Antoine Brooks Jr. NFL Draft 2020: Scouting Report for Pittsburgh Steelers' Pick

Matt Miller@nfldraftscoutNFL Draft Lead WriterApril 25, 2020

Maryland's Antoine Brooks Jr. gestures during an NCAA football game against Syracuse on Saturday, Sept 7, 2019 in College Park, MD. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)
Gail Burton/Associated Press

Antoine Brooks Jr., Maryland

         

STRENGTHS

—Big-time hitter who ran the Maryland defense and will impress coaches with football IQ, toughness and willingness to fight through traffic to make tackles.

—Will press and shut down receivers and tight ends at the line of scrimmage. 

—Violent hitter when he zeroes in on the ball; was an effective corner-blitz operative.

—Sees what he hits and hits what he sees.

—Built with a strong lower body that he uses to explode into the ball.

—Smart and is rarely caught off guard in read-and-react situations.

      

WEAKNESSES

—Lacks ideal build at 5'11", 220 pounds; could be seen as a nickel linebacker or strong safety.

—4.64-second 40-yard dash backs up lack of speed seen on vertical routes.

—Short-area quickness is limited; not much burst out of cuts and stiff hips on transitions.

—Plays backyard football too much and has to be better at sticking to assignments, especially in coverage.

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—Scheme-dependent player who must be drafted by a team set on using him near the line of scrimmage.


      

OVERALL

Brooks is a tweener, but the NFL is moving toward more positionless players on defense. If he's unleashed him in the slot, he could wreak havoc on quarterbacks and tight ends from off the edge. Brooks isn't a classic rangy safety, but he's the answer to quick quarterbacks and offenses that throw short, dump-off passes that need to be covered.

      

GRADE: 69

PRO COMPARISON: Tony Jefferson/Marcus Allen