Dec 26, 2011; Shreveport, LA, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels linebacker Zach Brown (47) during the game against the Missouri Tigers in the Independence Bowl at Independence Stadium. Missouri won 41-24. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-US PRESSWIRE

Tennessee Titans NFL Draft Profile: Zach Brown


 

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.

 Pros:

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.

Cons:

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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Tags: 2012 NFL Draft General NFL NFL Draft Second Round Tennessee Titans UNC Zach Brown

  • eboyd

    WIth the team selecting Brown in the second round I’m expecting him to be a starter on Week 1. I hope the team didn’t spend such a high pick on backup / special teams player. If he’s not on the field as a starter in Week 1 this is a horrible pick.

  • chasemaher1

     @eboyd I see your frustration, trust me. And I am sure he will get a lot of playing time, but 2nd picks can certainly be used on guys that don’t necessarily start week 1. 

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  • seagle1

    I would like to caution against the “allergic to tackling” rhetoric going around….he did have 105 tackles, 5 sacks and 3 picks last year. He may a “drag down tackler” and not necessarily a thumper but the guy can make plays sideline to sideline and he’s a good blitzer. I see him as a David Thornton type backer with a little more ability to make plays. @eboyd, believe me, we was chosen to replace Witherspoon and should get every opportunity to do so soon. To be fair to Witherspoon, hes a crafty vet who is just getting a little older and his deficiencies are showing a little more. If Brown pans out then we have our LB crew set for the next 5 years…..a LB crew that could turn into the best that we’ve had in years. Of course I did say IF.

  • chasemaher1

     @seagle1 I agree with everything you said. His “allergic to tackling” is more of him flying right pass the ball carrier or “whiffing” by what justin said. With some coaching, dude could be a star. He isn’t ALL potential, he had very good production

  • seagle1

    @chasemaher1 Yeah that make it sound like he’s a matador…saying ole!!!!