Switched from OLB in 2012, after spending first two seasons at running back. 2013: First Team All-American. Led team in TFL and sacks. 2012: Encouraged to switch positions by new head coach Jim Mora. Second Team All-American. First Team All-Pac 12. Led team in sacks and TFL. Second on team in tackles. Started all 14 games at OLB. 2011: Played in 12 games with seven starts. Also played special teams. 2010: Played in all 12 games with four starts. Winner of John Boncheff, Jr. Memorial Award for Offensive Rookie of the Year. High School: Missed virtually all of his senior season with a broken ankle. SuperPrep All-American. Selected to U.S. Army All-American game but was unable to play. 1,890 rush yards, 20 TD as junior. Misc: Dad, Tony Brooks played fullback at Notre Dame and was a fourth-round pick of the Philadelphia Eagles in the 1992 NFL Draft. Three uncles also played in the NFL.
Exceptional take-off speed, acceleration and closing burst. Makes plays effortlessly in back-side lateral pursuit. Outstanding recovery quickness to make plays (when he is out of position). Explosive striker. Can produce "wow" plays when he triggers quickly or releases cleanly and has developed a reputation for knocking quarterbacks out of games (see USC, 2012 and New Mexico State, 2013).
Developing instincts -- late to locate the ball and too easily fooled by play-action and misdirection. Motor runs hot and cold -- does not always apply himself. Can be locked down too easily when engaged -- unrefined hand use. Lacks variety of pass-rush moves and relies too much on natural speed. Average eyes, anticipation and awareness in coverage marginal feel. Average base strength -- moved off the ball too easily by tight ends (plays tall). Needs more time in the weight room -- 15 bench-press reps were tied for the fewest among linebackers at the combine.
Round 1 (top 10)
A highly disruptive, athletic specimen with the pass-rush potential to effortlessly emerge as a double-digit sack producer. Is far from a finished product and his best football is still ahead of him, yet he plays the game with more of an offensive temperament and could require some patience. Is the type of rare athlete that could even contribute as an offensive playmaker once he learns to grasp defensive concepts and the game slows down for him.