2011 Draft Profiles: OT – Lee Ziemba
Daniel “Lee” Ziemba
Age: 23 years old
Experience: Senior (4 years)
Starts at LT: 51 games
Starts at RT: 0 games
Height: 6 feet 6 inches
Weight: 317 lbs.
Arm Length: 34.00 inches
Hand Width: 9.63 inches
Projection: Offensive Tackle/Guard
Round: 4th – 5th Round
Combine Results (Pro Day Results)
40 Yard Dash: 5.60 seconds
3-Cone Drill: 7.74 seconds
20-Yard Shuttle: 4.65 seconds
Bench Press: 20 reps
Vertical Jump: 29 inches
Broad Jump: 95 inches
Speed: Ziemba did not run the fastest forty at the combine, and he was well over half a second slower than the fastest offensive linemen. Despite solid marks for displaying a good ability to get down field to block consistently, his forty time is very underwhelming. The time he put up in Indy does not show any signs of being totally out of the ordinary for Ziemba, though, as his predicted time was only a 5.50 second forty. That would still have put him in the back half of the offensive linemen at the combine, and to be honest, is a rather poor showing for a guy with rather average weight for offensive tackles.
Agility: Despite his slow straight line result, Ziemba showed a rather respectable set of agility measurements. While not top 15 in any category, the results were firmly in the top half for offensive linemen even though he does not get very high marks at all for his agility and lateral movement. Ziemba simply lacks the good technique to fully utilize his natural lateral agility and so can get himself into trouble along the line. Out in space, though, Ziemba shows more ability to harness his agility to provide successful blocks ahead of runners and on screen passes.
Experience: Ziemba is one of the single most experienced linemen, and players overall for that matter, with 51 consecutive starts for Auburn since joining the team and taking over at left tackle as a true freshman in 2007. Ziemba has numerous accolades and awards, especially during the 2010 National Championship. He was voted as the best blocker in the SEC by coaches, and was a unanimous first team All-SEC selection, and was a second team All-American selection by the Associated Press. Ziemba was also on the watch list for both the Outland and Lombardi trophies for the best blockers in college football. As an Auburn player, Ziemba has played in numerous Bowl games and is accustomed to high pressure situations.
Size/Build: Ziemba has nearly average size in all facets for NFL offensive tackles. 6’6 is the average height for an offensive tackle, and weights range between 300 and 330 pounds, putting Ziemba, at 317 lbs, squarely in the middle of that range. Ziemba’s arm length is on the shorter side, but again with the normal range for offensive tackles spanning between 33″ and 36″, Ziemba’s 34″ wingspan isn’t out of the ordinary. That said, Ziemba had one of the single poorest showings for an offensive lineman at the bench press. While Ziemba gets high marks and is dubbed a “mauler” his arm strength is not what makes him so. He displays a very keen reaction to the snap and uses powerful legs to drive defenders off the line rather than using finesse or technique to manipulate defenders. Ziemba is essentially maxed out at his frame, but could do with more work strengthening his arms and legs.
Pass Blocking: Ziemba ended up fitting Auburn’s offense perfectly as he was not asked to pass block in a traditional sense. It was probably better that way as Ziemba was not particularly polished or technically sound as a pass blocker. He plays with an aggressiveness that is desirable for tackles, and does show a capability of being dominant but lacks too much of the fundamentals and basics to be an immediate impact player on the line, even with a move inside to guard. Unlike numerous prospects who are very technically sound, but lack the aggressive attitude, or the natural strength to be a top tier prospect, Ziemba lacks the mechanics, especially in pass protection.
Run Blocking: For Auburn, pass blocking is essentially run blocking, and run blocking is where Ziemba made his living. His powerful legs and excellent reaction to the pass allowed him to be the first to hit defenders. Throw in his aggressive blocking style and as a run blocker, his description of being a “mauler” is quite apt. Ziemba does have a tendency to lean into his blocks and get overbalanced, though, resulting in him tripping or stumbling and ending up on the turf. This, like many of his issues pass blocking, is mostly down to technique. With a couple of years of intensive training to work out the wrinkles in his game, Ziemba could very well end up being a starting tackle or guard.
Health: Ziemba has not missed any games due to injury and fully participated in the Senior Bowl, Combine, and his Pro-Day. He has had no injuries of note at any point in his career and is one of the most durable linemen in the draft.
OVERVIEW: Ziemba constitutes an insurance policy in the 4th round. He is not going to be the first choice for the Colts, and if things fall together nicely earlier in the draft he won’t be much of a need in later rounds. If the Colts are able to snare a couple of major offensive line pieces like Gabe Carimi/Nate Solder and Benjamin Ijalana/Danny Watkins, then Ziemba will not be necessary at all, but if those primary options have been taken away and we have a draft where the Colts are only able to draft one offensive lineman, and Marcus Gilbert is not available in the 4th, then Ziemba becomes a serious option. He has the durability and experience to serve him well and with NFL training he can potentially replace Ryan Diem in a year or two. He won’t take over at left tackle, but he could stand a chance against Ryan Diem or Mike Pollak. That said, he will be a pick that needs to be developed before he sees the field. There are a number of guys who could start immediately that would be available in the 4th that would be worth taking over Ziemba even if the Colts have a perfect draft up till then, and so look for Ziemba to sit rather low on draft charts for the Colts unless he falls out of the 4th and into the 5th or 6th rounds.
About the author
At the moment, I am just like every other dedicated Colts fan (I'm anxious for the season, and tired of the lack of news). On a personal note though, I am a Purdue student who happens to have a desire to write and a fairly deep passion for the Colts and statistics. As such, I am basically a troll. I have been to 38 U.S. States at least, living in a handful of them, and I've been to 6 other countries, living in England the last two years of High School, and then coming back to the US for University. I'm an introverted person, but on the bright side, that gives me more than enough time to lose myself in random projects, some of which really helps when trying to provide serious content on everyone's favorite NFL team.
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