After the first round of the NFL Draft, where UNC’s defensive end Quinton Coples was picked 16th by the NY Jets, round two saw another former Tar Heel go off the board. The Tennessee Titans used their pick, the 52nd overall, on Friday night to take line back Zach Brown. The OLB led the squad last season with 105 tackles (13.5 for losses), plus had 5.5 sacks and 3 interceptions. From the sounds of it the franchise is hoping that their newly drafted LB will be challenging the current players for the starting spot at the weak side. Brown is the third line backer to be drafted from Chapel Hill in the last two years, the other two being Bruce Carter (2nd round, Dallas Cowboys) and Quan Sturdivant (6th round, Arizona Cardinals). While North Carolina was known for many seasons as RB U, if this keeps up they could become LB University!
“I’m happy to be a Titan,” Brown told reporters in his Titans conference call. “It feels good.”
For Tennessee getting Brown seems to be a very good move, who has also worked out for several other teams, including the New York Jets where Coples landed, as he should fit right into their scheme of play. Some of the scouts believe that line backer lacks the ability to play physical at the point of attack, but that is something that the young man will try to prove them wrong, and from the sounds of it he will get that chance from the get go.
“He’s probably about as talented a football player as you can find – big, fast and athletic,” Tennessee general manager Ruston Webster said of Brown.
Zach Brown is going to be a good player at the next level as he will be able to play side line to side line whatever the defense he is in. But on a defense that last year was amongst the worst in sacks he should be able to bolster that stat from the get go as he will come off hard from the edge and can chase down most any quarterback in the league.
“I can do a little bit of everything — I can blitz, I can cover, I can stop the run,” Brown said. “I’m just a linebacker. If you ask me to do something, I can do it.”
As I do with all the former Tar Heels let me be the first one to wish the young man the best of luck as he begins the next chapter of his football career.