After a shocking 1st round selection in which the Tennessee Titans picked an offensive play maker, they turned the focus back to defense in the 2nd when they picked Zach Brown, outside linebacker from the University of North Carolina. Brown is known for his speed and athletic ability, but he lacks pure tackling technique and he has a tendency to over pursue a play. For Tennessee, he is a solid pickup that will likely see a limited roll in his first season. He will need to be groomed behind Witherspoon his rookie season, but I expect him to be a force on special teams.
At 6’1″, 244 pounds, Zach Brown possesses quality size and strength to be a weak side linebacker in our 43 defense. Brown was the fastest linebacker at the combine with a 4.5 40 yard dash, so expect him to be active in coverage as he can run with any tight end in the league. He is known to be a track guy that can make plays all over the field with little effort. In 2011, Zach Brown recorded 105 total tackles, 5.5 sacks and 3 interceptions. With defensive tackles like Brandon Thompson and Devon Still available, Ruston Webster went with Zach Brown because of his high ceiling and incredible athleticism. Brown is the kind of player that, if he works hard, can be among the most prolific linebackers in the league.
Ruston Webster on Zach Brown:
Zach Brown is probably about as talented a football player as you can find, but fast and very athletic.
Speed and athleticism are what makes Brown so intriguing. He does a good job of shedding blocks and knifing through lineman to get to the ball carrier. Zach Brown excels in coverage and has the ability to run with any tight end and running back in the NFL. He has quality size for an NFL linebacker, but has a frame that could stand to carry 5-10 more pounds.
Zach Brown can get moving so fast that he sometimes over pursues a gap. Certainly he can fly, but he needs to channel that energy and focus more on his tackles. He can shy away from contact, but I think it is more so him losing control of his body instead of him being scared to hit.
When the selection was made I was shocked it wasn’t a big defensive tackle, but with the way the league is going a coverage linebacker is a necessity. Zach Brown has all the ability in the world and with some time to groom he can be a force next to Colin Mccarthy and Akeem Ayers.
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