On Monday, New Orleans Saints guard Carl Nicks told the world that he expects to be the highest paid guard in the NFL. In all likelihood, he will be. However, teams needing help at the guard position, like the St. Louis Rams, can find cheaper help elsewhere. Stanford's David DeCastro has teams and draftniks excited. Prospects like Georgia's Cordy Glenn and Wisconsin's Kevin Zeitler are other headliners in a draft class deep with interior linemen.
Zeitler has been generating plenty of buzz in the wake of his pro day last week. With two picks early in the second round, Zeitler is a name the Rams should get to know.
Zeitler was an FBS Coaches All-American and a All Big Ten First Teams player last year, his senior season, at Wisconsin. He blew it up at the Combine, and reports were that he pleased teams in the interview process as well as with his work in drills.
In drills he showed off the power and athleticism desired in a starting guard. Many experts already had him pegged as a guy who could start on day one in the NFL.
And then he had his pro day.
Here's the report from Russ Lande at the Sporting News:
Zeitler (6-4, 312 pounds) continued his impressive postseason with a tremendous Pro Day, according to sources who watched the workout. He displayed functional athletic ability during all the offensive line drills, maintained an excellent base and was impressive in the pulling drills. He impressed everyone with his preparedness, intensity and professionalism, the same traits that helped him start 35 of his final 39 games for the Badgers.
Lande continued, citing personnel people who raved about Zeitler.
He earned even more praise from Tony Pauline at SI.com.
The dominant run blocker showed terrific power in bag drills and easily moved about the field during motion drills. After his workout those in attendance used words such as "outstanding" and "beastly" to describe Zeitler, whose swiftly rising up boards. The Badger senior has locked himself up as a top-45 choice and there's a feeling he could slide into the late part of Round 1.
The Rams have two picks early in the second round, #33 and #39. Whether or not they spend one of those on a guard remains to be seen. This is a talented class of linemen, and they could probably find a guard in the third round, someone like Brandon Brooks of Miami (Ohio).