Peay State…Zeitler saw considerable action in his final game as a reserve, helping pave the way for a pair of second half touchdown drives…Late in the third quarter, tailback James White slipped into a crease created between right guard and tackle for a 19-yard scoring burst…Zeitler had a key second level block on Montee Ball's 13-yard carry and on third-&-3, his kick-out block saw the junior engage defensive end Preston Keck, allowing Ball to race into the end zone for a 10-yard touchdown…Zeitler Offensive Impact-The lineman posted six key blocks/knockdowns, including two touchdown-resulting blocks, grading 93 percent for blocking consistency…The Badgers rushed for 346 yards with seven touchdowns on 49 carries (6.02 ypc) and generated 618 total yards on 68 snaps (9.09 yards per play), as the front wall allowed one sack.

Michigan State…The Spartans handed Wisconsin a 34-24 loss, as the offense managed a season-low 292 yards…In the third quarter, Zeitler, starting for the first time at right guard in 2010, cleared the right corner for a 13-yard run by James White and on the next snap, White used his right guard's lift block on defensive end Tyler Hoover to break free for a 34-yard scoring burst…Head to Head Competition: DT#99-Jerel Worthy (6:03-305)-Three tackles (one solo)…Zeitler Offensive Impact: The lineman posted ten key blocks/knock-downs, including one touchdown-resulting block and one downfield block, grading 89 percent for blocking consistency…The Badgers rushed for 165 yards with two touchdowns on 31 carries (5.32 ypc) and generated 292 total yards on 56 snaps (5.21 yards per play), as the front wall allowed one sack.

Minnesota…Zeitler and his fellow offensive line mates were named Players of the Week after they cleared the way for five touchdown runs…"Our offense has so many weapons ... when they're hitting on all cylinders on a Saturday, it's tough to stop," defensive end J.J. Watt told the Wisconsin State Journal…The third quarter saw Zeitler put on a blocking clinic, as he delivered a second level block on a 17-yard carry by James White that was first ruled a touchdown, but then nullified by off-setting penalties. Undaunted, Zeitler exploded into defensive tackle Jewhan Edwards on the next snap and White powered into the end zone for an 8-yard score, capping a 64-yard, 11-play drive…On the Badgers' next series, John Clay took a third-&-1 handoff, went right, saw the rush lane clogged, only to see his right guard work in-line. Clay latched on to Zeitler, who blasted Edwards into the ground, as the tailback added a 4-yard touchdown carry…Head to Head Competition: DT#68-Jewhan Edwards (6:02-330)-Two solo tackles, one stop for a 2-yard loss…Zeitler Offensive Impact: The lineman posted twelve key blocks/knockdowns, including two touchdown-resulting blocks, grading 92 percent for blocking consistency…The Badgers rushed for 250 yards with five touchdowns on 46 carries (5.43 ypc) and generated 473 total yards on 69 snaps (6.86 yards per play), as the front wall allowed no sacks.

Ohio State…In the Badgers' previous three encounters with Ohio State, the Buckeyes sacked Wisconsin quarterbacks eighteen times. But, on this day, UW pulled off a 31-18 upset, as QB Scott Tolzien was not captured for a sack the entire afternoon…The right guard keyed a front wall that was challenged by their head coach before the contest, as the Badgers blockers opened huge holes for three rushing touchdowns…Zeitler took down rush end Cameron Heyward to spring John Clay for a 16-yard run to the OSU 14. On the next snap, the right guard rode defensive tackle John Simon outside and away from Clay, who took the handoff and went 14 yards for a 14-0 lead five minutes into the contest…On third-&-10 from the OSU 24, QB Scott Tolzien used a kick-out block by Zeitler that stymied Simon and paved the way for the passer to score on a bootleg…After the game, head coach Bret Bielema was asked about challenging the offensive line and he stated, "I did challenge them. I don't do that very often as a head coach. I don't want to set kids up for failure. If I do something like that, it's usually that I have a really strong belief that it's going to come through. I challenged the offensive line and defensive line, to be quite honest. Everybody made a big deal about the 29 games that Ohio State had played without a 100-yard rusher. I threw it in those guys' faces all week. I threw it at our running backs, but it all starts up front for us. For us to have success, we have to play well at the offensive line."…Head to Head Competition: DT#54-John Simon (6:02-277)-Six tackles (2 solo), one stop for a 1-yard loss…Zeitler Offensive Impact: The lineman posted ten key blocks/knockdowns, including two touchdown-resulting blocks, grading 89 percent for blocking consistency…The Badgers rushed for 184 yards with three touchdowns on 43 carries (4.28 ypc) and generated 336 total yards on 59 snaps (5.69 yards per play), as the front wall allowed no sacks.

Iowa…Zeitler helped the Badgers escape with a 31-30 victory, as he emerged victorious from a fierce battle with the Hawkeyes' blitzing defensive front seven…Two power runs by John Clay around the right corner were set up by Zeitler locking out All-American defensive end Adrian Clayborn on the first snap and tackle Karl Klug on the next set up a UW 33-yard first quarter field goal…Klug was simply flattened by the right guard's scramble block that paved the way for a 2-yard touchdown run by John Clay between his right guard and tackle in the third quarter…Head to Head Competition-DT#95-Karl Klug (6:04-274)-Six tackles (2 solos)…Zeitler Offensive Impact-The lineman posted eight key blocks/knockdowns, including two touchdown-resulting blocks and one block down field, grading 87 percent for blocking consistency…The Badgers rushed for 142 yards with three touchdowns on 38 carries (3.74 ypc) and generated 347 total yards on 64 snaps (5.42 yards per play), as the front wall allowed one sack.

Purdue…For the fifth consecutive game, all with Zeitler in the starting lineup, Wisconsin put up at least 30 points on the board (34-13), as their right guard's manhandling of a player considered to be one the best interior down lineman in the Big Ten, Kawann Short, along with helping stymie All-American rush end Ryan Kerrigan, were the major reasons for the team's victory, as the junior had touchdown-resulting blocks on both of the team's scores on the ground…On fourth-&-1, Zeitler's lift into Short gave him the leverage needed to see John Clay run for a first down. On the next snap, QB Scott Tolzien rolled left, where Zeitler's slip block on Kerrigan allowed the Badgers passer time to connect with Jarred Abbrederis on a 7-yard touchdown toss to give Wisconsin a 13-10 lead at the start of the second half…Zeitler's second level block on linebacker Joe Holland paved the way for Montee Ball's 26-yard scoot in the fourth frame…With 8:54 left in the contest, Ball used a drive block by his right guard to race 15 yards into the end zone for a score…Head to Head Competition: DT#93-Kawann Short (6:04-305)-Two solo tackles…Zeitler Offensive Impact: The lineman posted nine key blocks/knockdowns, including two touchdown-resulting blocks and one block down field, grading 94 percent for blocking consistency…The Badgers rushed for 173 yards with two touchdowns on 39 carries (4.44 ypc) and generated 303 total yards on 58 snaps (5.22 yards per play), as the front wall allowed three sacks.

Indiana…Zeitler displayed his "pedigree" as both a drive blocker and in pass protection before the first unit was given a rest in the second half of an 83-20 victory…The right guard was the driving force behind Wisconsin's most impressive quarter - the second – vs. the Hoosiers…TZeitler latched on to Indiana weak-side linebacker Leon Beckum and cleared the way for James White's 30-yard touchdown that extended Wisconsin's second quarter lead to 24-10 over a Hoosier team that had battled the Badgers step for step early. Zeitler was just as impressive in the passing game, as he eased back into his pass set, demonstrating quick feet and balance, as he dropped defensive end Larry Black, wheeled off that block and shut down Beckum on QB Scott Tolzien's 4-yard touchdown pass to Nick Toon with only 21 seconds left in the second quarter…Record Watch-Wisconsin finished with 598 yards of total offense, which ranks 11th in school history…The Badgers ran for 338 yards on the day, marking the second time this season that UW has run for at least 300 yards (346 vs. Austin Peay on 9/25)…Wisconsin scored on each of its thirteen possessions, never punting and committing zero turnovers…Their 83 points scored broke the school game-record that they had set earlier in the 2010 season vs. Austin Peay…Head to Head Competition: DT#69-Mick Mentzer (6:02-299)-Three tackles (one solo), one stop for a 2-yard loss…Zeitler Offensive Impact: The lineman posted five key blocks/knockdowns, including two touchdown-resulting blocks and one block downfield, grading 87 percent for blocking consistency…The Badgers rushed for 338 yards with six touchdowns on 47 carries (7.19 ypc) and generated 598 total yards on 68 snaps (8.79 yards per play), as the front wall allowed two sacks.

Michigan…Zeitler came up with multiple touchdown-resulting blocks for the sixth-straight game, leading the Badgers to a 48-28 triumph…Midway through the first quarter, he cleared a rush lane that Montee Ball used for a 1-yard score, ending a 75-yard, 10-play series…After Mike Martin got into the backfield to take down White for a 3-yard loss, the UW right guard exacted revenge, shoving the Michigan defensive tackle to the ground on a second-&-goal 3-yard touchdown burst by Montee Ball to stake the Badgers to a 38-21 lead…Head to Head Competition-DT#68-Mike Martin (6:02-299)-Four tackles (2 solos), an assisted stop for a 2-yard loss…Zeitler Offensive Impact-The lineman posted eleven key blocks/knockdowns, including two touchdown-resulting blocks, grading 90 percent for blocking consistency…The Badgers rushed for 357 yards with six touchdowns on 58 carries (6.16 ypc) and generated 558 total yards on 73 snaps (7.64 yards per play), as the front wall allowed one sack.

Northwestern…The Badgers' renowned running game continued to march into the end zone, scoring seventeen touchdowns during their last three games, with six of those scores coming on Zeitler's crucial blocking…The junior simply ran over defensive tackle Corbin Bryant on a 2-yard touchdown run by Montee Ball that capped an 11-play, 82-yard early second quarter series…Bryant would tag Ball for a 2-yard loss at the end of the first half, but the right guard was on a "search and destroy" mission at the start of the third quarter after Bryant again took down a UW ball carrier (John Clay) for a 2-yard loss… Zeitler used a fake-out block to "sucker" Bryant into the rush lane, where he was knocked off his feet by the right guard, who then took off for the second level, meeting linebacker Quentin Davie with a vicious hand punch, springing Ball for a 44-yard scoring scamper…Head to Head Competition: DT#98-Corbin Bryant (6:04-309)-Two solo tackles for minus 4 yards…Zeitler Offensive Impact: The lineman posted thirteen key blocks/knockdowns, including two touchdown-resulting blocks and one downfield block, grading 92 percent for blocking consistency…The Badgers rushed for 329 yards with five touchdowns on 54 carries (6.09 ypc) and generated 559 total yards on 73 snaps (7.66 yards per play), as the front wall allowed no sacks.

Texas Christian (Rose Bowl)…After scoring at least 30 points in all eight of Zeitler's regular season starting assignments and producing at least three touchdown runs in seven of those contests, the UW offense came to a screeching halt in a 21-19 loss, as the right guard was one of the few bright spots, not allowing any opponent to match up against him one-on-one to record a tackle…On the game's first play from scrimmage, his kick-out block surprised defensive end Wayne Daniels, who could not recover from the hit as Montee Ball turned the corner for a 40-yard scamper. That play would set up a UW 30-yard field goal to salvage some points from that 8-play, 55-yard first quarter possession…Later in the first quarter, Zeitler teamed with center Bill Nagy to blast into the end zone with John Clay following for a 1-yard touchdown run that gave the Badgers a brief 10-7 lead…Head to Head Competition: DT#57-Cory Grant (6:02-305)-No tackles…Zeitler Offensive Impact: The lineman posted six key blocks/knockdowns, including one touch-down-resulting block and one downfield block, grading 89 percent for blocking consistency… The Badgers rushed for 226 yards with two touchdowns on 46 carries (4.91 ypc) and generated 385 total yards on 67 snaps (5.75 yards per play), as the front wall allowed two sacks.

2009 season

Third-team All-Big Ten Conference selection by Phil Steele…Took over right offensive guard duties, starting all thirteen games as a sophomore…Helped the Badgers finish 15th in the nation and lead the conference in rushing, averaging 203.85 yards per game…Also led the way as Wisconsin paced the Big Ten with an average of 445.15 total yards and 31.77 points per game…The front wall allowed 23 quarterback sacks (54th nationally), but their right guard did not allow any opponent to get to a Wisconsin QB during 340 pass plays…Registered 118 key blocks/knockdowns, sixteen touchdown-resulting blocks and eight blocks downfield, as he recorded an 88.92 percent grade for blocking consistency…He graded at least 90 percent for blocking in each of the Northern Illinois, Fresno State, Wofford, Northwestern and Hawaii contests…Produced multiple touchdown-resulting blocks vs. Northern Illinois, Fresno State and Hawaii.

2009 season game analysis

Northern Illinois…After winning the right guard job in preseason camp, Zeitler went on to post eight knockdowns with a pair of touchdown-resulting blocks…At the start of the second stanza, his second level block on linebacker Alex Kube was all that tailback Isaac Anderson needed to take a handoff and turn the left corner for a 23-yard scoring run…The first possession of the second half ended when Zeitler flattened rush end Jake Coffman to widen the rush lane used by John Clay for a 1-yard touchdown run that capped an 11-play, 92-yard drive…Head to Head Competition-DT#92-Brian Lawson (6:03-272)-Three assisted tackles…Zeitler Offensive Impact-The lineman posted eight key blocks/knockdowns, including two touchdown-resulting blocks and one block down field, grading 92 percent for blocking consistency…The Badgers rushed for 152 yards with three touchdowns on 38 carries (4.00 ypc) and generated 433 total yards on 63 snaps (6.87 yards per play), as the front wall allowed no sacks.

Fresno State…Zeitler dominated the action in the trenches, posting two touchdown-resulting blocks for the second-straight week while also producing ten knockdowns… Zach Brown's 11-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter was the result of Zeitler leveling defensive end Chase Carter on the play…Carter was pushed inside by Zeitler, tying up two other defenders as tailback John Clay took a second-&-goal handoff for an 8-yard touchdown with 4:27 left in the first half…Head to Head Competition-DT#65-Chase McEntee (6:03-289)-Four assisted tackles…Zeitler Offensive Impact-The lineman posted ten key blocks/knockdowns, including two touchdown-resulting blocks, grading 93 percent for blocking consistency…The Badgers rushed for 188 yards with three touchdowns on 39 carries (4.82 ypc) and generated 413 total yards on 67 snaps (6.16 yards per play), as the front wall allowed two sacks.

Wofford…Zeitler continued his stellar play, grading over 90 percent for blocking consistency for the third-straight week…His scramble block took down nose guard Eric Eberhardt on a 4-yard touchdown run by Erik Smith in the second quarter…Head to Head Competition: DT#98-Eric Eberhardt (6:01-287)-One assisted tackle…Zeitler Offensive Impact: The line-man posted nine key blocks/knockdowns, including two touchdown-resulting blocks and one block down field, grading 97 percent for blocking consistency…The Badgers rushed for 258 yards with three touchdowns on 42 carries (6.14 ypc) and generated 430 total yards on 63 snaps (6.83 yards per play), as the front wall allowed no sacks.

Michigan State…Zeitler delivered nine knockdowns and showed some explosive foot speed, as he drove into the second level to knock down linebacker Greg Jones on a 14-yard carry by Isaac Anderson before the right guard ended that 6-play, 50-yard drive with a reach block on defensive end Colin Neely that gave QB Scott Tolzien a chance to hit tight end Garrett Graham with a 15-yard touchdown pass…Head to Head Competition-DT#99-Jerel Worthy (6:03-292)-Two tackles (1 solo), one stop for a 3-yard loss…Zeitler Offensive Impact-The lineman posted nine key blocks/knockdowns, including one touchdown-resulting block and one block downfield, grading 86 percent for blocking consistency…The Badgers rushed for 193 yards with one touchdown on 50 carries (3.86 ypc) and generated 436 total yards on 81 snaps (5.38 yards per play), as the front wall allowed no sacks.

Minnesota…Zeitler and his blocking mates pounded the Minnesota defense all afternoon, as the ground game scored three times in a 31-28 decision…Teaming with guard John Moffitt on a combo block, QB Scott Tolzien took off on a 47-yard run to the Gophers 5-yard line. Two plays later, Zeitler used a cross block around his center to open a rush lane used by John Clay for a 1-yard touchdown to conclude a 74-yard, 8-play fourth quarter series that gave Wisconsin a 31-21 lead with 3:00 left on the game clock…Head to Head Competition-DT#99-Garrett Brown (6:02-311)-Three tackles (2 solos)…Zeitler Offensive Impact: The lineman posted ten key blocks/knockdowns, including one touchdown-resulting block and one block down field, grading 88 percent for blocking consistency… The Badgers rushed for 295 yards with three touchdowns on 49 carries (6.02 ypc) and generated 454 total yards on 75 snaps (6.05 yards per play), as the front wall allowed no sacks.

Ohio State…Zeitler was part of the blocking unit that cleared a path for Chris Maragos to take a fake field goal nine yards for a touchdown in the second quarter, but the Badgers lost for the first time in six games…Head to Head Competition: DT#92-Todd Denlinger (6:02-292)-One solo tackle…Zeitler Offensive Impact: The lineman posted nine knock-downs/key blocks, including one touchdown-resulting block, grading 88 percent for blocking consistency…The Badgers rushed for 118 yards with one touchdown on 44 carries (2.68 ypc) and generated 368 total yards on 89 snaps (4.13 yards per play), as the front wall allowed six sacks.

Purdue…Zeitler battled a swarming defense, but still managed to deliver a crowd-rising block, as he blasted into All-American defensive end Ryan Kerrigan while the right guard was out in front on a 54-yard scamper by tight end Lance Kendricks on a third quarter reverse. That series would end on the next play, as Zeitler's scramble block opened a rush lane for John Clay's 3-yard touchdown run…Head to Head Competition-DT#93-Kawann Short (6:04-310)-Four tackles (3 solos), one stop for a 1-yard loss…Zeitler Offensive Impact-The lineman posted ten key blocks/knockdowns, including one touchdown-resulting block and one block down field, grading 84 percent for blocking consistency…The Badgers rushed for 266 yards with three touchdowns on 53 carries (5.02 ypc) and generated 381 total yards on 72 snaps (5.29 yards per play), as the front wall allowed three sacks.

Indiana…For the twelfth time this season, Zeitler recorded a touchdown-resulting block, upending both defensive end Jammie Kirlew and defensive tackle Larry Black to clear out the gap for tailback John Clay's third-&-goal 1-yard touchdown run that finished an 81-yard, 10-play possession…Head to Head Competition: DT#93-Adam Replogle (6:03-282)-One assisted tackle…Zeitler Offensive Impact: The lineman posted nine key blocks/knock-downs, including one touchdown-resulting block and one block down field, grading 87 percent for blocking consistency…The Badgers rushed for 294 yards with three touchdowns on 52 carries (5.65 ypc) and generated 488 total yards on 72 snaps (6.78 yards per play), as the front wall allowed no sacks.

Michigan…Zeitler had a solid afternoon in a 45-24 victory, as he recorded double-digit knockdowns for the fourth time in 2009…The right guard gained leverage to ride rush end Brandon Graham away from the pocket on QB Scott Tolzien's 15-yard touchdown toss to Nick Toon at the start of the second half…Head to Head Competition-DT#53-Ryan Van Bergen (6:06-282)-One solo tackle…Zeitler Offensive Impact-The lineman posted ten key blocks/knockdowns, including one touchdown-resulting block, grading 89 percent for blocking consistency…The Badgers rushed for 229 yards with two touchdowns on 52 carries (4.40 ypc) and generated 469 total yards on 76 snaps (6.17 yards per play), as the front wall allowed two sacks.

Northwestern…For a team known more for its rushing attack, Zeitler continued to impress with his pass protection prowess…The sophomore ended a 54-yard, 8-play fourth quarter drive by flattening linebacker Quentin Davie on a blitz, giving QB Scott Tolzien the time needed as he fired a 13-yard touchdown pass to tight end Garrett Graham…Head to Head Competition: DT#98-Corbin Bryant (6:04-289)-Two assisted tackles…Zeitler Offensive Impact: The lineman posted ten key blocks/knockdowns, including one touchdown-resulting block, grading 91 percent for blocking consistency…The Badgers rushed for 99 yards with one touchdown on 35 carries (2.83 ypc) and generated 334 total yards on 65 snaps (5.14 yards per play), as the front wall allowed three sacks.

Hawaii…Zeitler ended the regular season the same way he began it – delivering a pair of touchdown-resulting blocks…The team scored on its first possession for the fifth time in 2009, as their right guard took down nose guard John Fonoti to spring John Clay for a 2-yard touchdown run that ended a 70-yard, 8-play series…His second level block aided Clay in picking up 34 yards on a second quarter run. On third-&-2, the tailback then followed Zeitler into the end zone for a 3-yard score…Head to Head Competition-DT#95-Vaughn Meatoga (6:02-293)-Three tackles (1 solo)…Zeitler Offensive Impact-The lineman posted eight key blocks/knockdowns, including two touchdown-resulting blocks and one block down field, grading 93 percent for blocking consistency…The Badgers rushed for 301 yards with seven touchdowns on 52 carries (5.79 ypc) and generated 554 total yards on 72 snaps (7.77 yards per play), as the front wall allowed two sacks.

2008 season

Zeitler lettered as a true freshman, but was limited to just three games of playing time, appearing in the Badgers' first two contests, vs. Akron and Marshall before returning to the field again Game Ten vs. Indiana.

Injury report

2011 Season…Missed a week of August camp due to a left high ankle sprain…Left early in the fourth quarter vs. Nebraska (10/01) when he re-injured his ankle, but was back in the lineup the following week vs. Indiana.

Campus agility tests

5.12 in the 40-yard dash…1.78 10-yard dash…2.94 20-yard dash…4.78 20-yard shuttle…

7.60 three-cone drill…30-inch vertical jump…9'2" broad jump…450-pound bench press…

31 7/8-inch arm length…9 3/4-inch hands…80 ?-inch wingspan…33 Wonderlic test.

High school

Zeitler attended Wisconsin Lutheran (Milwaukee) High School, playing football for head coach Kirk Denoyer…Three-time letterman who moved into the starting lineup as a sophomore…Ranked third on the Rival.com's Wisconsin Top 100 team, as that recruiting service regarded him as the 39th-best offensive lineman in the prep ranking, awarding him a three-star prospect grade…Scout.com gave the blocker a three-star rating and placed him 22nd among the nation's down linemen, and called him the fourth-best player in the state…Was a major reason for the Vikings ranking second in the state and 65th nationally during his first year as a starter, leading the squad to a 13-1 overall record en route to capturing the Wisconsin Little Ten title…As a junior, Zeitler earned first-team All-Region and All-Conference honors, adding second-team All-Area accolades in 2006, as he also received All-State honorable mention for the Vikings, who shared league championship honors…Chosen first-team All-State, All-Conference, Wisconsin Little Ten Lineman of the Year, All-Area and All-Region recognition in 2007, as the Vikings again recorded a 13-1 record to rank third in the state…Also lettered twice in wrestling and once in track-and-field…The National Honor Society member graduated with a 3.8 grade point average.

Personal

Kinesiology major…Son of Susan and William Zeitler...Signed his letter-of-intent to attend the University of Wisconsin on June 27th, 2007…Also received scholarship offers from Michigan, Minnesota and Purdue, in addition to drawing interest from Central Florida, Iowa, Miami, Michigan State and Northern Illinois…Resides in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

PLAYER STATISTICS

2009: 88.92 SGP...118 KB...16 TDB...8 DWF...0.0 SKA...0.0PRS.

2010: 88.69 SGP...100 KB...19 TDB...7 DWF...0.0 SKA...0.0PRS.

2011: 92.23 SGP...142 KB...33 TDB...13 DWF...0.0 SKA...0.0PRS.

Total: 89.57 SGP...360 KB...68 TDB...28 DWF...0.0 SKA...0.0PRS.

Note: SGP is season grade percentage; KB is knockdown blocks; TDB is touchdown-delivering blocks; DWF is downfield blocks; SKA is sacks allowed; PRS is pressures allowed.

Zeitler's 2011 vs. top guards in 2011 draft

These charts compare Kevin Zeitler's performance in 2011 to those of the top four players selected as offensive guards in the 2011 NFL Draft, using their 2010 season statistics for this project. I examine each athlete's performance in detailed categories vs. the run and also in passing situations during games started, based on averages per game.

Tale of the tape

Kevin Zeitler, Wisconsin: 6-03.4, 322 pounds, 5.12 40.

Ben Ijalana, Villanova (Colts): 6:03-5, 317 pounds, 5.36 40.

John Moffitt, Wisconsin (Seahawks): 6:04.2, 319 pounds, 5.55 40.

Mike Pouncey, Florida (Dolphins): 6:05.0, 303 pounds, 5.28 40.

Danny Watkins, Baylor (Eagles): 6:03-3, 310 pounds, 5.40.

Average, 6:03.7, 314, 5.34 40.

Against the competition

This chart lists the statistics each offensive guard saw his main head-to-head competition register vs. that blocker during the 2010 season. Players receive points based on their finish: 5 points for first place, 4 for second and so on.

Zeitler: 13 total guards allowed (No. 1 ranking); 0.0 sacks allowed (No. 1); 0.0 tackles for losses allowed (No. 1); 0.0 pressures allowed (No. 1). Points: 20 (No. 1).

Ijalana: 44 total guards (No. 4), 4.0 sacks allowed (No. 5), 6.5 TFLs (No. 4); 3.0 pressures allowed (No. 4). Points: 8 (No. 4).

Moffitt: 22 total guards (No. 2); 1.0 sack allowed (No. 2); 3.0 TFLs (No. 2); 0 pressures allowed (No. 1). Points: 17 (No. 2).

Pouncey: 50 total guards (No. 5); 3.5 sacks allowed (No. 5); 7.0 TFLS (No. 5); 5.0 pressures allowed (No. 5). Points: 20 (No. 5).

Watkins: 37 total guards (No. 3). 1.0 sacks allowed (No. 2); 5.0 TFLs (No. 3); 2.0 pressures allowed (No. 3). Points: 13 (No. 3).

Blocking performance chart

Players receive points based on their finish: 5 points for first, 4 for second and so on. Knockdowns, touchdown-producing blocks and downfield blocks are per game.

Zeitler: 10.92 knockdowns (No. 1); 2.54 touchdown blocks (No. 1); 1.00 downfield blocks (No. 1); 2 penalties (No. 2); 97.2 percent season grade (No. 1). Points: 24 (No. 1).

Ijalana: 8.4 knockdowns (No. 3); 1.21 touchdown blocks (No. 4); 0.57 downfield blocks (No. 4); 3 penalties (No. 3); 86.8 percent season grade (No. 3). Points: 12 (No. 4).

Moffitt: 8.15 knocdowns (No. 4); 1.31 touchdown blocks (No. 2); 0.54 downfield blocks (No. 3); 1 penalty (No. 1); 87.2 percent season grade (No. 3); Points :17 (No. 2).

Pouncey: 6.08 knockdowns (No. 5); 0.85 touchdown blocks (No. 5); 0.31 downfield blocks (No. 5); 3 penalties (No. 4); 84.1 percent season grade (No. 5). Points: 6 (No. 5).

Watkins: 10.31 knockdowns (no. 2); 1.31 touchdown blocks (No. 2); 0.62 downfield blocks (No. 2); 6 penalties (No. 5); 90.4 percent season grade (No. 2). Points: 17 (No. 2).

Drive blocking chart

Players receive points based on their finish: 5 points for first, 4 for second and so on. KD/DF indicates total number of knockdown/key blocks and downfield blocks per game; TD pct. indicates percentage of team's touchdown runs the lineman had touchdown-resulting blocks on…10R indicates total percentage of runs of the team's total for 10 or more yards over the lineman's side of the field.

Zeitler: 11.9 KD/DF (No. 1); 71.7 TD pct (No. 1); 69.7% 10R (No. 1). Points: 15 (No. 1).

Ijalana: 9.00 KD/DF (No. 3); 58.6 TD pct. (No. 3); 55.1% 10R (No. 3). Points: 9 (No. 2).

Moffitt: 8.69 KD/DF (No. 4); 35.4 TD pct. (No. 5); 37.9% 10R (No. 5). Points: 4 (No. 5).

Pouncey: 6.38 KD/DF (No. 5); 35.5 TD pct. (No. 4); 44.2% 10R (No. 4). Points: 5 (No. 4).

Watkins: 10.92 KD/DF (No. 2); 68.0 TD pct. (No. 2); 64.9% 10R (No. 2). Points: 6 (No. 3).

Vertical pass protection chart

The first figures add sacks, tackles for losses, pressures and total penalties. The second is the number of pass completions for 10-plus yards vs. the total amount of passes completed.

Zeitler: 0.0 sack + 0.0 TFL + 0.0 pressure + 2 penalty = 2.0 (No. 1). 60.7 percent 10-plus (No. 1). Points: 10 (No. 1).

Ijalana: 2.5 sack + 6.5 TFL + 3 pressure + 3 penalty = 15.0 (No. 3). 37.9 percent 10-plus (No. 4). Points: 5 (No. 3).

Moffitt: 1.0 sack + 3.0 TFL + 0 pressure + 1 penalty = 5.0 (No. 2). 52.0 percent 10-plus (No. 2). Points: 8 (No. 2).

Pouncey: 3.5 sack + 7.0 TFL + 5 pressure + 3 penalty = 18.5 (No. 5). 43.5 percent 10-plus (No. 3). Points: 4 (No. 4).

Watkins: 1.0 sack + 5.0 TFL + 2 pressure + 6 penalty = 14.0 (No. 4). 36.1 percent 10-plus (No. 4). Points: 4 (No. 4).

Final report card

This chart lists the statistics compiled by each guard during their respective seasons…AC indicates points scored in the above Against the Competition category…BP indicates points scored in the above Blocking Performance Chart category…DP indicates points scored in the above Drive Blocking Performance Chart category…VP indicates points scored in the above Vertical Pass Protection Blocking Performance Chart category.

Zeitler: 20 AC, 24 BP, 15 DP, 10 VP — 69 points (No. 1).

Ijalana: 8 AC, 12 BP, 9 DP, 5 VP — 34 points (No. 4).

Moffitt: 17 AC, 17 BP, 4 DP, 8 VP. 46 points (No. 2).

Pouncey: 4 AC, 6 BP, 5 DP, 4 VP. 19 points (No. 5).

Watkins: 13 AC, 17 BP, 6 DP, 4 VP. 40 points (No. 3).

Averages: 12.4 AC, 15.2 BP, 7.8 DP, 6.2 VP. 41.6 points.

Zeitler's 2011 vs. top guards in 2010 draft

These charts compare Kevin Zeitler's performance in 2011 to those of the top four players selected as offensive guards in the 2010 NFL Draft, using their 2009 season statistics for this project. I examine each athlete's performance in detailed categories vs. the run and also in passing situations during games started, based on averages per game.

Kevin Zeitler, Wisconsin: 6:03.4, 322 pounds, 5.12 40.

Jon Asamoah, Illinois (Chiefs); 6:04.0, 300 pounds, 508 40.

Zane Beadles, Utah (Broncos): 6:04.3, 307 pounds, 5.28 40.

Mike Iupati, Idaho (49ers): 6;05.2, 325 pounds, 5.20 40.

Mike Johnson, Alabama (Falcons): 6:05.3, 306 pounds, 5.38 40.

Against the competition

This chart lists the statistics each guard saw his main head-to-head competition register vs. that blocker during the 2009 season. Players receive points based on their finish: 5 points for first place, 4 for second and so on.

Zeitler: 13 total guards allowed (No. 1 ranking); 0.0 sacks allowed (No. 1); 0.0 tackles for losses allowed (No. 1); 0.0 pressures allowed (No. 1). Points: 20 (No. 1).

Asamoah: 40 total guards allowed (No. 4); 3.0 sacks allowed (No. 5); 5.0 TFLs allowed (No. 4); one pressure allowed (No. 3). Points: 9 (No. 4).

Beadles: 57 total guards allowed (No. 5); 1.5 sacks allowed (No. 4); 7.5 TFLs allowed (No. 5); three pressures allowed (No. 4). Points: 6 (No. 5).

Iupati: 19 total guards allowed (No. 2); 0.0 sacks allowed (No. 1); 0.0 tackles for losses allowed (No. 1); 1.0 pressures allowed (No. 2). Points: 18 (No. 2).

Johnson: 37 total guards allowed (No. 3); 0.5 sacks allowed (No. 3); 3.5 tackles for losses (No. 3); 5 pressures allowed (No. 5). Points: 10 (No. 3).

Blocking performance chart

Knockdowns, touchdown-producing blocks and downfield blocks are per game. Players receive points based on their finish: 5 points for first, 4 for second and so on.

Zeitler: 10.92 knockdowns (No. 1); 2.54 touchdown blocks (No. 1); 1.00 downfield blocks (No. 1); 2 penalties (No. 2); 97.23 percent season grade (No. 1). Points: 24 (No. 1).

Asamoah: 7.92 knockdowns (No. 2); 0.83 touchdown blocks (No. 4); 0.42 downfield blocks (No. 4); 2 penalties (No. 3); 83.53 percent season grade (No. 4). Points: 13 (No. 4).

Beadles: 6.85 knockdowns (No. 5); 0.77 touchdown blocks (No. 5); 0.38 downfield blocks (No. 5); 4 penalties (No. 4); 82.08 percent season grade (No. 5). Points: 6 (No. 5).

Iupati: 7.85 knockdown blocks (No. 3); 1.08 touchdown blocks (No. 2); 0.69 downfield blocks (No. 2); 4 penalties (No. 4); 90.38 percent season grade (No. 2). Points: 17 (No. 2).

Johnson: 7.00 knockdown blocks (No. 4); 0.86 touchdown blocks (No. 3); 0.43 downfield blocks (No. 3); 2 penalties (No. 1); 85.79 percent season grade (No. 3). Points: 16 (No. 3).

Drive blocking chart

Players receive points based on their finish: 5 points for first, 4 for second and so on. KD/DF indicates total number of knockdown/key blocks and downfield blocks per game; TD pct. indicates percentage of team's touchdown runs the lineman had touchdown-resulting blocks on…10R indicates total percentage of runs of the team's total for 10 or more yards over the lineman's side of the field.

Zeitler: 11.9 KD/DF (No. 1); 71.7 TD pct (No. 1); 69.7% 10R (No. 2). Points: 14 (No. 1).

Asamoah: 8.3 KD/DF (No. 3); 45.5 TD pct (No. 3); 55.0% 10R (No. 3). Points: 9 (No. 3).

Beadles: 7.2 KD/DF (No. 5); 43.5 TD pct (No. 4); 39.6% 10R (No. 5). Points: 4 (No. 5).

Iupati: 8.5 KD/DF (No. 2); 56.0 TD pct (No. 2); 71.4% 10R (No. 1). Points: 13 (No. 2).

Johnson: 7.4 KD/DF (No. 4); 38.7 TD pct (No. 5); 48.2% 10R (No. 4). Points: 5 (No. 4).

Vertical pass protection chart

The first figures add sacks, tackles for losses, pressures and total penalties. The second is the number of pass completions for 10-plus yards vs. the total amount of passes completed.

Zeitler: 0.0 sack + 0.0 TFL + 0.0 pressure + 2 penalty = 2.0 (No. 1). 60.7 percent 10-plus (No. 1). Points: 10 (No. 1).

Asamoah: 3.0 sack + 5.0 TFL + 1.0 pressure + 2 penalty = 8.0 (No. 3). 41.9 percent 10-plus (No. 2). Points: 7 (No. 2).

Beadles: 1.5 sack + 7.5 TFL + 3.0 pressure + 4 penalty = 14.5 (No. 5). 36.7 percent 10-plus (No. 3). Points: 4 (No. 4).

Iupati: 0.0 sack + 0.0 TFL + 1.0 pressure + 4 penalty = 5.0 (No. 2). 36.7 percent 10-plus (No. 4). Points: 6 (No. 3).

Johnson: 0.5 sack + 3.5 TFL + 5 pressure + 2 penalty = 10.5 (No. 4). 31.1 percent 10-plus (No. 5). Points: 3 (No. 5).

Final report card

This chart lists the statistics compiled by each guard during their respective seasons…AC indicates points scored in the above Against the Competition category…BP indicates points scored in the above Blocking Performance Chart category…DP indicates points scored in the above Drive Blocking Performance Chart category…VP indicates points scored in the above Vertical Pass Protection Blocking Performance Chart category.

Zeitler: 20 AC, 24 BP, 14 DP, 10 VP — 68 points (No. 1).

Asamoah: 9 AC, 13 BP, 9 DP, 7 VP — 38 points (No. 3).

Beadles: 6 AC, 6 BP, 4 DP, 4 VP — 20 points (No. 5).

Iupati: 18 AC, 17 BP, 13 DP, 6 VP — 54 points (No. 2).

Johnson: 10 AC, 16 BP, 5 DP, 3 VP — 34 points (No. 4).

Averages: 12.6 AC, 15.2 BP, 9.0 DP, 6.0 VP — 42.8 points.

NFL Draft Report's Scouting Report on Kevin Zeitler



Player School Jersey Year Entered Position
Kevin Zeitler Wisconsin 70 2008 Guard
Height Weight Time (40) Time (20) Time (10)
6:03.4 322 5.12 2.94 1.78
Squat 20-yd Shuttle Three-cone Drill Vertical Jump Broad Jump
530 4.78 7.60 30" 9'2"
Bench Press Arms Hands Wing Span Position Pro Rank
450 31 7/8 9 3/4 80 1/2 Guard
2011 Best Games Nevada-Las Vegas, Oregon State, Northern Illinois, South Dakota, Nebraska, Indiana, Purdue, Penn State, Michigan State (both games).
2011 Worst Games Oregon (Rose Bowl).
2010 Best Games Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State, Purdue, Michigan, Northwestern.
2010 Worst Games Iowa, Indiana.
Body Structure Zeitler has a thick frame, but could carry at least another fifteen pounds of bulk with no loss in quickness. He has a solid build with good arm length, big hands, thick upper body region (chest), firm midsection with a strong lower frame and a good overall offensive lineman's physique.
General Report
Athletic Ability (7.4) Zeitler displays good foot quickness for a down lineman. He demonstrates the agility and initial burst to get into the second level without lumbering. He consistently plays on his feet and shows the low pad level, balance and ability to keep his hands inside his frame when mirroring a defender (see 2010 Northwestern and TCU games). He is quite flexible when redirecting and while he lacks the ideal height you look for on the corners, he could earn additional playing time as an offensive tackle due to his ability to locate and attack speed rushers. He shows good acceleration on the move, doing a good job of getting in front on traps and pulls. He is quick when changing direction and generally keeps his head on a swivel, looking for other defenders to attack. He also has the quickness off the snap to get into defenders and gain leverage. His balance and body control allow him to get down field and in position to neutralize the linebackers at the second level. He shows good knee bend and leverage, doing a nice job of shifting his weight when redirecting. He has very good explosiveness with his hips on contact. He rarely overextends in pass protection and is a naturally strong athlete who delivers a punishing hand punch. He moves athletically and with balance, showing nimble feet for a player of his size…Grade One-7.0

2011 Update-Zeitler showed impressive speed and balance, especially when blocking or running interference on the team's "power-left" sweeps, producing most of his Big Ten record 33 touchdown-resulting blocks on the move. He displayed good foot quickness and body positioning to deliver crunching blocks while working down the line (see 2011 Northern Illinois, Nebraska, Indiana and Penn State games). He also demonstrated much better explosion and functional strength behind his punch, along with flashing good agility when changing direction in pass protection. He demonstrates good knee bend and hip flexibility to stay low in his pads while still firing off the snap in an instant.

Football Sense (7.9) Zeitler shows the ability to read and react quickly on stunts and games. He makes good adjustments on the field. He is the type that needs only minimal reps in order to retain plays. He puts in the extra hours in the film room and is more of a technique-oriented type than one that will rely on his first instincts. He is very alert to the blitz, showing the foot slide to mirror his opponent. He does a good job of seeing schemes develop at the X's. The coaches had him working on snapping duties in preseason camp, looking to possibly utilize him at center, if injuries deplete the front wall. It might be an eventual position for him in the NFL, as he is smart enough to be relied upon to make the blocking calls. He has that natural feel for defensive schemes and easily adjusts. He is very adept at switching off vs. stunts (see 2010 Purdue and Iowa games) and with just one penalty in 30 games, you can see he is more than capable of handling the mental aspect of the game… Grade One-7.7

2011 Update-Zeitler is very alert on the field, evident by his ability to work down the line and locate other targets when venturing into the second level (see 2011 Nebraska, Indiana and Minnesota games). He is a student of the game, putting in the extra hours in the film room to further game plan vs. an upcoming opponent.

Character (7.5) Zeitler is called a good mentor for the younger players and a fine program performer by the coaching staff. He is a respectful sort who is well liked and the type that you can always count on to live up to his word. He has no known off-field issues. He comes from a supportive family and has an even-keeled attitude off the field, but on the gridiron, he shows good nastiness in his game. He has taken on more of a leadership role this year and will be the offensive line's anchor. He has the mental ability to make line call adjustments, if needed…Grade One-7.0

2011 Update-Zeitler seemed to have come into his own as a mentoring factor for an offensive line that was changing due to graduations, and later, due to injuries on the front wall. He seemed much more calmer in his approach to the game, as he used to be very hyper, to the point his teammates called him "The Terminator" because he was wound pretty tight, as other linemen attested to. He has great work habits and character, especially since he was given the opportunity to play at his "high" level in 2011.

Competitiveness (8.0) Zeitler is a player that loves to mix it up in the trenches. He relies a lot on technique and while he can be an effective mauler, he is not the type that gets rattled under pressure or one that will get overaggressive. The thing you see on every play is that he will not quit until the whistle. He uses his strength well to simply drive defenders off the ball. He is the type that is always looking for defenders to hit. He plays with enthusiasm and knows how to keep his temper in check (only one penalty in two-plus years as a starter), but will not hesitate to throw down and mix it up in the trenches. He works to finish blocks and covers defenders up with his consistency at the X's. The thing you see on film is that he is not wild and mistake-prone like the popular John Moffitt, rather taking that businessmen's approach, but don't be fooled, he wants to win every battle in the trenches…Grade One-7.5

2011 Update-There is a reason that Zeitler was called "The Terminator" by teammates in the past – he plays with a very aggressive nature. Still, he showed remarkable field savvy, cutting down on costly mistakes, and even when he missed an assignment, he quickly blocked it out and got on to the next play. He battled through ankle woes early in the season, but still played with great physicality and aggression. He consistently finished blocks and one look at his blocking performance totals (97% grade, 142 knockdowns, 33 TD-resulting blocks), he has laid claim to the title of being the best offensive guard in the collegiate game.

WORK HABITS (7.8) Zeitler is a great program mentor, as he is one of the hardest workers on the team. He is very coachable and does whatever is needed by the staff. He is a smart, self-motivated type and football is very important to him. He is accountable, dependable and takes well to hard coaching. He will not hesitate to get on teammates he feels are slacking on the field, where he performs with quite a nasty edge to him. He is not a player the coaches need to push in order to perform at the X's. He shows good confidence in his strength and speed. As hard as he works in the weight room, he works even harder during the game, showing the perfect nasty disposition you want from a blocker in the trenches…

Grade One-7.5 2011 Update-Zeitler always works hard and with the departure of several seniors, he took on a more vocal role in 2011. He is a "freak of nature" with his ability to dissect plays and easily pick up twists and games, likening his field savvy to that of Steve Hutchinson (Minnesota) in his prime, as he takes pride in every aspect of his game preparation.

Athletic Report (7.81)
Initial Quickness (7.8) Zeitler displays very good initial quickness, getting his hands up and in the defender's chest on the rise, in order to control and position. He is light on his feet for a player his size, ideal for the short pulls and traps (see 2010 Michigan State, Iowa, Purdue and Northwestern games). With his explosive burst, he easily gains advantage on the defender. He has the balance and change of direction agility to get out front on traps and pulls. He can gain advantage on scoop and reach blocks thanks to his quick first step. He shows good hip strike and suddenness getting out of his stance and moving up field… Grade One-7.3

2011 Update-Zeitler showed impressive initial quickness out of his stance, maintaining that low pad level needed to deliver all those quality down blocks he produced on the move as a senior (see 2011 Nebraska, Indiana, Minnesota, Penn State and Big Ten title clash vs. Michigan State games). He demonstrated above average suddenness and snap quickness to consistently gain advantage. He flashes good knee bend, as his feet sometimes looks quicker than the ball carriers that follow him around the corners.

Lateral Movement (7.5) Zeitler shows good urgency getting out of his stance and pulling. He has the lateral agility to make adjustments at the line of scrimmage, showing fluid hip snap when trying to plant and redirect. The thing you notice on film is the way he maintains balance on the short pull while displaying good lower body flexibility (see 2010 Minnesota and Purdue games)…Grade One-6.5

2011 Update-Zeitler displayed very good lateral quickness moving in the short areas and was quite effective locating and neutralizing second level defenders. He plays with a good base and keeps his hands inside his frame, which helps him maintain balance and generate a fluid change of direction running interference on the power sweeps.

Balance/Stays on Feet (7.8) Zeitler has the footwork and strength to anchor and hold his ground at the point of attack. He is quick off the snap, usually getting advantage on the defender due to his ability to stay on his feet. He stays low in his pads, works for position and uses his hands well to lock on and finish. With his balance and footwork, he has excellent mirror ability. Even with his quickness, he shows good patience to sustain blocks. When in pass protection, his footwork in retreat allows him to get back and protect the pocket from edge rushers (see 2010 Purdue, Northwestern and Texas Christian games). He has good knee bend and is not the type who will get straight-legged and bend at the waist. He is very good at keeping his feet on the move, as you almost never see him flop around some working long distances. He demonstrates good body control when working on short pulls. At the line of scrimmage, he has the quick feet and balance to slide and sustain, doing so with good flexibility. He is simply a tough position blocker who shows consistency working to finish. When he gains position and keeps his base wide, he will generally win most battles…Grade One-7.3

2011 Update-Zeitler flashes above average ability to position and sustain, thanks to quick feet and a sudden change of direction movement that sees him readily adjust and finish, especially when delivering backside blocks (rare for a guard) or attacking second level defenders. He has the ability and suddenness to get into a defender's body and keep anchor when taking on the bull rush (see 2011 South Dakota, Indiana, Purdue and Penn State games).

Explosion/Pop (7.7) Zeitler has a hand punch former President Bush would be proud of, as he can easily shock-&-awe a defender. He fires off the snap with a low stance, getting that explosive thrust from his strong lower frame to prevent bull rushers from walking him back into the pocket (has never allowed a sack or pressure in his last 39 games). He is a savvy player who combines strength and quickness to generate explosive pop in his drive blocking. He plays with above average leverage and shows more than enough hand usage and power to drive the defenders out of the hole. This year, he has shown steady improvement in getting his hands up quickly on the rise to jolt defenders with his punch. He is active with his arms in attempts to leverage and sustain. He uses his leg drive well to fire off the snap, showing good hip rotation and surge in short yardage situations. He can generate enough explosiveness to be effective on the short pull. His strength allows him to neutralize the defender's charge and create movement. When he plays at a proper pad level, he shows the ability to sink his hips and use his lower body to explode into his man. When he gets too high in his stance, he fails to roll his hips and pop into blocks…Grade One-7.1

2011 Update-Zeitler has above average strength, which he combines with quickness for explosion, showing very good pop with his surge to generate movement. He hits with sudden force application and can impact with his hands once he gets into a defender's jersey, compensating for a lack of ideal arm length (31 7/8-inch length). The thing you see on film, especially when running interference, is his ability to roll his hips on blocks to deliver more pop and force behind his blocks.

Run Blocking (8.2) Zeitler has the strength and quickness you look for in a trap blocker, as he consistently creates space and finish blocks for the ground game (see 2010 Minnesota, Iowa, Purdue, Indiana and Michigan games). He has the hand usage to initiate contact, lock on and drive off the defender, along with the leg drive to control multiple opponents or assist his center and tackle on combo blocks/double teams. He is equally effective in space and working in-line, as he can get movement and widen the rush lanes between the tackles, along with demonstrating the valid speed to enter the second level and stalk linebackers. His lower body strength lets him flash into the defender and drive his opponent quickly off the ball. He blocks with a flat back and locks on to the defender quickly to move his man out of level one. His ability to keep his pad level low and play with leverage lets him control the action with his quick initial step. He has made great strides in this area due to his ability to bend at the knees and drive to get movement when working in-line. He rarely loses his base at the X's and excels at walling off and screening, especially when he rolls his hips on contact…Grade One-8.0

2011 Update-Nobody, repeat, nobody in college football has had the success that Zeitler has shown leading the way on sweeps around the corners (see 2011 UNLV, Oregon State, Northern Illinois, both Michigan State games, Purdue and Penn State contests). He has the functional strength to impact and rock a defender back with his initial hit and shows the nimble feet needed to get position, wall off and screen, thanks to consistently playing at a good pad level necessary to gain movement. He is a very good flat-back drive blocker who gets a fit and keeps it well. He can be a quality mauler (see battles vs. Penn State's DT tandem of Devon Still and Jordan Hill and in the two-game set vs. MSU's Jerel Worthy in 2011), thanks to keeping that flat back to go with good knee bend and ankle flexibility. You can also see his success in playing with a good base and balance, along with fluid body control in space.

Pass Blocking (7.5) Until this season, the passing game was not a focus for the Badgers' offense, but with the arrival of QB Russell Wilson, pass protection has taken on greater importance. Enter Kevin Zeigler, who opened the 2011 campaign with three consecutive blocking grades of a near-perfect 97% (graded 96% in Game Four, joining Joe Thomas from 2006 as the only Badgers to record four straight 90% blocking consistency performances this century). He has that strong hand punch and anchoring ability to shock the bull rushers, doing a very nice job of extending his arms while sliding his feet to maintain the integrity of the pocket. He stays square vs. movement and when challenged by multiple defenders, he uses his solid punch on the way to anchoring and stopping the charge. He understands the importance of protections and communicates well with the other blockers, especially his center (see 2011 South Dakota game). He plays flat-footed and can sink his hips to mirror, and it is very rare to see him drop his head at the X's. Earlier in his career, he used to get a little straight-legged trying to adjust and recover (see 2009 Iowa and Purdue games), but he showed improved flexibility and balance as a junior and even more as a senior. If he generates proper knee bend, he can anchor and slide when trying to set and base. He has allowed no sack or pressures in 30 games as a starter…Grade One-7.0

2011 Update-Zeitler plays with good base and quick feet in fan (pass) protection, as he is very conscious of picking up defenders to his outside shoulder (see both 2011 Michigan State and the Penn State games), as well as working in unison with the fullback in taking care of any up-the-middle blitzers. His vision is very good to anchor and hold at the point of attack. It is very rare to see him "out-quicked" when taking on quick edge rushers that get past the offensive tackle, as he is never late in recognizing and positioning vs. the stunts. He has that strong body base and positioning strength in pass protection, as that anchor allows him to slide, mirror and change direction to stay in front of his opponent.

Pulling/Trapping (8.3) Zeitler shows very good vision and ability to make contact on the move (see 2010 UNLV, Michigan State, Iowa, Northwestern and Indiana games). He maintains balance on the move and it is rare to see him lunge or get "top heavy" working in the second level. He shows ease of movement, quickness and high production on pulls and has no problems using his reach and hands to make contact with a moving target. He is very alert to schemes when in space and if you are looking for a guard to excel on the short pull and drive the defender off the ball on initial contact, Zeitler is your man. He is best working in the short area, as his quick first step usually allows him to gain advantage. He is a contact seeker who will land with violence at the X's. He is just as effective going long distances, as he never gets his base too narrow, nor fails to keep his feet under him. When working in the short area, he has the power, drive and wider base to maintain position…Grade One-7.4

2011 Update-The thing you have to like about Zeitler is his ability to play on his feet. He has sudden moves when going laterally after the snap to block on the outside (see 2011 Nebraska, Indiana, Purdue, Penn State and Big Ten title clash vs. Michigan State games). He has better quickness out of his stance and a first step than any other draft eligible guard. He also hits his targets well with intend to finish, along with very good agility to kick out or seal with hig efficiency. He accelerates out of his stance with good urgency, doing a nice job (especially to the left corner) of turning up and sealing inside, making good, physical contact to finish.

Adjustment on Linebacker Downfield (7.9) Zeitler is a classic contact seeker. He is an above average second level blocker with the athletic ability and flexibility to deliver punishing blocks on the move, using his nimble feet to adjust and get in position to absorb contact. He is quite capable of firing out and neutralizing blitzing linebackers, demonstrating proper body control to adjust on the move. The thing you see on film is that he will not hesitate to hustle and look people up down field. He has learned how to utilize his change of direction agility to take better angles and shorten the field. When he maintains balance redirecting, he is capable of tracking and landing on the linebacker…Grade One-7.2

2011 Update-Zeitler's success on the pulls and traps is from his ability to consistently reach and make the cut-off block. He takes proper angles working into the second level and is consistent adjusting his feet to stay up and finish (see 2011 Nebraska, Indiana, Ohio State and Penn State games). He makes good adjustments on second level chip blocks, which is more typical for a running back than a guard, but he knows how to slow down an opponent so another lineman can take a better angle on the opponent.

Use of Hands/Punch (7.7) Zeitler has a very strong punch and active hand usage. He consistently gets placement and has the strength to grab and control. With his powerful hand punch, he can stymie a defender in an instant. When making contact, he will usually put the defenders up on their heels. He can generate very good power to shock and jolt when he gets his hands into the defender's chest. He has improved greatly his recoil and recovery quickness (his hand speed could see him eventually shift to center). His powerful short punch is a dangerous weapon when working in-line. As he became more confident in his hands, he was able to shock and knock down defenders with very good consistency. Thanks to his hand strength, when he locks on to a defender, he will usually control the play. On run blocks he comes off the snap low, using his hands to pop the defender into the chest and ride out his blocks. He also showed improvement in using his hands effectively to keep defenders off his pads…Grade One-7.4

2011 Update-some teams might not like his adequate arm length, but he compensates with quick hands and a strong punch. He showed in 2011 that he was more conscious of keeping his hands inside the framework of a defensive tackle (see 2011 Penn State, Purdue and both Michigan State games) and good lock-out skills on his blocks. He might not have that long reach teams like, but he gets proper separation and extension by using his strength and constantly keeping his feet moving while driving in front of his man. When his hands explode into an opponent, he can jolt, get control and lock out his assignment consistently.

Reactions/Awareness (7.7) Zeitler keeps his head on a swivel and even savvy defenders fail to fool him. He uses his foot quickness and balance to slide and redirect in pass protection and is smart enough to know when he is needed to help out other blockers. He gets good depth with his kick slide and even though Wisconsin does not run an NFL-traditional offense, his ability to locate targets on the field and recognize schemes should see him be a relied-upon type of NFL blocker as a rookie. His lateral agility, lower body flexibility and field alertness allow him to do a very good job of redirecting and picking up stunts. He shows the vision to easily pick up twists and will pivot to recover when he misses a block. He works well with his center switching on stunts and also has the ability to combo with his tackles when picking up the outside blitz. He is very good at using his nimble feet to move out the pile and shuffles those feet with effectiveness to neutralize linebackers trying to shut down the rush lanes…Grade One-7.5

2011 Update-Zeitler plays with good instincts and reactions as an in-line drive blocker and also when coming off on second level defenders. He gets a good kick in his lateral slide and knows how to keep his hands active inside the defender's jersey without getting caught by the refs. He is quick to redirect and recover when a defender gets by him, as he utilizes his change of direction skills to get right back into the play.

Summation 2011 Preseason Analysis…Zeitler has to be the most underrated blocker in the nation. Perhaps due to all the press accorded John Moffitt and Gabe Carimi in 2010, few realize (scouts noticed though) that he actually had a better season than that tandem. He has all the tools and ability to be a dominant run blocker at the NFL level. He has the quickness and lateral movement to slide and adjust to the defender's moves and consistently sustains blocks. I love the way he redirects and switches off blocks when working with his center to widen the inside rush lanes or when taking on stunts and blitzes. He has a good punch with strong hands, along with the arm length to jolt and control his man coming off the snap. He is a nasty blocker in the trenches and works his feet well to drive the defender off the ball. He has the athletic ability to get down field and stalk second level opponents, along with the vision to locate and make contact on the move. He is a top-notch pull blocker who never gets top heavy or caught out of position. As a pass blocker, he is quick to set and uses his lower body strength to anchor, keeping his hands active in attempts to lock out and create separation. His comparison below speaks volumes for the respect scouts are according him.

2011 Update…Zeitler has very good base strength and quickness, leading to his team's success in scoring when using him as a lead blocks on traps and pulls. He has loose hips and a strong upper body frame, along with ideal anchor ability for a guard. He fits all the intangibles you look for in an interior blocker, as his adequate arm length is not really suited for him playing tackle at the next level. He is one of the best draft eligible prospects in getting into the second level, where he consistently delivers the cut-offs and chip blocks needed to impact the ground game. He plays with a flat back, along with good lateral quickness at the line of scrimmage. On in-line blocks, he will fight and finish his pancake blocks, then, play off his man to find a secondary target to attack. He has a strong hand punch and quick placement, as he keeps his shoulders square on double teams and combo blocks. With his leg drive, low pad level and punch, he has no problems rooting out level-one defenders and good instincts, along with quick change of direction agility to get to the back-side linebackers and blitzers in pass protection. He stays on his feet executing the trap block and plays with good toughness and knee bend moving down the line. You can see his ability to get depth with vertical sets in fan protection, where he easily drops his weight and anchors.

Compares To LOGAN MANKINS-New England…Like Mankins, Zeitler has had great success as a drive blocker the last two years, but he is also a very effective pass blocker, evident by the team's marked improvement with their aerial game in 2011. He is a tough second level stalker with above average quickness and athletic ability for a down lineman. His continued success during his senior year, if followed by a dominant performance in the Senior Bowl, will make him one of the first guards to hear his name called in April 2012 (NFL Draft).

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