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2017 NFL Draft: Anonymous Scouting Reports On Zach Cunningham

Collected thoughts of some anonymous NFL personnel on Texans’ second-round pick, LB Zach Cunningham.

Vanderbilt v Georgia
Zach Cunningham vs. Georgia in 2016.
Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

Here’s another in Bob McGinn’s series of anonymous NFL personnel folks’ thoughts on various prospects from the 2017 NFL Draft. You can see what McGinn’s sources had to say about Deshaun Watson and the QB class here.

This time around, we look at what these cloak and dagger NFL types had to say about the Texans’ 2017 second-round pick, Vanderbilt LB Zach Cunningham, and the rest of the top ILB crop:

4. ZACH CUNNINGHAM, Vanderbilt (6-3 ½, 235, 4.67, 2): Led the SEC in tackles the past two seasons. “He’s a modern-day linebacker,” said one scout. “He’s an athlete. Goes sideline to sideline. Probably not as good as Ryan Shazier or Mosley but a step below. It’s not even close to Foster. Foster’s a great player.” Fourth-year junior from Pinson, Ala., with the longest arms (34 3/8 inches) of any LB at the combine. “Unique body type for the position,” said another scout. “Makes a lot of plays, gets around the ball, can run. The question is, how much does he love football and being around it? He’s plenty tough but his body type just doesn’t lend itself to being very, very strong.” Finished with 295 tackles (39 ½ for loss) and six sacks. Compared by one scout to Scott Fujita and K.J. Wright. “Little bit flimsy,” a third scout said. “Doesn’t have a great base.” Wonderlic of 22. “I’m not in with him,” said a fourth scout. “There’s no strength or knock-back power when he tackles.”

Obviously the Texans made this pick to shore up a hole that has been there for years—the lack of a solid coverage linebacker. Of mild concern here is that this is at least the second or third time I’ve read references to whether Cunningham “loves football”. With that out there as much as I’ve seen it, the Texans have surely heard it too but were still comfortable making the pick.