Buffalo Bills: Grading the Team's Fourth Round of 2012 NFL Draft
The Buffalo Bills had two picks in Round 4, and they used them both very wisely.
At No. 105 overall, they selected Florida State outside linebacker Nigel Bradham. He’s a bigger body at 6’2” and 241 pounds who will fit defensive coordinator Dave Wannstedt’s 4-3 scheme. He also has nice length and reach with 33.75” arms.
Bradham led the Seminoles in tackles for three consecutive seasons, earning himself a reputation as being a very physical and aggressive player. NFL.com describes him as a “feared tackler in the ACC,” and with his measurements he’ll likely compete for time at strong-side outside linebacker with Kirk Morrison.
At the combine, Bradham posted an impressive 37” vertical jump and also ran a 4.64 40-yard dash. He has the speed and athleticism to pursue, and when he gets to the ball-carrier he delivers hits with a striking mentality that “jolts defenders on contact,” according to Pro Football Weekly.
Overall, the Bills found a big, fast, athletic striker who adds quality depth to the linebacker position. He’s a proven tackler with the skill set that coaches can’t teach. Instead, the Bills will help Bradham develop his overall awareness and instincts at the next level.
This pick gets an A.
Buffalo had a second fourth-round pick at No. 124 overall. The choice here was LSU cornerback Ron Brooks.
Yes, another SEC player for Buddy Nix. And Bills fans gotta love it.
Another talented, versatile corner with excellent speed, Brooks goes 5’10” and 190 pounds with a 4.39 40-time. During live coverage of the draft on ESPN, Todd McShay discussed how he was overshadowed his entire career while at LSU, playing second- (or third-) fiddle to Morris Claiborne and the "honey badger."
McShay went on to say that Brooks is a very good and underrated cover corner who spent a lot of time in the slot. He supported the run quite a bit, even finishing third in tackles last year. Tougher than expected for his size, he is a good fit for Buffalo to strengthen the secondary and also contribute on special teams.
Growing up in Texas, Brooks actually played quarterback and wide receiver. He also played basketball and ran track. He headed to LSU as an all-around athlete, and his skills translated very well to cornerback.
Brooks has rare leaping ability with a 38” vertical. Along with his sub-4.40 speed, he has all the physical attributes of an NFL corner. According to Pro Football Weekly, he has soft hands, impressive ball skills, athleticism and good balance.
The only real concern is his size, as he’ll have to use his physical style of play to match up with bigger wide receivers in the NFL.
Brooks bolsters Buffalo’s secondary even further, and he gives the team another potential weapon in the return game.
The selection earns another high grade as it fills a position of need with a quality player.
Buffalo has now taken two corners, an offensive tackle, a wide receiver and an outside linebacker. Expect Buffalo to grab one more offensive lineman with one of their final four picks.
The Bills could also address quarterback, outside linebacker, center and/or safety to establish depth at each of those positions.
Through four rounds, things are looking great for the Bills.
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