BBD Staff Writer: Ryan Talbot
The fifth installment of Buffalo Bills Draft’s six-part Sophomore Spotlight series focuses on Buffalo’s second 2012 fourth-round pick, Ron Brooks.
Selected Round 4, Pick 124 from LSU
When the Bills selected Ron Brooks in the fourth round of the 2012 draft, they were making an attempt to add talent and depth to their secondary.
Brooks was an interesting pick. He played in 53 games in his four-year career at LSU, but only started three of said games. This was due to the amount of talent that LSU had at the cornerback position. Brooks played alongside Patrick Peterson and Morris Claiborne during his time with the Tigers, both of whom were top-6 overall draft choices (Peterson in 2011, Claiborne in 2012).
He finished his collegiate career with 90 tackles (50 unassisted), 12.5 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks and three interceptions. It should be noted that Brooks returned all three interceptions for touchdowns. Brooks also had 10 pass breakups, five quarterback hurries, five forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries. His stat-line is quite impressive considering the limited number of starts he received at LSU.
Brooks was also used in a limited capacity as a kick returner at LSU. During his time with the Tigers he had 26 returns for 518 yards, an average of 19.9 yards per return.
Here are some positives and negatives from Brooks’ scouting report at NFL Draft Scout:
- Has good height and bulk for the position, using his length to make plays on the ball.
- Good straight-line speed and foot quickness.
- Locates and attacks the ball in the air with smart awareness, jumping routes with an opportunistic style.
- Effective blitzer off the edge.
- Has good ball-skills and knows what to do with the ball in his hands.
- Takes pride in his ability on special teams coverage.
- Lacks the natural fluidity and change of direction skills ideal for the position.
- Gets too high in his backpedal and opens his hips too early.
- Takes too many false steps and plays overaggressive.
- Too content throwing his shoulder around and not wrapping up.
- Needs to show better discipline and intelligence on the field.
NFL Network draft analyst Bucky Brooks had this to say on Brooks:
Brooks is an underrated cover corner with speed and quickness. He possesses the movement skills to handle slot receivers and could emerge as a key contributor as nickel or dime defender.
When training camp took place, Brooks was one of the defensive standouts for the Bills. He played extremely well over the summer months and many believed the Bills found a diamond in the rough.
Brooks suited up for three preseason games and made quite an impression. He finished with eight tackles, three passes defensed and an interception. On August 28th, Brooks’ foot was stepped upon by a teammate at practice. He ended up breaking a metatarsal bone in his foot and underwent foot surgery.
The Bills placed their short-term injured reserve designation on Brooks, a new injured-reserve policy introduced in 2012. Brooks made his first appearance in Week 9 against the Houston Texans.
Games Played: 9
Games Started: 2
Total Tackles: 19
Solo Tackles: 17
Passes Defensed: 4