Broncos Draft Prospects: DT Michael Brockers

OXFORD, MS - NOVEMBER 19: Barry Brunetti #11 of the Ole Miss Rebels scrambles with the ball against Michael Brockers #90 of the LSU Tigers on November 19, 2011 at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, Mississippi. (Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images)

One of the more intriguing prospects in all of the draft is LSU Defensive Tackle Michael Brockers. Brockers the 6'6 322lb behemoth declared for the 2012 NFL Draft after his Sophomore season at LSU. During his 27 game(15 starts) career at LSU, Brockers totaled 79 tackles, 11 tackles for a loss and 2 sacks. After Brockers 2011 season, he earned second team All SEC Honors. Brockers attended Chavez High School in Houston Texas. He was considered a 4 star recruit by rivals.com, and had him rated as the No. 10 Strong Side defensive end in the entire nation coming out of high school, Brockers turned down scholarship offers from Texas Tech and Texas A&M to go to LSU.

Michael Brockers announced on January 12th, 2012 that he would forgo his final two years and enter the NFL Draft. Brockers who is only 21 is ranked as one of the best, if not the best defensive tackles in the 2012 Draft. Brockers totaled 54 tackles, 10 tackles for a loss and 2 sacks, and earned Second team All SEC Honors in his sophomore season at LSU.

Michael Brockers was invited to the NFL Scouting Combine

  • 40 Yard Dash: 5.36 seconds
  • Vertical Jump: 26.5 inches
  • Broad Jump: 105 inches
  • 3 Cone Drill: 7.46 seconds
  • 20 Yard Shuttle: 4.81 seconds
CBSSports.com ranked Brockers as the 2nd rated DT in the entire 2012 Draft Class, and the 14th overall player in the 2012 NFL Draft.
Analysis:
Pass rush: Only registered two sacks in 2011 but appears to have blossoming natural pass rush skills. Good initial quickness off the snap and flashes an explosive burst to split gaps. Surprising use of leverage for a player of his height. Good arm length and strength to keep his opponents' hands off his chest. Good bull rusher due to his use of leverage and good leg drive. Good quick arm-over swim move, which is made especially effective due to his long arms. Stymied at the line of scrimmage by chop blocks early in the season (Oregon) but improved his awareness and balance as the year went on. Good lateral agility and an explosive burst to close when the quarterback is near. Good awareness to get his hands in the air. Knocked down three passes in 2011 including making a diving interception against Northwestern State.

Run defense: Again, shows surprising bend and power to win the leverage battle despite his height. Used as part of a rotation and loses his effectiveness when his pad level rises as he tires. Good upper body strength to stack and shed. Lacks the anchor to hold up to double teams, but shows good quickness and aggression to seize the gap and works hard to split it. Pursues well when he has a lane to do so. Can get tied up inside and lose track of the ball. Good effort. Gets up quickly when knocked to the ground and gives his all to the whistle.

Explosion: Flashes enough quickness off the snap to threaten gaps at three-technique, especially when slanting. Heavy hands, good lower body strength and the ability to roll his hips into his opponent to drive them backwards on the bull rush. Arrives with a thud as a tackler.

Strength: Still growing but shows very good strength to hold up as an interior run defender when he maintains his proper pad level. Long, strong arms for the take-down tackle despite being engaged with a blocker.

Tackling: A forceful hiter who brings his hips to explode into the ball-carrier. "Only" forced one fumble in 2011 but did the same in 2010 despite considerably less playing time. Appears to have the athleticism and closing speed to improve in this area with more experience. Generally a good wrap-up tackler who brings ball-carriers to the ground quickly and securely. Good effort laterally and downfield in pursuit.

Intangibles: Given a late first to early second round grade by the NFL Advisory Committee. Lined up as a three technique, on the nose (zero technique) and outside at defensive end (five technique) for LSU in 2011. Has had no known off-field or injury issues while at LSU. Though Brockers' 2011 season seemingly came out of nowhere, head coach Les Miles predicted it heading into the 2010 season characterizing Brockers as "becoming a bear to handle inside."

--Rob Rang

Michael Brockers Scouting Report done by Mocking The Drafts, Dan Kader

6'6, 306 pounds | Defensive tackle | LSU

Pass rush: Generates a good bull rush using his powerful legs and has the quickness to be used to get outside on twists. Does a nice job of playing to the outside allowing the defensive end to get wide around the edge. Has shown an advanced knowledge of how to use to his frame to get skinny and work through the gap. Would be able to make his most immediate impact as a five technique on a three-man front.

Pursuit/Quickness: Gets off the line of scrimmage with ease. His first step isn't elite, but it's not bad. Displays good effort if he loses on the first move. Gives a good effort to get his hand on the ball carrier, even when held up on blocks. Doesn't always work to the wide outside edge when a play develops. Light on his feet.

Run defend: Although Brockers frequently requires double team blocks, he doesn't give up ground. Gets lined up over center or in the A-gap. Shows good instincts to get after running backs as they come through the hole. Has nice change of direction ability for such a big player. Alert lineman who can quickly recognize and react to trap blocks.

Strength: Is still growing into his frame, but already has good power. Has big, strong legs that help him fire off the snap. Could easily get up to 315 pounds by adding more bulk to his upper body. Still learning how to use his strength in the pass rush.

Tackling: Uses a combination of length and power to take down tacklers. Gets wide in the running lane to engulf ball carriers. Is nimble because of his change of direction skills, so Brockers has the skills to work through the trash near the line.

Technique: Brockers has a tendency to come out of his stance high and give up leverage to shorter linemen. Really had issues with this against Alabama's William Vlachos. Shows good handwork to get off blocks.

Final word: In the 2012 NFL Draft, few players carry as much potential and upside as Brockers, a redshirt sophomore. On a loaded LSU defensive line, Brockers routinely stood out and should transition well to the NFL. At 6-foot-6, Brockers has an impressive frame with a lot of room to grow. Because of his relative inexperience (one season as a full-time starter), he'll need to get drafted on a team that can rotate him in while he develops.

NY Times Scouting Report on Michael Brockers

In the first segment of the Scouting the Draft series, I profiled Penn State defensive tackle Devon Still. He is an athletic playmaker who I think may be the top interior defensive lineman in this year’s draft. That includes the prospect I’m featuring today, whom most analysts have ranked ahead of Still.

Michael Brockers came to L.S.U. as a linebacker. Now he stands 6-6 and weighs 306 pounds, and his linebacker days are long behind him. Brockers surely has a lot of upside, but here is why I believe he is being overrated by others.

Scouting Report

Although Brockers has very similar measurements to Devon Still, the two have different body types. Still appears as if he can add weight, but I fear that Brockers has peaked in that department. It says a lot about his work ethic that he has been able to add the size and strength he has, but how much room is really left for improvement?

Brockers’s skills are also vastly different. Brockers is not nearly as fluid as Still, possessing average to below-average lateral quickness. He gets penetration from the inside, but he’s really more of a space-eater than anything else — an undersize nose tackle, if you will. Brockers handles double teams well, using his strength to stand his ground, disengage from blocks and make tackles. You can see an example at the 3:39 mark in the Georgia game (below).

Still, Brockers generally struggled against Georgia. To his credit, he was double-teamed often and improved as the game progressed. For a player who is being projected to go as high as No. 6, however, you’d like to see more consistent production. His ability to maintain his gap integrity is mixed with spurts of being blown off the ball (such as at the 1:05 mark against Georgia), and that shouldn’t happen for a player of "elite" power.

Compared with Still, Brockers shows inferior leverage and pad level. At times, he gets stood up at the line and cannot fight off weaker blockers — witness the 2:12 and 2:57 clips against Mississippi State. Unlike most big men, however, he seems to become more effective as the game wears on. He is a high-motor player by all accounts. I watched five of his games, and I never saw Brockers take a play off. At 3:55 in the Georgia video, you can see an example of his refusal to give up: Brockers is initially neutralized, but he chases down the quarterback from behind and forces a fumble.

Ultimately (and this will be unpopular), I think Brockers is a second-round talent. He has upside because he’s still raw at defensive tackle and he can probably play in both a 4-3 defense and a 3-4 scheme (at defensive end), but he doesn’t capitalize on single-teams as much as you would expect a potential first-rounder to do. Brockers is great in tight areas and has an impressive work ethic, but he displays an average (at best) pass-rush repertory.

Projection

Brockers is expected to go in the top half of the first round, probably in the top 10 picks. I think his floor is relatively high because of his superior work ethic, but I don’t see him as anything more than a solid N.F.L. player. When I compare him to Still, there’s really no comparison.

Most Likely Destinations

Washington (#6), Carolina (#9), Buffalo (#10), Seattle (#12), Dallas (#14)

A scouting report for Michael Brockers from nflmocks.com and our own Sayre Bedinger

This is the official scouting report page for LSU defensive tackle Michael Brockers. Be sure to check out all scouting reports here at NFL Mocks.

Measurables

6’5″ 322 pounds, 35″ arm length (really long arms), 9 1/8 inch hands

5.36 forty yard dash, 26.5 inch vertical jump, 105 inch broad jump, 7.46 3 cone drill, 4.81 20 yard shuttle

Scouting Report

Get ready to read this a lot for future LSU defensive line scouting reports, but Michael Brockers is a freakish athlete for his position and should be able to make a significant impact in the NFL. He is the type of guy that could make a similar impact like an Aldon Smith, the kind of guy who rotates in and out of the game but puts up big numbers. Brockers is a long defensive tackle prospect who has great size at 6’6″ 306 pounds with room to grow even bigger and keep his athleticism. He has scheme versatility because of his athletic ability, and I think he has upside as both a pass rusher as well as a run stuffer. He gets off the ball with elite quickness, and has a relentless motor. He had 10 tackles behind the line of scrimmage this past season, and made a huge impact on arguably the best defense in the country on the inside. I would have liked to have seen him go back to LSU selfishly to see him back with that talented crew of players, but he is ready to make the jump to the NFL. He might have a slower development, but I think he can make a significant impact as a rookie and be one of the top defensive tackles in the game if he works hard.






My Take:
Brockers has loads of talent, but is very very raw. Really surprised he came out actually. He's only 21, and isn't much of a pass rusher yet, but he has alot of growing to do as a player. He's a big boom or bust player i believe. I'd love to see what Coach Fox and Del Rio could do with him. He would be nice run stuffer from day 1, and in time I think he'll get stronger and learn some pass rushing moves. There's a chance he's available for us at 25, I've seen him mocked from a high as 7 to as low as 27 in recent weeks. So we'll see, I love his potential and upside. Something we really need in the middle of our DL.

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