Anthony Zettel, DT
School: Penn State | Conference: BIG 10
College Experience: Senior | Age: 23
Height / Weight: 6-4 / 277 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 4th or 5th Round
NFL Comparison: William Hayes
Anthony Zettel is the type of player that presents real value in the mid to late rounds. Coaches will not only value his versatility having played DE and DT in Penn State's 4-3 front (and even dropping into coverage sometimes too) but they will love his toughness, tenacity, and work ethic. Zettel played DE in his junior year and put up an impressive statistical season, he was moved inside to DT next to Austin Johnson his senior year and still put up a solid performance. Position and scheme fit will all be questions to evaluators looking at Zettel but he is doing his best to maximize his value. At the combine he participated in both DL and LB drills. Most recently at Penn State's pro day he also worked out at TE.
He's a tough player that has overcome change on the football field and loss in his personal life. Earlier this year Zettel lost his father to cancer on a Friday night, on Saturday afternoon he played on the football field. He finished that game (against San Diego State) with 7 tackles, a fumble recovery, half a sack, and a pass defended.
- Relentless style of play has a non-stop motor. As he says "100% effort".
- Has an excellent get off on the snap.
- Aware and perceptive, reads the QB's eyes and plays passing lanes with patience knocking the ball down or even intercepting it.
- Has a nice spin move and can slap the hand of lineman down while using his burst to get to the QB.
- Known for his sportsmanship and leadership quality at Penn State.
- Undersized for the DT position in any scheme, prototypically his best fit is likely as a 4-3 DE.
- Struggled to take on multiple blockers and clog gaps while playing DT.
- Will be overpowered by NFL LT's particularly on running plays (if he plays that side). He struggled when taking on Taylor Decker in the Ohio State game. Would benefit him to get to an NFL strength and positioning program where he could add a bit more strength and mass if he could manage.
Let's see his work:
PSU D-linemen Austin Johnson, Carl Nassib & Anthony Zettel seemed to have good days. One scouting director said all move well, day 2-3 pix.— Kimberly Jones (@KimJonesSports) March 17, 2016
Kyle Carter and Anthony Zettel running patterns for scouts at Pro Day. pic.twitter.com/PXSc2LI0Fx— Sean Fitz (@seanfitz247) March 17, 2016
D-line testing happening now. Anthony Zettel: pic.twitter.com/3G5MOdNpmG— Erin McCarthy (@ErinMcPSU) March 17, 2016
Noah Spence, Shaq Lawson, Carl Nassib & Anthony Zettel (#WeAre) among those taking part in LB drills after D-line group 2.— Kimberly Jones (@KimJonesSports) February 28, 2016
Charles Tapper and Anthony Zettel are interesting DE/DT tweeners that Jim Schwartz could like.— Tommy Lawlor (@lawlornfl) February 28, 2016
Penn St DT Anthony Zettel said he loves watching #Rams DT Aaron Donald. "He's a get-off guy."— Eric Edholm (@Eric_Edholm) February 26, 2016
Also got to ask Mel Kiper about Anthony Zettel. Grades him in 5th round but impressed with him. Said he will play in NFL. #PennState— Richard Scarcella (@nittanyrich) February 23, 2016
I really like DT Anthony Zettel's work ethic. Does anything it takes to get off blocks. He disrupts so many plays.— Jayson Braddock (@JaysonBraddock) February 16, 2016
Anthony Zettel spin move 1, Jack Conklin falling down 0 https://t.co/wLZ9jtQR6n— Jeff Risdon (@JeffRisdon) February 13, 2016
Lethal stunt by Anthony Zettel. And Austin Johnson takes advantage. pic.twitter.com/DMtSKwZWY8— Ethan Young (@NFLDrafter) January 22, 2016
Anthony Zettel coverage rep! pic.twitter.com/TO7VQndb4A— Ethan Young (@NFLDrafter) January 22, 2016
How He Would Fit on the Redskins
I like Anthony Zettel a lot as a player. He is everything I think McCloughan looks for when he says "football player". However, I can't see him fitting well into what the Redskins do on defense. I think he lacks the ideal athleticism to be a 3-4 OLB and he doesn't have the mass to play DE in our system. I like him a lot better than I do say Trent Murphy but I think a conversion of position would be unfair to him and his skill set. As I mentioned before his likely fit is DE in a 4-3. His motor, initial and burst are going to make a 4-3 team in need of a pass rushing end very happy. Zettel is going to one of those hard working guys that's fun to watch on Sundays, one that sticks in the NFL for a long time because of his willingness to be a team player and adapt. He's the type you root for even if they aren't on your team.