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Even when he stumbles, Zach Brown can fly

Zach Brown AP

North Carolina linebacker Zach Brown is so fast that a bad 40-yard dash for him is good for anyone else.

Brown ran his first 40-yard dash in an unofficial time of 4.45 seconds today at the NFL Scouting Combine, making him the fastest linebacker to run so far. And yet it clearly wasn’t Brown at his fastest.

Out of his start Brown appeared to stumble, and midway through his run he took an awkward step and looked like he wanted to stop. He shook his head as he crossed the finish line and looked disgusted with himself. And yet his time was still the best of any linebacker who has run today.

That’s no surprise. Brown also competed on North Carolina’s track team and is the Tar Heels’ record holder in the 60-meter dash, with a time of 6.72 seconds at a 2009 track meet.

Brown, who weighed in at 244 pounds, said he was hoping to run his 40 in 4.39 seconds. And he said NFL teams that put on the tape will see that he’s fast enough to cover anyone a linebacker would be asked to cover.

“I covered a lot at Carolina — I had seven total career picks,” Brown said. “[My speed] helps a lot so I can cover tight ends like Jimmy Graham, Vernon Davis, Jermichael Finley, all of the others.”

There aren’t many people anywhere who can outrun Brown.

UPDATE: On his second attempt, Brown managed to shave one-hundredth of a second off his time and finish at 4.44 seconds. His two 40-yard dashes are easily the two fastest we’ve seen today.

UPDATE 2: Cal linebacker Mychal Kendricks was unofficially timed at a 4.41-second 40-yard dash to move ahead of Brown in the linebacker speed rankings.

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18 Responses to “Even when he stumbles, Zach Brown can fly”
  1. bigbluebruiser says: Feb 27, 2012 2:06 PM

    Brown probably would’ve ran in the 4.3’s if he hadn’t stumbled……..

  2. tomsd1 says: Feb 27, 2012 2:12 PM

    Dang. If I had a slow start – and then stumbled – I would probably still run a 10 flat 40. :)

    He’s super fast for LB types. Could even lead Safeties.

  3. rob0527 says: Feb 27, 2012 2:18 PM

    Yes he is fast, but football is not played in shorts and tight shirts. The main question is can he cover.

  4. Soulman45 says: Feb 27, 2012 2:20 PM

    THE GREAT DETROIT LIONS will be waiting at pick #23 welcome to Ford Field spend a life time here.

  5. adantsa says: Feb 27, 2012 2:24 PM

    Yeah but can you cover Gronk? Doesn’t matter how fast you are son, he’s gonna run over or through you.

  6. primetime0552 says: Feb 27, 2012 2:25 PM

    Welcome to Detroit!

  7. hutch119 says: Feb 27, 2012 2:30 PM

    Pretty surprised he only got it down to 4.44

  8. tomsd1 says: Feb 27, 2012 2:33 PM

    No Q – can he cover is the determining factor. As for stopping Gronk – at least this speedy guy could presumably stay up with him and then hang on for dear life and wait for more help. ;)

  9. getadealdonealready says: Feb 27, 2012 2:36 PM

    I really liked his first album

  10. edmazeing1 says: Feb 27, 2012 2:41 PM

    Damn wish Raiders had him, for the lions game, you know the game that the D.C decided to put a LB on Calvin Johnson late in the 4th!!!

  11. sirk363 says: Feb 27, 2012 2:58 PM

    I don’t want to sound like a stupid fanboy, but if this guy is still available the Eagles should take him. We need a LB

  12. bleedgreen says: Feb 27, 2012 3:08 PM

    sirk363 says: Feb 27, 2012 2:58 PM

    I don’t want to sound like a stupid fanboy, but if this guy is still available the Eagles should take him. We need a LB
    ————————–

    No. We don’t need HIM. He’s smallish for a LB. We need run stuffing LBs. We were fine against the pass, and we have 3 very good corners and an OK safety in Kurt Coleman. The LBs we need to make the wide9 work need to be able to come up and drop 210-220lb RBs in their tracks. A 244lb FAST LB that covers well isn’t really gonna help us that much.

  13. granadafan says: Feb 27, 2012 3:47 PM

    Nice of PFT to update with CAL linebacker Mychael Kendricks taking the top spot. Kendricks was the Pac-12 defensive player of the year and hits like a ton of bricks.

  14. ningenito78 says: Feb 27, 2012 4:03 PM

    The only time a LB is going to be running 40 yards in a straight line in a football game is if something really bad just happened.

  15. tomsd1 says: Feb 27, 2012 4:22 PM

    LOL: Well, maybe he is coming from a deep blitz and the QB runs backwards?

  16. tomsd1 says: Feb 27, 2012 4:22 PM

    Actually – sometimes they do that sideline to sideloine – and the great ones might even run somebody down before they have much of a gain. :)

  17. tomsd1 says: Feb 27, 2012 4:26 PM

    Don’t know how Zack Brown hits/tackles/wraps up – but if he is 244 and fast – he should be able to bring it v. most RB’s who are 220 or so lbs. Ya Think?

  18. kansacity88 says: Feb 28, 2012 12:37 AM

    @tomsd1

    Took the words right outta my…..uhh, fingers? Well, you get the point!

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