A report from Tony Pauline of DraftInsider.net has the Bears selecting LSU defensive tackle at the #19 overall pick. Brockers was once considered a top-10 has started to fall down draft boards after a below average showing at the NFL combine more analysis has been done. Brockers is a 6-foot-5 322-pound prospect who is reportedly one of the most athletically gifted defensive linemen available in this draft. From the report: “If Michael Brockers of LSU is there we hear the team will select him.”
My feelings on Brockers when you put on the tape is he is a very good prospect. Brockers is quick off the ball, and very strong and at times plays with good leverage. He can play a bit too upright but when he does keep his pad level low he can be a very dominant force. Brockers anchors well at the point of attack and loves to fight and scrap in the trenches with anyone that they put in his way. He’s also very astute and avoiding cut blocks and in pursuit.
He doesn’t play with a high motor most of the time, though I suspect if he winds up with the Bears that will change. The fact of the matter is if any prospect has effort issues in Chicago that will be dealt with by Rod Marinelli. There is no loafing in Rod Marinelli’s defense and the Bears’ team enforces that.
While Brockers looks like he would be a good fit for the Bears my biggest concern is his lack of a real explosive element to his game. Brockers doesn’t project like a true one gap DT who explodes into gaps to disrupt plays. He can be disruptive in gaps, but it’s usually not his quick step that causes him to be disruptive. Brockers’ play is a lot like Albert Haynesworth, though obviously most fans would argue that’s a good thing.
Brockers’ best attribute is his athleticism combined with his power. He wins a lot of battles with his hands and can stack and shed at the point of attack. He can use his strength to get into gaps and has short area quickness and enough change of direction ability to be effective against the run and pass.
What I honestly see Brockers as is an ideal 5-technique DE because he can take on a blocker and play two gaps extremely well. Plus he has enough of a pass rush to be effective as that two gap DE.
I mostly like what I see out of Brockers as a prospect, but I don’t think he fits what the Chicago Bears do on defense. If he winds up in Chicago I won’t be disappointed, but he is a player that has been given the boom or bust label by a lot of draftniks and with the recent struggles of LSU defensive lineman that is disconcerting. There are prospects I like a lot more that fit what Chicago needs and there are prospects I like a lot less than Brockers.