After being projected as a possible 1st round selection, Vanderbilt linebacker Zach Cunningham had to wait until Friday night to hear his name and even though it might have taken longer than expected, the Commodores defensive star might have gone to a great situation.
With the 57th pick of the second round, the Houston Texans selected Cunningham and envision him as a future starting linebacker and someone who can move around their defense and play multiple roles.
The Houston Texans was not a team linked to Cunningham throughout the process but it could be a perfect fit for the Commodores consensus All-American. The Texans play a 3-4 on defense but run multiple sets and use certain players in different roles. Cunningham is someone they see coming in to provide immediate contributions on special teams and someone that can back up starting inside linebackers Brian Cushing and Bernardrick McKinney on day one.
Cunningham has the skill set and size to play outside linebacker as well. He is a three down player who does stop the run and can cover running backs or tight ends in the open field. He does need to continue getting bigger and stronger, especially in the upper body but Cunningham is a strong worker with a great attitude.
The Texans shouldn't see any problems out of Cunningham on or off the field and in time, the Vanderbilt All-American could become a starter and star player in the AFC South. He is also the second Commodore to be a part of the Texans roster as former Vanderbilt corner back Andre Hal is a current starting safety in the Houston starting lineup.
Career Stats at Vanderbilt: (Cunningham) - 295 total tackles, 39 1/2 tackles for loss, six sacks, seven forced fumbles, seven fumble recoveries. Ran 4.6 on the combine with a 35 inch vertical leap. 1st team consensus All-American in 2016.