NFL Draft Snapshot: MLB Zach Latimer

Oklahoma's defense was the toughest and top-ranked in the Big 12 Conference in 2006. And the man making the defensive calls from the middle linebacker spot was Zach Latimer. Learn more about him and who's been showing interest in him in this NFL Draft Snapshot.

Zach Latimer
LB, Oklahoma

Numbers: 6'2, 238 pounds

2006 Stats: 88 tackles (44 solo), 12 TFL, 2 sacks, 3 QB hurries, 3 INT, 6 PD, 2 FF in 14 games

Career Stats: 180 tackles (104 solo), 21 TFL, 7 sacks, 7 QB hurries, 3 INT, 11 PD,  4 FF in 42 games

The Buzz:  With Latimer making the defensive calls from the MLB position, Oklahoma's defense finished first in the Big 12 Conference in 2006, yielding just 287 yards per game ... Told that he had formal interviews with the Jaguars and the Rams at the Combine ...   Has developed a reputation for having a nose for the ball, showing good anticipation and field intelligence ... "He earned the middle linebacker position, and just ran with it." -- Oklahoma LB Rufus Alexander ... "Led by the trio of Rufus Alexander, Zach Latimer and Clint Ingram, the Sooners possess arguably one of the best linebacking units in the nation." -- Robin Washut, ... Currently projected as a late-round pick or priority free agent by's NFL Expert Tom Marino.

Noteworthy: Son of former Denver Broncos defensive tackle Don Latimer ... All-Big 12 Conference honorable mention two consecutive years ... Two-year starter who had shoulder surgery following the 2005 season and showed no ill effects his senior year, posting 88 tackles and playing in all 14 games... Played in the East-West Shrine Game ... Two-time all-state choice in high school ... Ran a 4.70 forty-time at his Pro Day, improving on his 4.78 Combine run.

(Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Zach Latimer Q&A Preview
(Don't miss our NFL Draft Q&A feature with Zach Latimer on Tuesday, a subscribers exclusive!)

Ed Thompson: Talk a little bit about your relationship with fellow linebacker Rufus Alexander, because you guys certainly worked well together.

Zach Latimer: We came in together and hung out together off the field. We had a good relationship and I think that is what really helped us on the field. I mean, I trusted him and he trusted me. We were always helping each other see things that were going on that would help us stay on the same page. 

ET: What do you like most about the game?

ZL: On the field, it's about winning, but it's also the off the field things like when you see kids who want to talk to you. They just really look up to you and anything you say to them, they really pay attention and listen to you because of what you do on the field. So really, that's the most important thing of what I get out of football right there.

ET: How well do you think you'll be able to contribute to special teams at the next level?

ZL: At Oklahoma, that's all we harp on is special teams. It doesn't matter who you are, you are on special teams, where some other schools like to rest their players and put everyone else on special teams. We did all of them. I think that is one of my advantages heading into the NFL Draft.

To learn more about Zach Latimer, visit his Profile Page.

A member of the Professional Football Writers of America, Ed Thompson's NFL and college football player interviews and features have been published across the network and syndicated through's NFL team pages.

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