The War Room: Doug Ziegler, TE, Mississippi
Birthday: October 25, 1979
Strengths: As a junior, Doug Ziegler became one of Ole Miss quarterback Eli Manning’s favorite targets as he had run up a streak of catching a pass in eight straight games before missing the last two games of the year due to injury.
In his last full game of the season, he caught five passes for 102 yards and two touchdowns in Ole Miss’ wild seven-overtime shootout against Arkansas. The game prior to that, he helped seal the Rebels’ 35-24 upset of LSU in Baton Rouge with two touchdown catches in the last six and a half minutes of the game.
Ziegler has the size to be an NFL tight end and has worked throughout his college career to get bigger and stronger. He has developed into an effective blocker. A quarterback/free safety in high school, Ziegler is a good athlete who catches everything with his hands and runs precise routes. His 13.4 yards per catch average demonstrates his excellent speed for a tight end and his ability to be more than a safety valve receiver in the passing game.
Areas for Concern: A lack of durability has plagued Ziegler throughout his tenure in Oxford as he has yet to play a full college season. He missed a game due to a hamstring injury as a redshirt freshman, another game as a sophomore with a sprained ankle, and two more games as a junior when he broke his arm. Ziegler also sat out a week of spring practice earlier this year with another sprained ankle. None of these injuries appears to have had any long-term negative effects, but his inability to stay healthy and on the field cannot be overlooked.
How Would He Look in Steel Blue? Ziegler can do everything that the Texans ask a tight end to do and seems to improve each year. However, he can’t contribute when he’s in the training room or on the sideline in street clothes with an injury.
If Ziegler were to end up a Texan, perhaps Dom Capers could have the same success with him as he had with another Ole Miss tight end, Wesley Walls. Walls showed flashes but spent much of his first few years in the NFL on the shelf with injuries. When he signed with Capers’ Carolina Panthers as a free agent, his career took off and he became one of the most productive tight ends in the game. Ziegler is probably a better prospect than Walls was at the same stage as his receiving ability is similar but he is a superior blocker.
If Ziegler gets a little luck and can shake the injury bug, he could be a contributor early in his pro career.
(profile written by Warren DeLuca)
Doug Ziegler’s 2001 Stats G CTH YDS AVG TD 9 21 281 13.4 4 Doug Ziegler Return to The War Room
Click on a player’s name to preview other top TE prospects:
>> Ronnie Ghent
>> Trent Smith
>> Aaron Walker
>> Jason Witten
>> Doug Ziegler