2014 NFL Combine Preview: Five Secondary Players to Watch

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Sept 22, 2012; Tallahassee, Florida, USA; Florida State Seminoles defensive back Terrence Brooks (31) celebrates after a defensive stop during the second half of the game against the Clemson Tigers at Doak Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

2. Terrence Brooks (Safety)

School: Florida State
Watch to Watch: Speed Turn Drill, 40-time, Bench Press
2013 Stats: 56 tackles, eight tackles for loss, two interceptions, five passes defended, two forced fumbles
Met with Chiefs: Yes

Brooks was a free safety for the NCAA national champions, so no transition would be needed there for him. There is a problem with Brooks in that he is listed as being 5-11, the minimum threshold for Dorsey’s defensive backs size rule. How true is Brooks’ 5-11 listing?

His coverage instincts are very interesting to consider. Brooks is a converted cornerback who looks more natural in coverage as opposed to stopping the run. He’ll need a little bit of time to develop, so it is hard seeing him as a week one starter, but there’s an upside that’s intriguing with him.

Speed is unlikely to be an issue for Brooks, who could run in the low 4.4s. The lower he goes – potentially 4.42 – the higher he will climb my personal list of targets. Strength could be a problem for the under-200 pound Brooks. He’s listed at 197 pounds but that seems much bigger than what he looks like on film.

The kid makes plays, though. Very active and athletic in this video below.

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  • berttheclock

    Dorsey must have his reasons for that minimum height requirement, but, if he is basing it on the taller members of Seattle’s defensive backfield, he would not be able to pick up Earl Thomas, their All-Pro safety, who is only five ten. Yes, there is a fetish in the league for taller wide outs, but, just being tall to defend against them overlooks other important traits such as closing speed, hitting power and being able to come up quickly to jam TEs. King Carl wanted only certain six five computer models as his QBs and would have never had such as Russell Wilson leading his teams.

    This is beginning to remind me of certain elite military and/or quasi political/military units of Europe, past and present. In Italy, one must be six three to become a member of the Carabinieri. In Germany of old, one had to be six two to qualify for wearing a Death’s Head.

    Shame to not see the hard hitting, very fast closing safety Lamarcus Joyner on the list. He will be quite a success for any NFL team which picks him. But, apparently, not for the Chiefs as he is only five eight.

    • mnelson52

      They should allow for the fact that some of the shorter guys have the ability to jump 43 or 44 inches. If they can do that plus cover good, with good closing speed , and hit hard, I would have to consider them strongly. The Seattle DBs hit so hard that the receivers were growing scared of catching the ball, and were just beat up at the end of the day. That’s what I want KC to do, no matter whether they are 5’10 or 6’3.

  • freshmeat62

    I’ve noticed one thing about the measurable’s of college players. They usually tend to deceive toward the ideal height and/or weight. Where the ideal height for certain positions may be 6-3 or 6-4, the roster may say 6-1, when they are really only 5-11. The listed height of QB’s that I would always question is 6-2. That seems to be the minimum acceptable height. I’d bet that 99% of those QB’s listed at 6-2, are at least 2″ shorter. And if they really are 6-2, they’re listed at 6-3.

    The combine is where we find out the facts.

    • berttheclock

      Very similar to college basketball. “Yea! We have a seven footer”. er, no, six eleven, perhaps. Or some of those six nine guys who are closer to six eight. Even works with point guards trying to get over that six foot model.

      I still recall standing next to Pat Haden, the former QB for the Trojans and the Rams. He was listed at five ten. I was closer to five ten than my preferred five eleven wish list and, as I stood next to him in a sporting goods store in LA, I noticed I was taller. As he used to say, ‘I don’t throw over tall defensive players. I throw between them.’

  • unclejesse40

    I like the LSU Safety and the Nebraska Corner. The McGill guy did not impress me at all.

  • Tristian

    Love this kid to death. Got a chance to watch a lot of him at Florida State this year and he to me is the best safety in the class hands down. Add in running a 4.41 and he has Earl Thomas written all over him. But he can really cover as a single high safety and cover the slot which we need. Would love him at #23 in May