Houston Texans: Zach Cunningham rising to the top at his position
By Jair Lopez
The Houston Texans have a new young rising talent in Zach Cunningham that is coming into his own in his third season in the league.
The Houston Texans struck gold when they drafted Zach Cunningham in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft. The former Vanderbilt Commodore has been knocking on the doors since his rookie season to make his name be known on the national stage, but he finally broke through in 2019.
Cunningham had 82 tackles in his rookie season and broke the 100 tackle mark in the following year with 107 tackles. Now in 2019, he has doubled up with his second 100 plus tackle season with 134 tackles through 15 games. His current tally of tackles ranks third across the league but first among all defenders in the AFC.
Earning one of the limited slots to play in the Pro Bowl is an accolade to add early in his career and reaffirm the production that he has put up through the first three years in the league. Cunningham is joining his teammate Benardrick McKinney as the other Texans’ inside linebacker to earn a Pro Bowl nod after McKinney was selected last season.
Cunningham has quickly risen as one of the young talented players at his position since being drafted, and the Texans now have two of the best in the league. Cunningham has been a magnet around the football in the run game with two fumble recoveries and a career-high seven tackles for loss, and he has proven he is no slouch in coverage being able to stay with tight ends or running backs in passing situations if needed.
There is still plenty of room for Cunningham to grow and continue to rise through the ranks at his position, and the Texans have him in his rookie contract for one more season before becoming a free agent in 2021.