October 22, 2011; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; LSU Tigers cornerback Ron Brooks (13) returns an interception for a touchdown against the Auburn Tigers during the second half at Tiger Stadium. LSU defeated Auburn 45-10. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

Ron Brooks Scouting Report

Overview: Buffalo’s second fourth-round pick was trapped on the bench in college thanks to his absurdly talented teammates. Could this talented corner prove to be a diamond in the rough?

Strengths: Has all the physical tools – he’s big enough at 5’10, 190 and certainly has the speed at a 4.37 40-yard dash. Physical corner who enjoys roughing up WRs at the line of scrimmage. Never really a starter at LSU, but only because of his incredibly talented backfield mates Patrick Peterson, Morris Claiborne and Tyrann Mathieu. Good hands and ball skills  - knows what to do when the ball is in the air. Returned all three of his career INTs for touchdowns. Very comfortable and effective as a blitzer. Special teams demon who will contribute to Buffalo right away as a punt gunner and kickoff coverage guy. Also some value as a returner. Tons of potential.

Weaknesses: Very inexperienced with just three college starts. Really raw technique-wise – he’s going to need some work before he’s ready for anything more than spot duty in the NFL. Plays out-of-control and gets himself out of position too often. Draws WAY too many penalties. Never saw the opposition’s best WR thanks to his excellent teammates. Not a great tackler. He’ll lay the lumber but doesn’t wrap up very well and seems skittish about hitting bigger RBs at times. Not at all comfortable in a zone defense yet.

How He Will Fit in Buffalo: Brooks is going to need some time to develop. He’ll step in on special teams right away, but on defense they’ll have to be a bit more cautious with him. He could find a home in 2012 as the dimeback with very specific roles in that package.

The Bottom Line: There’s a lot to like about Brooks, who could wind up being a steal in the fourth round. The physical tools are there. If he responds to NFL coaching, his ceiling is very high. But he could also end up as just a special-teams guy. A player to watch in training camp, for sure.

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  • LifetimeBillsFan

    Cornerbacks with that kind of speed are hard to find. If Brooks can develop into an NFL-caliber DB, he would give the Bills a fast DB to match up against teams that use speed receivers in the slot (instead of or in addition to on the outside).
    The key for Brooks–as it will also be for Gilmore–is going to be learning how to play in the NFL, where the QBs are much better, week-in-and-week-out, than the QBs in the SEC. There’s a reason that QBs routinely look for the rookie in an opposing team’s defensive backfield and pick on him. So, it’s going to take at least half a season, if not the whole season before Brooks truly becomes a NFL-caliber defensive back.
    In the meantime, Brooks should be able to help on special teams and get his feet wet with some spot duty as the dime back. But, going into training camp, he’s probably going to be the 6th or 7th CB on the roster behind McGee, A.Williams, Florence, Gilmore, Rogers and perhaps even McKelvin. And, he’s going to have to learn quickly to gain a spot on the 53-man roster.