NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Titans added speed and strength during the 2012 NFL Draft. More important, general manager Ruston Webster and coach Mike Munchak said, is that they added competition at multiple positions. Webster and Munchak believe that increased competition will make everyone better as they battle for roster spots and playing time on Sundays.
Here's a recap of the Titans' draft choices:
Round 2, 52nd overall: LB Zach Brown, North Carolina
Brown is a linebacker with sprinter's speed. He set the North Carolina school record with a time of 6.73 seconds in the 60 meters in 2009, ran the 40-yard dash in 4.44 at the NFL Combine and clocked a 4.37 in the same event during his pro day workout. The Tar Heels moved Brown from weak-side linebacker to strong-side in 2011, but the Titans have weak-side linebacker and nickel defense duties in mind for Brown because of his speed and length.
College stats: Made 23 starts and recorded 230 tackles, 5.5 sacks, six pressures, 19 tackles for loss and seven interceptions in 47 career games. He added three forced fumbles and a fumble recovery, and increased his tackling production each season at North Carolina.
Brown on being versatile for a defense:
"I can do a little bit of everything. I can blitz, I can cover, and I can stop the run. Put me out there and I'm a linebacker; if you ask me to do something I can do it."
Munchak on what Brown will add to the defense:
"The fact that he can cover and run the way he has with the people we have to cover in our division, with these tight ends these days. There are a lot of things he offers. Playing the sub package is another thing that allows us to move Akeem (Ayers) to do something else on third down that we think he could be better at, so it gives us a lot of options. We were looking for someone like him in the draft, we went into the draft thinking we'd like to fill this need and we were able to do it with our second round pick."
Defensive coordinator Jerry Gray on using Brown in the nickel:
"Yeah, when he comes in the building he will probably be one of the three or four fastest guys on the defense — and (defensive back) Tommie Campbell can run. (Brown) guy can really, really run. He has the speed, and now let's focus him in on what his job is, and I think he will become a lot better football player when he doesn't have to do everything. Just mesh into your deal and I think he'll be OK."