How Zak Zinter fits with the Cleveland Browns

With the 85th pick in the NFL draft, the Cleveland Browns selected offensive guard Zak Zinter.

Zinter started 42 games during his career at Michigan and was given All-American honors for his performance in the 2023 season.

Zinter is exactly the type of guard that Cleveland has had success with. It has one of the best starting duos in the league: Joel Bitonio and Wyatt Teller. They are of a similar glass-eating mold as Zinter.

Zinter excels in the run game and has the athleticism to climb to the second level and wall off linebackers. He has the coveted mean streak that tends to fare well in the AFC North, and he does a good job of keeping the quarterback clean in pass protection.

The only downside with Zinter is obviously the injury suffered against Ohio State. Zinter luckily avoided ligament damage, but he suffered a pair of broken bones in his leg. Had he been healthy for the entire playoff run, he likely would have gone off the board in the second round. Once he returns to full health, Zinter should be a quality starter in the league.

Zinter’s leadership is also one of his better traits. He was voted team captain in 2023, and the team’s loyalty was on full display when he went down with a nasty leg injury against Ohio State. The bench cleared and every Wolverine came onto the field to wish him a speedy recovery.

So, when exactly will he get on the field? That’s a tough question. Both Cleveland’s starters are under contract for two more seasons, so unless they trade or cut one of them, Zinter will be waiting in the wings for two seasons. Given the injury, I would bet on Zinter sitting for at least 2024, but he could earn his spot in 2025 if Cleveland is ready to move on.


Story originally appeared on Wolverines Wire