Tree Tackler Comes Donovan Smith Tested

January 19th, 2016
Anthony Zettel

Anthony Zettel

NFL hopefuls on the field at East-West Shrine Game practices rarely are exciting. Basically, they’re a group of eventual later-round draft picks, undrafted free agents and imported training camp meat in the CFL.

But there was one guy Joe had to talk to yesterday.

That was Penn State defensive end turned defensive tackle Anthony Zettel. In the video below, you’ll see the tree tackling — yes, tree tackling — and athleticism that made the 6-4, 284-pounder out of Penn State famous.

Zettel is an intriguing prospect. He’s got the size (not fat) and is likely to open eyes with his 40-yard-dash time, which could make him a true hybrid pass rusher in the NFL. He’s also a mature prospect, turning 24 in August after graduating.

Zettel also is Donovan Smith tested. The two spent years battling in practice. The great rookie success of Smith, as well solid NFL careers for other Penn State O-linemen Zettel faced in practice, including Ravens guard/center John Urschel, has Zettel confident he can succeed at the next level.

“Just having that perspective, and knowing that I’m older and more mature now, definitely gives me confidence,” Zettel said.

For now, Zettel says he’s being told he could be a fourth-round pick this season.

“I’m kind of a pass rush guy. I need to show that this week,” said Zettel, who had a eight sacks and three interceptions as a junior, before slipping to four sacks in 2015, a season during which his father passed away.

As much as the Bucs need a pass rush injection, Joe could see the Bucs targeting a guy like Zettel in the fifth round.

10 Responses to “Tree Tackler Comes Donovan Smith Tested”

  1. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    No late round projects please….use the picks to trade up for starters….we have plenty of FA money….and some good developing players on both sides of the ball….players like Howard Johnson, Jack Smith, William Gholston….Brate & Pamphile & Humphries on Offense.

    Lets target for starters……a Kick Returner & Speed at WR…and an upgrade at FB.

  2. buc4life1979 Says:

    This guy plays ALOT like a not so poor mans JJ Watt, NO BS. Go back and look over ALL his game tape, BUCS NEED THIS GUY^^^

  3. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Got LUV for Zettel

    He would make a solid 3 or 5 Tech

  4. Tomcin Says:

    I think this guy has a tremendes upside. Bucs should go after this guy. Maybe in the 3rd or 4th round.

  5. Pawel Says:

    This SC was hard to watch.

  6. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    Wonder if the Bucs are talking with Donavan Smith about this? Not that they would necessarily get an “honest” opinion since he’d be talking about a teammate, but they could at least gauge his strengths and weaknesses.

  7. Trubucfan22 Says:

    Those women were terrible on that video. So lifeless, and boring.

    He looks like he would be a great 3-4 DE. He’s kinda in the middle of a DT and traditional 4-3 DE. He could probably play any DLine position with some success. Would love to see the Bucs grab him in the 4th. He seems to have a cool personality and great work ethic.

  8. James Walker Says:

    According to most boards he will go undrafted.

  9. Espo Says:

    Buyer be warned. I remember Dekoda Watson doing hand stand push ups and running faster than most dbs. Freak athleticism doesn’t always translate to in game production. He does look very impressive though.

    I don’t know why there’s a problem with “late round projects.” We need depth at almost every position. Maybe some of those late picks will turn into something.

  10. James Walker Says:

    Write a story on a player and the homers want to pick him.