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2017 NFL Draft: Zach Cunningham Scouting Report

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The Texans could really use a long term replacement for Brian Cushing to pair up with Benardrick McKinney - is Zach Cunningham a fit for that role?

NFL: Combine Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Houston is still in desperate need of a quarterback of the future now that Tony Romo is officially calling it quits, but there is a distinct possibility that Rick Smith and Bill O’Brien will instead lean towards defense in the 2017 NFL Draft later this month while Tom Savage gets his fourth chance to seize the starting QB job. With Brian Cushing and Johnathan Joseph both approaching the end of their careers and the safety spot opposite of Andre Hal still very much in the air, there are multiple ways that the Texans can go in the first round that are anything but signal-caller.

One of the names that is likely at the top of the list is Vanderbilt linebacker Zach Cunningham. His slender frame at a mere 235 pounds may be a bit more svelte than the Houston coaching staff is used to working with, but Cunningham still packs all of the length, power, and instincts that this front office usually covets in the position. Between Cunningham, Cushing, and fellow former SEC standout Benardrick McKinney, the Texans would have a trio of linebackers that could all be relied upon to stuff the run and give Houston’s pass rushers long third downs on which to go hunting.

I don’t know about y’all, but anyone who can give J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney, and Whitney Mercilus even more pass rushing opportunities is a good pick in my book. Enjoy the episode!