2017 free agent target: Bengals offensive lineman Kevin Zeitler

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

As we approach 2017 free agency, I'd like to try and analyze some of the potential targets for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Pictures are worth a thousand words, so I will be conducting my analysis primarily through the use of a few GIFs I captured via YouTube.

This week, we'll be discussing Cincinnati Bengals guard Kevin Zeitler (No. 68) -- currently 26 years old and listed at 6'4" and 320 pounds. Out of Wisconsin, Zeitler was selected by the Bengals in the 2012 draft as the No. 27 overall pick, playing primarily at the right guard position.

Zeitler is very quick for his position and does a good job progressing from one block to another. While he isn't a traditional mauler at the right guard position, Zeitler is generally viewed as one of the better guards in the NFL. He is solid in both run blocking and pass blocking.

From what I've seen, he has troubles negating bull rushes from the stronger tackles in the league (think Ndamukong Suh, Marcell Dareus, Gerald McCoy) but he is a good lateral blocker -- able to quickly mirror the defender's moves. I believe Zeitler would excel in a zone blocking scheme, where he could use his acceleration and speed to get opposing defenders off-balance in the run game. While he has the speed to get downfield blocks, he isn't always aggressive in pursuing those blocks.

And now, let's get to the GIFs.

Zeitler at his best

In the below clip, Zeitler helps double block the nose tackle. He looks for the next block and gets to the second level. Then he locks on to Lawrence Timmons, pushing him back into the end zone. He basically paves the way for his back to score this touchdown.

Zeitler vs. Timmons

The lowlights

Here, Zeitler is matched up on Suh. He gets blasted back onto one leg from the bull rush. Luckily, he's able to stabilize, but could just as easily have been chucked aside.


Next, Zeitler gets out to block for a screen pass, but doesn't notice the corner who comes off his route to make the tackle.


Zeitler gets beat easily by Derek Wolfe with a swim move.


Stephon Tuitt goes through Zeitler, but luckily for the Bengals the defender but loses his balance.


The highlights

Zeitler makes two blocks before his back even hits the hole. He opens the gap just enough that Jeremy Hill is able to jump through for the touchdown.


Like a heat-seeking missile, Zeitler bursts to the second level and makes sure Brandon Marshall has no chance to affect the goal line play.


It's just rare to see a guard with his speed. Pulls and gets downfield to make the block on Washington cornerback Bashaud Breeland.


Zeitler is extremely physical here, easily transitioning from one block to the next.


As always, please feel free to leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below. Thanks!

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