Konz The ‘Best Center In Draft’

Wisconsin Badger C Peter Konz and OG Kevin Zeitler could fill areas of need.

Posted by Garrett Downing on Thursday, February 23rd, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Categories: 2012 Scouting Combine, Ryan Mink

The Wisconsin Badgers have a tradition of churning out offensive linemen.

It’s a factory the Ravens could be interested in tapping into in this year’s draft.

Center Peter Konz is expected to be a first-round pick, and has been one of the most popular picks to go to the Ravens at No. 29 in mock drafts.

Left guard Kevin Zeitler could be a second-round selection at another Baltimore area of need.

Konz did not speak to the media on Thursday, but Zeitler publicized his “best friend.”

“I think he’s the best center in the draft,” Zeitler said. “In my mind, I don’t think there’s anyone who can really compete with him.”

The second-best center available, according to projections, is Georgia’s Ben Jones. But he’s two inches shorter and 10 pounds lighter than Konz and seen to be a second or third-rounder.

The Pouncey twins, Maurkice and Mike, went with the 18th and 15th-overall picks to Pittsburgh and Miami, respectively, in the past two drafts. The 6-foot-5, 315-pound Konz could be the next in a line of first-round centers.

He’s regarded as a mobile center that also has the physicality up front to dominate in the run game. He has missed some time due to injuries the past two years, but the combination of size, strength and quickness make him an elite talent.

And when it comes to pedigree, there aren’t many schools that can compete with the offensive-line talent coming out of Wisconsin.

Last year, offensive tackle Gabe Carmini was taken by the Chicago Bears at No. 29. Konz and Zeitler are in competition to get drafted higher than their former teammate.

“There have been a lot of o-linemen that have come from Wisconsin and it proves that whatever we’ve been doing, it’s working,” Zeitler said. “It gives you a good idea that you will be able to play in this league.”

Zeitler is a 6-foot-4, 314-pounder who prides himself in his run blocking. He is compared to fellow Badgers guard Ben Moffit, who was taken by the Seattle Seahawks in the third round last year. Both are tenacious blockers who are also flexible to play center if needed.

Zeitler said he wasn’t sure whether the Ravens have an interview scheduled with him, but that he would be open to donning purple and black.

“That would be pretty cool,” the 6-foot-4, 314-pounder said. “I like the Baltimore Ravens.”

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