- Paul Kuharsky, ESPN Staff Writer
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I’m eager to hear the Titans talk about North Carolina linebacker Zach Brown, whom they just picked at No. 52.
The outside reviews are not very good. Over in our chat, Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. said Brown is a track star with no football acumen.
The Titans have emphasized getting bigger and are trying to improve their pass rush. It would appear Brown does neither, as he’s just over 6-foot-1 and around 244 pounds and his speed seems to lend itself more to coverage work than pass rushing.
Even if the Titans envision him in that role going forward, they’ve long been a team that likes to talk about rushing linebackers but rarely follows through. Is he going to knock veteran Will Witherspoon from the weakside spot? Or succeed him next year?
Draft analyst Mike Detillier likes Brown -- rating him second at outside linebacker behind only Courtney Upshaw and putting him as a late first- or early second-round guy. Pro Football Weekly put Brown in the top 50. Mel Kiper said he was a second- or third-round player who would create split opinions and cited instinct concerns.
Detillier wrote that Brown's acceleration upfield is "unmatched my any other linebacker," that he has "rare closing speed to the ballcarrier" and that he has "first-rate flow skills laterally and eats up a lot of ground."
While Brown could be a tease, Detillier also said that with hard work, Brown can show he "has the skills to be a special player."
Still, like a lot of people, I'm thinking Tennessee could have done better in the spot.