Ron Brooks

Draft Grades: Buffalo Bills

The Buffalo Bills were already having a strong offseason, highlighted by the addition of Mario Williams. And their 2012 draft class completes the process, and potentially makes them darkhorse contenders in the AFC.

The Bills reached for Stephon Gilmore. There’s no denying his potential, but he’s will need time to develop – more time than you’d typically expect from a top-10 pick. That said, I believe cornerback was one of their most glaring needs, and there was a fairly significant dropoff in talent at the position. If they felt this was an area they needed to address in order to compete in 2012, the reach was justified.

Cordy Glenn could be a steal in the 2nd round, but it depends where the Bills use him. He played left tackle this past season at Georgia, but is best suited to play right tackle or guard in the pros. If the Bills use him at left tackle, they’ll be missing an opportunity to maximize his skills.

T.J. Graham was a reach in the 3rd round. He’s more of a track star than a football player. He can stretch the field and potentially contribute as a return specialist, but his upside is limited.

Nigel Bradham is a developmental prospect but I like how he fits in Buffalo. He won’t be forced to play a significant role right away and can be brought along slowly.

I love the selection of Ron Brooks. He was stuck behind Morris Claiborne and Tyrann Mathieu this past year, but had the skills to start for nearly any other program in the country. His lack of experience makes him a bit of an unknown, but he played well in a nickel corner role at LSU and, at worst, should be able to fill that role in Buffalo.

Zebrie Sanders could be the Bills long-term answer at left tackle, but he isn’t ready for that role just yet. Ideally, they’ll keep him on the sidelines for a year, developing his strength and technique. But they’re desperate for help on the offensive line, which may force him into action.

Tank Carder lacks the measurables, but was extremely productive at TCU. He may never start, but should have a long career as a backup and special teams contributor.

Mark Asper may add some depth to the offensive line, but he’ll have to fight to make the final roster cuts. The Bills have no shortage of mediocre interior linemen.

The selection of John Potter doesn’t make much sense. Rian Lindell seems to be entrenched as the starting kicker and Potter is no better than any number of kickers who could have been picked up after the draft.

Overall, the Bills did a nice job of addressing needs without making many significant reaches. They also landed a few solid developmental prospects who could pay off a few years down the line. This may be Buddy Nix’s best draft class since coming to Buffalo.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Bills, Draft Grades - 2012 Comments Off

Ron Brooks scouting report

Ron Brooks CB LSU #13
Ht: 5’10″

Wt: 190

Elite athleticism. Has the speed to stick with any receiver in the game. Frequently used to blitz off the edge and shows impressive closing speed. Experienced lining up out wide and over the slot. Experienced on special teams coverage. Fairly reliable tackler; doesn’t always wrap up but gives a solid effort considering his size. Selflessly played a reserve role behind Patrick Peterson, Morris Claiborne and Tyrann Mathieu, despite having the skills to start for most programs.
Limited experience matching up against top receivers; primarily played a backup role in college. Height is only average. Much more comfortable in man coverage than in zone. Gets impatient in zone coverage; doesn’t always keep his eyes on the quarterback and is slow to react at times. Willing to tackle quarterbacks and receivers, but seems to shy away from contact when going after more physically-imposing running back.
Brooks appears to have all the tools necessary to play at the next level, but he really hasn’t been tested. Primarily playing the role of the nickel corner – and being used to blitz far more than your average cornerback – he hasn’t been forced to battle with many future NFL receivers. There’s a lot to like about his potential, but since we’ve seen so little of him he definitely qualifies as a boom-or-bust prospect.
2011 vs Ole Miss, Arkansas 
Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2012 2 Comments

Patriots showing interest in cornerbacks

The New England Patriots lack of depth in the secondary forced them to turn to a couple of receivers to play on the defensive side of the ball this past season, so it should come as no surprise that the team is doing its homework on some cornerback prospects for the upcoming draft.

The Patriots may be willing to roll the dice on the injury-plagued Bolden.

Most mock drafts have linked the Patriots to a cornerback (or two) with their four 1st and 2nd round picks. But since they’re looking for depth more than just one playmaker, they don’t necessarily need to spend a high pick on the position.

The Patriots have reportedly scheduled pre-draft visits with LSU cornerback Ron Brooks and Omar Bolden of Arizona State.

Both prospects should come off the board no earlier than the 3rd round, but could each compete for playing time immediately in the Patriots secondary.

Bolden could be of particular interest to the Patriots, who aren’t afraid to gamble on prospects with high upside. Bolden’s stock has fallen considerably after missing most of the 2008 and all of the 2011 season with injuries. But when healthy, Bolden, who was a starter since his freshman year at Arizona State, has shown legitimate starter potential.

For more info, follow our Draft Visit Tracker, updated daily. 

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2012 NFL Draft, Patriots Comments Off