Michael Brockers, a top draft prospect for the 2012 NFL Draft, is scheduled to come to Philadelphia for a pre-draft visit with the team per Aaron Wilson of Scout.com.
This is the first visit by a player whom many scouts believe will be selected in the top half of the first round. Brockers, who played his college ball for LSU, is considered by many to be the best defensive tackle in the 2012 draft class.
Brockers is an imposing specimen at 6′ 6″, 322 lbs. Last season, he posted 54 tackles, 10 tackles for a loss, two sacks, one forced fumble, and four QB hurries.
Even though he’s highly rated, Brockers is still seen as a talented but raw prospect by most scouts. The reason he is rated so high is due to the potential they feel he has. For a closer analysis, consider these scouts’ thoughts on him:
From Pro Football Weekly –
• Terrific size, strength and length
• Active hands
• Powerful base to reestablish the line
• Collapses the pocket
• Highly productive, strong tackler
• Lacks elite initial quickness
• Can play with more consistent leverage
• Becomes blockable when pads rise
• Still developing instincts and counters
• One-year producer
The Way We See It:
Big, strong, instinctive, versatile raw talent with tremendous upside. Can be molded into an elite anchor and has the length and power highly desired as an edge setter in a 3-4 front.
From Sideline Scouting–
Positives— Excellent size and bulk with natural athleticism, impressive first step, consistent get-off, good initial quickness, can beat linemen with his get-off and strength, could be used on stunts and twists at the next level.
Has added significant weight since enrolling at LSU and has the combination of strength and initial quickness to overwhelm interior offensive linemen, fights through double teams, has the potential to develop into a legitimate pass rushing presence from the interior.
Negatives — A better run stuffer than pass rusher at this point in his career, lacks much of an arsenal of pass rush moves… Only has one year of starting experience, declared following his redshirt sophomore season so he’s still a little raw at this point in his career but with his suddenness, length and power he has a lot of potential to improve as a pass rusher…
Inconsistent in his hand usage and placement to get off blocks, is also prone to playing a little upright at times when rushing the passer, his height can serve as a disadvantage and shorter interior offensive linemen will have the natural leverage advantage and can get their hands into his chest.
Brockers doesn’t appear to me the type of DT that defensive line coach Jim Washburn would be interested in. Washburn prefers his lineman quicker, sleeker, and to have better abilities as a pass rusher.
Furthermore, he appears to me better suited as a 2-gap player or possible nose tackle in a 3-4 defense. The Eagles switched to a 1-gap system when Washburn came on board.
However, just because he’s visiting doesn’t mean this is who the Eagles will end up selecting with their No. 1 pick. He will be the first of a handful of top prospects to visit as well as one of numerous prospects to visit between now and the draft.
What this could indicate, though, is that the Eagles are considering drafting a defensive tackle with their first pick. Keep an eye on whether or not other top DT prospects such as Fletcher Cox, Dontari Poe, or Devon Still come in for a visit.
If so, that would certainly indicate a trend and possible insight into what they may be thinking. Right now, I don’t think Brockers will ultimately be the chosen one, plus he’ll likely be gone by pick 15 anyway.