2012 NFL Draft: LSU Defensive Tackle Michael Brockers
Michael Brockers is one of the safest picks in the 2012 NFL draft. He is safe because he is able to do things on an NFL level immediately. He can stop the run and he will command double-teams along the interior of the defensive front.
These are incredibly valuable tools for a player to have, especially in year one. There is a sense of security in knowing that your player can already help you.
There are multiple reasons to take a player, whether he fills a position of need or is a talent that can’t be ignored. Brockers fits the needs of almost every NFL team and at some point in the draft he will become such a talent that he should not be passed on.
That starts with the third pick in the draft.
Outside of the two quarterbacks at the top of the draft, there is no player that offers the security that Brockers does. He is going to command attention from more than one offensive lineman, and if you look around the league, players that can do this are crucial to helping their teams' defenses.
When a defensive lineman forces a double-team, it puts the players around him in a position to get to the quarterback. The New York Giants have won two Super Bowls on the strength of their defensive line.
Brockers played in the SEC and commanded double-teams constantly. He still managed to dominate the run and make plays at the edge of the defense.
In a perfect world, a team would feel safe knowing that the player they have selected will be a productive player for many years. This isn’t a perfect world and there are no guarantees, but with Brockers there are some things that we know he can do and there is a lot of value in that.
Michael Brockers vs. Mississippi State
There are so many things to like about what Brockers does in this video. His athleticism is on display as well as the double-team.
The second snap of the series shows him beating a double-team and forcing an early throw that results in an interception.
The third snap shows the offensive tackle trying to cut him, and on display is Brockers' athletic ability. He avoids getting cut the first time, gets cut the second time and gets up and tries to get to the edge.
At the 1:20 mark his read and recognition skills are shown as he recognizes the screen pass to the outside.
The entire video shows him being double-teamed, wreaking havoc in the middle, stopping the run and making plays.
Another thing to notice is that he never stays blocked.
Michael Brockers vs. Ole Miss
The first thing I take away from this video is just how much push Brockers gets into the Ole Miss backfield.
At the 1:28 mark he gets one lineman and beats him inside and almost gets home, forcing an early throw and a loss of yards.
The next play he gets singled again and shows his athleticism by recording a sack near the goal line.
At the 2:15 mark, watch his ability to read and recognize that the play is going out the back door, and then watch him run to the edge.
The video displays his ability to make running backs change direction because of the offensive line's inability to move him. It showcases his playmaking ability as well as his versatility.
Michael Brockers' One-Handed Interception
All you have to see in this video is at the 1:00 mark. Brockers' athleticism is here for everyone to see. Look at that one-handed interception.
Michael Brockers vs. Alabama in the National Championship Game
Immediately you can see the double-team that Alabama is throwing at Brockers. It is obvious that Brockers won't be moved against the run. Even against the double-team he continues to make plays.
At the 1:00 mark you can see what he can do rushing the passer even when he doesn't get home. Brockers is 6'6" and has 35" arms. When you put that together you get a lane that is almost 10' tall (without jumping) that he can occupy, forcing a quarterback to throw into a different lane or waiting too long.
On the very next play he does the exact same thing, forcing the quarterback to reload and throw for a short completion.
Another thing to see is that he refuses to stay blocked.
At the 2:15 mark he blocks a field goal, showing his athleticism and the size we talked about earlier.
At the 3:15 mark he is triple-teamed by a guard (Steen), a tackle (Fluker) and a tight end (Smelley). He goes to a knee but still gets up to make a tackle on Jacob Lacey for a 2 yard loss.
The rest of the video shows him being disruptive and taking on double-teams. He is always around the ball against the run, and seems to get into the backfield to disrupt running plays all the time.