The SB Nation two-round NFL mock draft continues along with each lead NFL team blogger making the pick for their team. Up now is the Baltimore Ravens.
With the 29th pick in the 2012 SB Nation NFL Writers Mock Draft, the Baltimore Ravens select Wisconsin guard Kevin Zeitler.
Bruce Raffel, the site manager of Baltimore Beatdown checks in with his reasoning behind the pick and I respond after the jump. For the latest on the Ravens, make sure to check out BaltimoreBeatdown.com.
Bruce Raffel explains: The Baltimore Ravens need to find a replacement for left guard Ben Grubbs, who bolted for the big bucks in free agency to the New Orleans Saints. The Ravens have mentioned trying last year’s 3rd round draft pick, Jah Reid, into that position, one that he has never played before. Ironically, the choice here was between Zeitler and his Wisconsin teammate, center Peter Konz. Konz is leaving college after his junior year and has been recovering from a dislocated ankle that kept him out of the second half of the 2011 season, and disappointed at the Combine in the bench press, putting up only 18 reps. Zeitler, which had 32 reps at the Combine, is a mauler while Konz is more of a wall-off blocker, which is not what the Ravens need in putting a lot of emphasis on the running game. Zeitler led the nation for knockdown blocks with 142 and had 33 blocks that led to touchdowns. This draft pick will be the type that the Ravens "plug-and-play" right away as soon as he hits the team’s practice field.
Dan Kadar responds: Although I have Konz rated considerably higher than Zeitler, it won't be a shock if the draft plays out this way. Zeitler is a smart, physical blocker who can play anywhere on the line except left tackle. He's a still-improving player who could become one of the better guards in the NFL in a short time.
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