Feb. 19, 2012; Madison, WI, USA; Wisconsin Badgers football player Kevin Zeitler performs with his teammates and the dance team during a timeout as the Wisconsin Badgers basketball team plays the Penn State Nittany Lions at the Kohl Center. Wisconsin defeated Penn State 65-55. Mandatory Credit: Mary Langenfeld-US PRESSWIRE
When the Bengals were on the clock at No.21 and Stanford guard David DeCastro looked to be still on the board, fans figured the team would jump at the draft's highest-rated player at the position. The team opted to take a trade from the New England Patriots, where they swapped picks and added the No. 93 overall selection (a late third round pick) and then made a somewhat surprising selection by selecting Wisconsin guard, Kevin Zeitler at No.27. Georgia's versatile lineman, Cordy Glenn, was also a possibility that many thought that the team would take a flyer on.
But, as it turns out, the Bengals had Zeitler ranked as high (or higher) than any interior lineman in the entire draft. Kevin Goheen of The CIncinnati Enquirer spoke to offensive line coach, Paul Alexander, and tweets:
Other media members that spoke to the Bengals have confirmed their take on the lineman. While NFL Network's Mike Mayock labeled Zeitler as a "plug and play guard", the Bengals Twitter account echoed that sentiment via Alexander, saying that Zeitler will be playing right guard and backing up at center. With that statement, it would appear that Zeitler would supplant Clint Boling, Jacob Bell and Otis Hudson for that position.
Both Lance McCalister and Joe Reedy confirmed the take of Alexander, noting that the team did grade Zeitler as the top interior lineman in the draft. While most figured that fellow Badger and hybrid center/guard, Peter Konz, would fall to the Baltimore Ravens, it's possible that Zeitler was Baltimore's target all along and it could prove to be a good decision for Cincinnati after all.
Furthermore, for those Bengals fans that are worried about the team taking chances on character players and/or "unintelligent" players, it's been reported that Zeitler is the antithesis of both of those negative traits. Aside from reporting that Zeitler was the primary interior lineman target for the Bengals, McCalister also notes that he scored an astounding score of 40 on the Wonderlic test. For those still not convinced of the Zeitler pick, Goheen notes that the team likened Zeitler to fellow Bengals line mate, Andrew Whitworth.
Though the team passed on a possible strong prospect in David DeCastro and he unfortunately landed with the rival Steelers, we should be confident in the team's analysis of Zeitler and the role he'll be filling in CIncinnati.