The Tennessee Titans spent their second round draft pick, from this past Aprils draft, on UNC OLB Zach Brown. The pick drew mixed reactions on draft day. The Titans did need a WSLB, and Brown fits the mold, especially with his 4.4 speed and ability to blitz and cover. However many felt the pick could have been spent on an offensive linemen, possibly Wisconsin C Peter Konz.
Coming out of college he was pinned with first round talent, because of his athleticism and especially his speed. But his football instincts and physicality were questioned, by some onlookers, and this caused him to slide into the early second round.
Brown started the season as mainly a special teams contributor, and got very little play on the defensive side of the ball. As the season progressed and starer Will Weatherspoon struggled, Brown began to get more playing time at the WSLB position. He quickly made his presence felt. As the season went on he progressed, and eventually earned the starting spot at WSLB, and he didn’t disappoint.
Brown made plays with his speed consistently. He used his speed on the edge, and flashed some pass rushing skills, finishing the season with 5.5 sacks. He also showed his ability in coverage game as well. He was able to run with tight ends and even some receivers, making multiple plays in pass coverage; including three interceptions, two of which went for touchdowns. He never seemed to show a lack of physicality, and even seemed to look for it.
Brown finished the season with a combined 93 tackles, 5.5 sacks, 3 ints, and 1 forced fumble.
Brown consistently made himself noticeable in games, he did not hide or shy away from contact, and was an immediate play maker for a defense that desperately needed one. Look for Brown to be a play maker for the Titans now and in the future. Brown teamed with other young LB’s Akeem Ayers, and Colin McCarthy has the potential to be a special group.
Tune in Tuesday for WR Kendall Wright’s review
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