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Lions scouting report: Zach Zenner

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A look at Detroit Lions undrafted free agent Zach Zenner and how he fits into the team's plans in 2015.

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
RB Zach Zenner (South Dakota State) - Undrafted free agent

Thanks to the big numbers he put up in college, Zach Zenner has already emerged as one of the Detroit Lions' most notable undrafted free agent signings for 2015. It remains to be seen if that will translate into him making the team, but he's certainly got an impressive résumé.

Measurables

Height: 5-foot-11 | Weight: 223 pounds

Stats

2011: 107 carries, 470 yards, 3 TD | 18 catches, 130 yards, 2 TD
2012: 300 carries, 2,044 yards, 13 TD | 28 catches, 197 yards
2013: 351 carries, 2,015 yards, 23 TD | 21 catches, 251 yards, 2 TD
2014: 337 carries, 2,019 yards, 22 TD | 28 catches, 331 yards, 4 TD

(via WashingtonPost.com)

Random fact

Zenner has plans to be a surgeon after his playing days are over. In fact, he's already been accepted to medical school.

What the experts are saying

NFL.com:

When evaluators look at small-school prospects, they want to see them dominate that level of competition and that is exactly what Zenner was able to do. Zenner is more fast than sudden and might be best-suited in a one-cut scheme. His production, size and speed will generate plenty of discussion in draft meetings.

CBS Sports:

He was consistently productive and durable the past three seasons as the Jackrabbits starting running back, leaving the program with almost every rushing record. Although nothing special athletically, Zenner plays fast and confident, putting his foot in the ground and attacking as a one-cut runner. He has some limitations and won't consistently create his own yardage, but he is a decisive, tough-minded runner who approaches the game with a business-like approach - has the skills to be a mid-round pick and contributing running back in a committee.

ESPN:

Determined runner that looks to finish. Fights for hidden yardage after contact. Shows good violence along the boundary to drop shoulder initiate contact. Gives strong effort in pass pro. Uses off hand well to protect the ball through traffic.

Videos

(via Draft Breakdown)

Outlook for 2015

As it stands right now, Zenner is probably going to have to beat out George Winn to make the 53-man roster. While contributing on offense is certainly an important part of this competition, being able to contribute on special teams might be even more important, as Winn showed last preseason. Even if Zenner doesn't make the team, he could have a great shot at landing on the practice squad.

Previous scouting reports

Draft picks: OG Laken TomlinsonRB Ameer AbdullahCB Alex CarterDT Gabe WrightFB Michael BurtonCB Quandre DiggsOT Corey Robinson

UDFAs: QB Anthony Boone