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Bengals sign first-round draft pick Kevin Zeitler

  • By Brian McIntyre NFL.com
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The Cincinnati Bengals signed another first-round draft pick, locking up Wisconsin offensive lineman Kevin Zeitler on Friday. The team announced the news via their official website.

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Financial terms were not disclosed. As the 27th-overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, Zeitler's four-year rookie contract is expected be worth around $7.5 million, with about $6.1 million in guarantees and a team option for a fifth season.

"We continue to get our draft picks in the fold, and I credit everyone involved in getting Kevin’s deal done," coach Marvin Lewis said in a Bengals release. "He's a young man who we feel will be ready to play a lot of football for us as a rookie, and this only aids him working toward that goal."

The 6-foot-4, 314-pound guard started 36 games at right guard for the Badgers over his final three seasons in college, earning first-team All-Big Ten honors in 2011. Zeitler has 32-inch-3/4 arms, posted 32 reps on the bench press at the combine and is projected to start immediately at right guard as part of a revamped interior offensive line. The Bengals signed Travelle Wharton this offseason to play left guard.

"I'm happy with what we've worked out and I’m very grateful to the Bengals for the confidence they've shown in me," Zeitler said. "Now there's nothing in the way to my working extremely hard to justify that and be a positive force for our team."

With Zeitler signing, the Bengals now have two unsigned picks from the 2012 NFL Draft. Third-round wide receiver Mohammed Sanu and third-round defensive tackle Brandon Thompson.

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