EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. —The Vikings added a tackling machine in the fifth round of the 2016 NFL Draft by selecting Missouri linebacker Kentrell Brothers.
A redshirt senior, Brothers recorded 152 tackles last season and led the nation with 12.7 tackles per game. Brothers also tallied 12 tackles for loss, including 2.5 sacks and led the nation with three blocked kicks on special teams.
A First-Team All-SEC honoree in 2015, Brothers recorded 358 total tackles in four seasons with the Tigers.
Jamaal Stephenson, the Vikings Director of College Scouting, said Minnesota was impressed by Brothers' playmaking abilities.
"It's hard not to like him when you turn on the tape," Stephenson said. "He makes a lot of plays. I think he had over 150 tackles this year."
Brothers will join a linebackers unit that features Anthony Barr, Eric Kendricks and Chad Greenway among others. Although Brothers played on the outside at Missouri, he could shift inside in Minnesota.
"Our defense in college is a lot different than what they do at the Vikings," Brothers said. "Our outside linebacker is not really the same as the Vikings.
"I see myself playing middle," Brothers added. "That's what I've been told by the coaches so far."
Brothers, who is 6-foot and 245 pounds, said he's always played well despite being one of the shorter linebackers on the field.
View images of Vikings 5th round draft pick Missouri LB Kentrell Brothers.
"A lot of people see it as a disadvantage but I see it as an advantage," Brothers said. "I'm able to stay low on linemen and hit low on running backs.
"I've worked well with it so far and I think I can continue to do that with the Vikings," Brothers added.
Stephenson said the new Viking also can contribute on special teams. Brothers, who blocked three kicks in 2015, said he brings heart to special teams.
"He doesn't just do it on defense," Stephenson said. "He's a very good special teamer, had three blocked kicks this year, so we're excited about adding him."
Brothers is also ecstatic about joining the Vikings considering he's an Oklahoma native and grew up watch Vikings running back Adrian Peterson at the University of Oklahoma.
"I went to a lot of OU games as a kid so I've been a fan of him growing up," Brothers said. "A superstar like Adrian Peterson, it's crazy growing up watching him and now I get to be his teammate."