Considered merely a solid 3rd day pick, Zaviar Gooden shot up the draft boards after excellent combine and postseason workouts where he dominated his position across the board. A Pflugerville, Tx native (that’s pronounced Flu-ger-ville) within spitting distance of Austin, Tx, -and the Longhorns, Gooden signed with the Missouri Tigers where he converted from Safety to linebacker. By his Sophomore season he was entrenched at the position, earning a respectable 84 tackles, 3 sacks, and 2 picks. His Junior season was equally impressive with 80 tackles, a sack, and 2 more interceptions. While a hamstring injury limited him to only 10 games in 2012, Gooden managed to still have 61 tackles and an interception to his credit. After his stellar combine numbers, teams saw him as a linebacker with incredible upside that could play the weakside of the field for the defense, as Zaviar has great speed for the position (4.47).
The Tennessee Titans drafted Gooden in the 3rd round of the 2012 draft, which was a surprise considering the team didn’t really have a dire need at the position with Zach Brown under contract. It is theorized that the team will groom Zaviar in the meantime and let him play on special teams. He finished his rookie season with 12 tackles, including a season high 7 in a 37-34 loss to the Arizona Cardinals.