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.