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NFL Draft Scouting report: Kentrell Brothers, ILB, Missouri

Former standout Missouri linebacker Kentrell Brothers is profiled and evaluated for the 2016 NFL Draft.

 

 

Kentrell Brothers – Missouri Tigers

Position: Inside Linebacker

Height: 6’0’’

Weight: 244

Year: Senior

Hometown: Guthrie, OK

Experience: Sr. – 3 year starter

 

Measurables:

40 yard: 4.89 seconds (*4.73 at Pro Day)

Broad jump: 110 inch.

Vertical: 28.5 inch. (*31.5 at Pro Day)

3-cone: 6.99 sec.

20yd. Shuttle: 4.11 sec.

Bench Press: 19 reps

 

Career Notes:

Despite premiering as Missouri’s starting middle linebacker as a sophomore in 2013, Brothers didn’t grab national attention and assert himself as one of the SEC’s top linebackers until his junior year when he earned second-team All-SEC honors and led the team with 122 tackles. Brothers also recorded three forced fumbles and four pass breakups in 2014 and became a cornerstone piece to a very good Tigers defensive unit.

Despite the strong junior campaign, Brothers raised his game another level the following season. Not only did he lead his team in tackles as a senior, but he also led the entire FBS in stops with 152 and tackles per game (12.7), earning his second consecutive second-team All-SEC honor. His 17-tackle performance against Georgia his senior year may have been his most impressive game in college.

Heading into the NFL Draft, many experts consider Brothers one of the top inside linebacker prospects in the 2016 class, but the lack of ideal measurables and a poor forty time could hurt his overall draft stock this spring, causing him to drop further down boards than his ability and collegiate production warrant.

 

Injury Report:

Brothers was carted off the field in the third quarter against Kentucky (2015) after suffering an ankle injury, but he returned to the lineup the following week against South Carolina.

 

Career Stats:

 

Analysis:

Run Defense: (4.5/5.0)

Between the tackles, Brothers is a force against the run. He does a nice job moving to the ball, reading and diagnosing the play progression, and then closing in on the ball carrier to make the stop. He fills the rushing lanes well, showing good anticipation to meet the back in the hole. He’s also scrappy, plays with good leverage, and fights through blocks to work toward the ball. He does a nice job disengaging from blocks to get a hand on the ball carrier, which is a testament to his motor and ability to battlle at the point of attack.

He also shows excellent awareness and instincts on the field. He works over the offensive line well and then shoots the gap to make the stop at the line. In college, he made a living making plays at the line of scrimmage, which can be attributed to his football instincts, toughness, and ability to hang in the trenches and hold his own against opposing offensive linemen, despite not possessing ideal size for the position.

However, Brothers most admirable attribute may be the hustle he plays with on every down. He does a nice job running sideline-to-sideline and making stops outside the tackle box. He lacks top-end speed and explosiveness, which can hurt him if he’s late to reacting to a play—he doesn’t have good recovery speed if he’s out of place on the field. But, he usually takes good angles in pursuit and his ability to anticipate the run progression allows him to make up for some of his speed deficiencies.

Pass Rush: (3.0/5.0)

Brother’s size and lack of arm length definitely become limitations when rushing the passer as a blitzer. He’s quick enough to occasionally come clean off the edge and get a hit on the quarterback or time his A-gap blitz well and get in the QB’s face. However, once an offensive lineman gets his hands on him, Brothers lacks the power at the point of attack and doesn’t have the tool bag of pass rush moves to get around his guy and collapse the pocket. He’s much better in coverage and playing in space on third downs than blitzing as an inside backer. He usually gets swallowed up at the line of scrimmage.

Coverage: (3.5/5.0)

Brothers moves really well in space and shows excellent change of direction ability, which really helps him when dropping in coverage. He’s also an excellent open-field tackler, which makes him effective when dropping in zone and roaming the middle of the field to make stops on short and intermediate routes. Despite lacking long speed, Brothers does a good job picking up crossing routes and sticking with his man across the field.

He also shows good short-area burst to react and close in on a receiver attempting to catch the ball in his vicinity. However, Brothers smaller size and lack of straight-line speed can hinder him at times when covering athletic tight ends down the seam or halfbacks running wheel routes down the sidelines.

Agility: (4.5/5.0)

Brothers may get criticized because he's not a speedy linebacker, but this doesn’t mean he isn’t a tremendous athlete. He’s perhaps one of the quickest and agile linebackers in this class. He posted top marks amongst all linebackers in the three-cone and 20-yard shuffle at the NFL Combine, and on tape, his ability to change direction and move laterally really stands out. This enables him to get in position to make plenty of plays in tight spaces or turn and run outside of the tackle box and cover ground without wasting steps.

Impact Play Ability: (4.5/5.0)

Simply put, Brothers is a tackle machine. There’s a reason he led the nation in stops with a 152 his senior season. He may not hit the entire checklist of the ideal inside linebacker prospect in the NFL from a physical makeup standout, but he always manages to find a way to make plays on the field, which should hold some merit at the next level. Brothers rarely missed a tackle and was frequently in on the action—whether he’s the first guy there to make the stop or not.

He also made a lot of plays in coverage, recording two game-changing interceptions against Arkansas State. He also recorded several key pass breakups on third down, and recorded 2.5 sacks, 12 tackles for loss, three forced fumbles, and three blocked kicks in his senior season alone. All this to say, Brothers finds way to make plays, whether it’s against the run, in coverage, or on special teams.

Summary:

Brothers is a smart, tough player whose game is reminiscent of previous successful linebackers of similar build who were underestimated coming out of college--Chris Borland and Paul Dawson. He may not possess ideal measurables as a prospect, which could cause him to drop a round or two from where his production and film would suggest, but he’s a classic football player.

As a linebacker prospect, his game is very polished. His ceiling may not be as high as other prospects at the position, but his floor is also very high, meaning he’s a low risk prospect, who could come in and contribute immediately as a rookie whether it be on defense or on special teams. I would expect Brothers could go anywhere from the middle of the second round to the middle of the fourth, depending on how much weight teams place on his size and forty time.

Overall: 4.0/5.0

 

If drafted by the Packers:

Brothers doesn’t necessarily fit the mold Green Bay looks for in a 3-4 inside linebacker, but his tape and production in college are so good, he may force them to make an exception. Although he can take on blocks, Brothers would most likely play as a weaskside “chase” inside linebacker in the Packers system.

His ability to move in space and shoot the gap make him a better player to use roaming the middle of the field and allowing him to use his excellent anticipation ability to make plays on the ball. The Packers would want to make sure they have a nose tackle on the interior that can take on blocks and keep Brothers clean. If Brothers is asked to take on blocks and go head-to-head with guards, he may not excel against the run like they would need him to.

Brothers would be an excellent two-down player for the Packers, but even though he shows an ability to hold up in coverage dropping in zone, he may need to come off the field on third down because opponents could match an athletic tight end or shifty running back on him and take advantage of his lack of speed in the passing game. Green Bay had this issue last season with Jake Ryan and Nate Palmer guarding running backs in the passing game.

Even if the Packers select Brothers in the draft, they may want to consider bringing in another athletic linebacker with decent speed to drop in coverage in dime packages.

 

Video:

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Comments (7)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
EdsLaces's picture

April 04, 2016 at 03:40 pm

He seems just fine in coverage imo but who knows. I have liked this guy for a while if we could get a quality DL in round 1 and Brothers in the 2nd I'd say that would be a huge upgrade to our defense.

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Channon Christian's picture

April 04, 2016 at 05:03 pm

I like the way you strategize EdsLaces.

Personally, I'd like to see ILB Reggie Ragland Rd 1, One of the fine DT/DE round 2, and an OLB round 3.
If Brothers can be had in round 4, grab him too.

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holmesmd's picture

April 05, 2016 at 05:00 am

GB SHOULD NOT pick Ragland in the first round! We don't need a huge oversized ILB who can't run or cover.Can we please move on from this notion. GB will most likely take a NT in Rd 1 and I hope that it's Billings! Brothers is a good player but I think he's a 3rd pick. He also can't run. Our ILB's are already slow, why draft more lack of speed?! We need a fast ILB who can run and cover.

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DrealynWilliams's picture

April 05, 2016 at 11:33 am

What video have you seen of Ragland not being able to run or cover???

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holmesmd's picture

April 10, 2016 at 07:26 pm

http://www.nfldraftscout.com/ratings/dsprofile.php?pyid=124839&draftyear...

He's a Mike in a 3-4. We need a Will who can run and cover. A 255lb ILB who may very gain mass as he matures is not the guy we need. We have all Mikes, no Will's. I don't see why fans fail to grasp this? Raggland is a hell of a player and I'm happy to be wrong. I just don't see how reaching for him in r1 solves much for the Packers. Lee, Jack, Smith are the guys that can fill the role. Sadly only Smith may be there at #27 and although he was an incredible collegiate player, there is way too much risk to utilize an r1 pick on him IMO. Raggland ran a respectable 4.72 forty but I just don't see him as a weak side ILB on GB's defense. Say we draft him. Our absence of a fast run and cover Will remains. Barrington and Ryan can play Mike fine. The weak side chase backer has been and will continue to be the issue in the current pass happy NFL. Other than Joe Thomas, not one of our ILB's can run. I don't know how else to make the argument. The middle of the second tier has been a sieve for years! Think Ryan Shazier. That's the type of guy we have lacked since Nick Barnett...years ago and far too long.

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DrealynWilliams's picture

April 10, 2016 at 08:19 pm

This isn't a "What we need dispute", so don't try to make it that. How about we replace the mediocre play from Barrington/Ryan/Whoever else they tried at ILB (not named Matthews) with Raggland? The Will can be found later in the draft.

"Raggland is a hell of a player and I'm happy to be wrong."

That's that.

How is it reaching when he's considered one of Top LBs of the draft???

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

April 11, 2016 at 03:46 am

Brothers is a nice football player, somewhere in the 50 to 80 range. It would be unfair to say he is Ragland-lite. Ragland is considerably better taking on offensive linemen (I mean those playing for Auburn, Mich. St. and Clemson: not whoever was playing for Arkansas St. in the video above). Both are physical (Ragland might be a bit nastier) and both are good tacklers. Brothers in particular uses nice form, but Ragland uses good form too, and he stops forward progress better than Brothers, even when not in perfect position. Brothers has better COD, but is a half step slower than Ragland, who himself is a half step slower than is ideal. I'd say both can cover adequately for a Mike LB. Ragland can run better with a TE.

Ragland looks to me like a 1st rounder, and Brothers looks like a mid 2nd to mid-3rd. Both are Mikes, not Wills. I tend to agree with HolmesMD above in that I do not see as much marginal value in Brothers or even Ragland over Barrington/Ryan as I do for some 5 Tech and DL prospects, or even some OLB prospects, depending on who is there at #27.

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