Rookie guard Kevin Zeitler has a tremendous season that was worthy of netting the former Wisconsin Badger an alternate spot in the Pro Bowl, but it’s tough for rookie offensive lineman to get a lot of recognition in their first year. It wasn’t his best day as Bengal on Sunday however, as the Pittsburgh Steelers‘ veteran defensive line took advantage of the rookie as he earned his worst-rating (-5.2) of the 2012 season according to Pro Football Focus. It was also just his second negative grade this year, the first of which coming in Week 1 in his Monday night NFL debut blocking Ravens All-Pro nose tackle Haloti Ngata(he earned a 0.4 grade)
It’s just a reminder of how well Zeitler has played this year. To think the Bengals nabbed him with the 27th pick in the 2012 Draft seems like one of the bigger steals now. His +12.4 grade is the second-highest of any rookie NFL offensive lineman. PFF also has him ranked ninth in their rookie offensive player of the year rankings. Barring injury, the Bengals have the interior of their offensive line set for the foreseeable future.