Okay so I've never done one of these before so be gentle. I'm still new to the whole SB nation thing and I've never really looked too much into a player without every having seen them play in person. So bear that in mind, but hopefully this can start some good discussion.
If you guys are like me, you're bored of hearing about Luke Kuechly and Vontaze Burfict. Its all we ever read about anymore. It makes sense that we'd read a lot about them but lets look at other linebackers in the draft.
Zach Brown is a guy that used to get a lot of attention, I've seen people here really hoping that we pick him up. I myself am skeptical as are others, Mike Mayok's Pre-Combine position ranking on Linebackers had him dropping from the top five along with everyone's favorite ASU Linebacker. Too see if he's a good fit we should probably compare him to our current weak side linebacker, Rolle.
Brown is a lot bigger than Rolle, at 6'1" he's a full 3 inches taller and 17 pounds heavier. Rolle has always seemed a little undersized to me and Brown certainly fixes that issue, although neither are physical freaks, but that's okay right? We don't necessarily need one. Their 40 times are pretty similar as well. Brown runs a 4.5 and Rolle a 4.53. Even if you say 40 times are overrated, game tape has them look like they play at similar speeds as well. So its not like Brown has a distinct advantage here.
That's pretty much where all favorable comparisons for Brown end to tell you the truth. Brown's football smarts seem alright, he certainly rarely gets completely faked out on plays or completely messes up coverage, but he can't shed blockers and really seems to depend on his speed to get to the play, rather than making good positioning choices.
To me Brown also seems to be a subpar tackler. He rarely hits and likes to tackle hands first, very much reminiscent of Casey Matthews if you will. It's not something I like seeing in players, and it doesn't look like it'd help out team wide tackling problem.
Brown doesn't really compare all that favorably to Rolle. At least from nothing I have seen on tape or read about his game. I've seen some posters here talk about turning him into a SAM, but I'm skeptical of his ability to succeed. Considering how much the game is revolving around Tight Ends at this point I'd like a bigger and harder hitting guy for our SAM. And more importantly, one who doesn't tackle with his hands.
Anyway those are just my thoughts. Figured it would be cool to have some non Kuechly/Burfict linebacker discussion here.