By Imperical Evidence
Ok, a 7th round draft pick isn't supposed to generate that much excitement with the fan base. Some 7th rounders do have great careers, but have to take a long road to stardom. Zack Follett was the second pick in the 7th round, #235 overall in 2009. He has a nickname, The Pain Train. He has his own site on the internet that he just got up.
Below I have some video showing why Follett is generating so much excitement.
Now,the thing that caught my eye in the above video was how Zack Follett played. He has great block shedding ability, takes a good path to the ball carrier, has a great closing burst, and finishes the play. If you watch the muffed punt return recovery closly, as I did, you will see that Zack Follett is pulling up on the play, a fair catch was called. Several lions pulled up on that play. The ball comes out, and Follett is the first one to react to it. He has fast reaction time.
Ok,Follett did play in 12 games last season and had 10 tackles, that's not very exciting. What is exciting is the energy he brings to the field. I think most Lions fans had high hopes for the starting linebacker group last year, consisting of Julian Peterson at OLB, Larry Foote at MLB, and Ernie Sims at OLB. Foote is back with the Steelers, and the Detroit Lions acquired TE Tony Scheffler from the Denver Broncos in a three-team trade that sent LB Ernie Sims to the Philadelphia Eagles. Where does that leave the Lions this year?
Julian Peterson is coming back to start at left OLB.Going into his second year Deandre Levy will start at middle linebacker, and Zack Follett has the inside track at the right OLB spot. I think Follett will play the run better, he has a downhill attacking mentality. According to a recent article at Mlive, Tom 'Killer' Kowalski thinks the coaching staff likes the improvement Follett has shown in pass coverage:
"Follett has done such a good job in pass coverage that he's in competition to be one of the nickel linebackers."
I think overall, Follett will not be caught out of position, as Ernie Sims was last season. If Follett has improved on his drop backs, then the linebacker group might be a surprise to many this year. Let's not forget that he will be playing behind Ndamukong Suh and Company on the defensive line.
Let's not forget another thing that makes Follett a fan favorite, he is all over the internet. He has a facebook page, a web page, he is on Twitter, he raps, he is religious, he posts lots of entertaining videos, and the main thing, he is accessible to the fans.
Is Follett going to be a running backs coach?
Video by Julianne Pipoly
Bonus Scouting Report, Z
Well, for as young as Z is, he seems to learn very fast.
Positives: Good quickness and straight-line speed, making him tough to catch from behind. Shifty in the hips, allowing him to avoid arm tackles and slip through small holes. Has foot quickness to sidestep tacklers and find a crease inside. Can run through trash inside, but is best when bouncing outside. Uses his vision to cut back into open space. Plays with an excellent Pad Level, runs very low to the ground. Z can break open the long runs and make them look short, he's that fast.
Strength: Lacks the strength to take on defenders, must rely on speed. Speed: Excellent straight line speed, great opening burst, great lateral speed.
Work Ethic: Beyond belief. Very high motor.
Blocking: This is an area where Z might have a few problems. He just dosen't have the size to take on defensive linemen and blitzing linebackers.
Negatives: Once a defender does wrap him up, Z goes down easy. His frame might not be able to carry the weight he needs to play at. Z is not a short yardage running back, and goal line situations just don't fit his style.
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