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Wisconsin linemen could fit in New England

02.23.12 at 9:31 pm ET

INDIANAPOLIS — Wisconsin is used to sending quality offensive linemen to the NFL. Last year, Outland Trophy winner Gabe Carimi declared himself the best tackle in the draft and went 29th overall to the Bears. This year, two of the best interior linemen in center Peter Konz and guard Kevin Zeitler.

Konz figures to be a first-round pick, while Zeitler could go in the second round. Zeitler met with the media Thursday at the scouting combine and said that he isn’t trying to go higher than Konz, his best friend on the team. Instead, the two have a mutual goal.

Said Zeitler: “Our goal is, ‘Hey, if we can beat Gabe from last year, that would be pretty cool.”

Zeitler, who says he measured in at “just under” 6-foot-4 and 314 pounds, could be a potential fit for the Pats, who could use a right guard. If they were so inclined to spend a first-rounder on a center, Konz could potentially replace free agent Dan Koppen. Konz got a ringing endorsement from Zeitler on Thursday.

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

If the Pats can’t get their hands on Konz or Georgia’s Ben Jones, Zeitler could also play center.

“I’ve been working at center,” he said. “Once Pro Day comes along, I’m hoping to show it off. I learned how to make calls the right way. I definitely want to show I can do that.”

Regardless of where he ends up or what position he ends up playing, Zeitler hopes to be the next Wisconsin offensive lineman to make a name for himself at the next level.

“There’s been a great tradition of offensive line there,” he said of Wisconsin. “We respect it. Nobody wants to be the guy that stops it. As a group, we try to work hard. It works.”

Read More: 2012 combine, 2012 NFL Draft, Kevin Zeitler, Peter Konz



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