Mike Hull isn't the only stud defensive player for Penn State. Anthony Zettel has been making just as many plays for the Nittany Lion defense.
Penn State may not have the same feel on defense as they used to, but they still have some sound defensive players. Anthony Zettel reminds you of what PSU is known for. He is a tough defender that is athletic, plays with a high motor, and plays through the whistle. Zettle refuses to give up on any play. Zettel is smaller than the the past DTs from PSU, but his motor is just as high. At 6’4 275, Zettel has the size and versatility to play all over the DL. He can line up at DE and set the edge, or rush the passer. He can line up as the 3 technique as well. He has the strength to fight off interior DL and has the speed to beat them off of the snap. PSU has even used Zettel to spy the QB, and drop in coverage.
He did all of these things against Ohio State. In the second half, Penn State was down 17-0. Zettle dropped back as a QB spy, playing underneath zone. The OSU’s QB Barrett, was flushed from the pocket and threw the ball. Barrett didn’t see Zettle, and ended up throwing it right to him. The INT wasn’t enough, as Zettle burst down the side line for a TD.
Strengths: Anthony Zettle is a motor, athletic DT, that continues to make plays all over the defense. He has good burst off the snap, and plays low, giving him plenty of leverage. He is stronger than his size suggests, and is tough as nails. He can take a shot, and get right back up. A sure tackler, that doesn’t allow strong runners to get through his grasps. He has recorded a sack in all but two games he has played in this season, and has recored 2 ints, and 1 TD.
Weaknesses: He is athletic, but he is still limited at times. He tends to over pursue, opening up bigger running lanes. When faced with big, strong, interior OL, he tends to struggle if he lets them get his hands on him first. He plays a little undisciplined, and doesn’t always make his reads.
Overall: Zettle has a very high ceiling. With proper coaching, Zettle can be a play maker at the next level. He can fit into any defensive system, but he fits bets in a 4 man front. With his production this season, 21 tackles, 4 sacks, 2 passes defensed, 2 ints, and 1 td, he is showing he could immediately step in and play on passing downs for any team. Look for Zettle to be a Day 2 or early Day 3 pick.
Video Courtesy of DraftBreakdown.com