What can Brown do for the Buffalo Bills? Hopefully, play linebacker at a high level.
It has yet to be made official, but multiple reports indicate that free agent linebacker Zach Brown has agreed to a one-year deal with the Bills, making him the team's third free agent signing this offseason.
I'm told LB Zach Brown has signed a one-year deal with the #Bills.— Rand Getlin (@Rand_Getlin) April 4, 2016
Brown, 26 (he'll be 27 in October), just finished a four-year rookie contract with the Tennessee Titans, who made him a second-round pick out of North Carolina in the 2012 NFL Draft. After two high-quality seasons to start his career - he combined for 184 tackles, 9.5 sacks, four interceptions, two forced fumbles and two touchdowns in his first 32 games - Brown missed the entirety of the 2014 season, and was not quite back to his usual self last season (77 tackles, 0.5 sacks, two interceptions), though he did play in all 16 games.
In Buffalo, Brown profiles as a natural replacement for Nigel Bradham, a fellow 2012 draft class member that signed a two-year deal with Philadelphia in March. Brown was selected 53 spots ahead of Bradham that year, and the two are quite similar athletically; Bradham is a tad more explosive, where Brown is smoother and faster. These are their 2012 pre-draft workout numbers:
|Zach Brown (2-52)||6012||244||4.50||1.66||33.5"||9'8"|
|Nigel Bradham (4-105)||6017||241||4.66||1.69||37"||10'1"|
Brown projects as the weak-side linebacker in the Ryan defense for the Bills, leaving Preston Brown to man the middle linebacker spot. The Bills still desperately need depth at the position, but it's not out of the realm of possibility at all that Brown and Brown could be Buffalo's starting linebackers heading into the 2016 regular season.