The 2016 NFL Draft will take place next week, starting Thursday, April 28 and ending on two days later on April 30. Maryland has a few players who will surely be drafted, plus a couple others who could sneak into the late rounds or will at least be fighting for roster spots in training camp. We'll break down all of them.
Andrew Zeller had a perfectly productive Maryland football career. The Terps' offensive line swung up and down over his four years in College Park, but Zeller was among its most consistent performers. He started all 25 games Maryland played in his final two years, and he demonstrated time and time again he wasn't overwhelmed against some of the Big Ten's talented interior defensive linemen. Zeller proved he could hold his own against very good players.
Now, Zeller is trying to break into the NFL. It's a hard job for any player, but it's probably especially hard for Zeller. He plays offensive guard, easily the most replaceable and devalued position on the offensive line. Most tackles and centers can shift to guard without too much trouble, and guards don't have the same portfolio as their line colleagues. They don't have the communicative responsibilities of a center or the edge responsibilities of a tackle, and they have help on either side of them. Guards at the bottom of NFL rosters are dime-a-dozen, and that makes it hard to stick.
No major draft analyst has projected Zeller to be drafted. NFLDraftScout ranks Zeller 47th among guards in this year's class.
31 starts in four seasons.
40-yard dash: 5.01 seconds
225-pound bench reps: 19
Vertical jump: 34 inches
Broad jump: 9 feet 8 inches
Weight: 297 pounds
*Stats are unofficial.
Where Zeller goes from here
It wouldn't be surprising at all for Zeller to get a training camp invitation from really any team in the league. He doesn't have wowing physical statistics (19 bench repetitions are not a ton), but on some metrics, he rates terrifically as an athlete. He has good size and has a strong reputation as a good teammate and person. It'd be surprising if Zeller were drafted, but it'd also be surprising if he stayed unsigned for long after that. He should get a chance somewhere.