Undersized for an inside 'backer (a potential factor in the lack of interest by major programs in his home state of Oklahoma), Brothers recognizes plays quickly, works his way through traffic, and flows down the line very effectively as a run-stopper. His junior year was impressive (122 total tackles as a second-team All-SEC pick in 2014), but leading the nation in tackles per game (12.7, 152 total), making more plays in the backfield (12 tackles for loss) and proving himself able to make plays against the pass (two interceptions) and on special teams (three blocked kicks) made him an easy second-team All-American pick by the Associated Press and USA Today for 2015.
PRO DAY RESULTS
40-yard dash: 4.82 seconds
Vertical: 31 1/2 inches
Bench press: 19 reps of 225 pounds
Elite vision and understanding of spatial relationship. Finds the ball quickly and rarely lets it leave his sights. Has innate sense of when to go over or under blocks and finds creases to tackle that many linebackers can't see. Reads keys and allows them to lead him to victory. Calm and focused around line of scrimmage and is very rarely taken off his feet by a block. Plays with pre-snap idea of where ball is headed and races to the spot ahead of linemen looking to climb up and block him. Well-schooled in his hand play. Shoots a jarring punch into blockers and keeps himself clean to chase the steak. Finished with 42 more tackles than the next linebacker in the SEC. Gap responsible and has the play strength to stand up to blockers. Great finisher as tackler. His huge hands can turn a diving arm tackle into a finish. Sniffs out play-action and immediately looks for his coverage responsibility. Reads quarterbacks' clues to where pass is headed. Rarely busts in coverage responsibilities.
Stubby lower half with some tightness in his hips and short arms. Very average athlete and lacking quick-twitch expected from such a productive linebacker. Reactive athleticism near the line of scrimmage is just okay. Instincts have to be razor sharp because speed to the perimeter is below average. Feet dont work as quickly as his mind does. At times, overestimates speed and will take a poor angle to the ball. More of an extra rusher than quality blitzer as a pass rusher. Scouts say coaches on staff have had concerns about his maturity in the past. Can be mismatched and beaten for a big play when asked to cover man-to-man down the field.
Rounds 4 or 5
Really fun to watch on tape with many of the same play traits that made TCUs Paul Dawson so productive last season. Brothers is a decisive, rhythm linebacker whose understanding of space and ability to improve his tackle positioning at the point of attack should make him a consistently productive inside linebacker in the pros. While Brothers will lack the speed and overall athleticism that some teams covet, it would be a huge mistake to value athleticism over instincts and production when evaluating Brothers.
View images of Vikings 5th round draft pick Missouri LB Kentrell Brothers.