It seems to be a foregone conclusion that the Dallas Cowboys will devote a lot of time addressing defensive needs in next week’s NFL Draft. They got a jump start in free agency adding Gerald McCoy, Dontari Poe, and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. That bolsters the defensive line and secondary but the Cowboys could use some linebacker depth behind Jaylon Smith, Leighton Vander Esch, and Sean Lee. A linebacker that could be available in round two is Texas Tech tackling machine Jordyn Brooks.
Brooks didn’t waste any time making a name for himself as a Red Raider. As a freshman, he finished with 85 tackles, a sack, a forced fumble, and three passes defended while receiving honorable mention All-Big 12 honors for 2016. His sophomore season was productive with 89 tackles, an interception, two passes defended, and a fumble recovery as he received another honorable mention All-Big 12 honor. As a junior, he continued his stellar production with 84 tackles (seven tackles for loss), three sacks, and an interception and got his third consecutive honorable mention All-Big 12 nod. He closed his collegiate career with his best season as he totaled 108 tackles (20 tackles for loss, ranked top 10 nationally), three sacks, two forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery. He would receive second-team All-American and first-team All-Big 12 honors for 2019.
Texas Tech LB Jordyn Brooks 6’0, 240 pounds 4.54s forty yard dash * Closing speed * Brings a pop to the point of contact #NFLDraft https://t.co/uaJCiWWVtT
Texas Tech LB Jordyn Brooks Play 1 – Carry the vertical route, attach to the WR’s hip Play 2 – Club and swim move to disrupt quarterback Play 3 – Quarterback spy with range https://t.co/0swgaPc5it
At 6’0 240 pounds, he has the ideal size to take the pounding to play the linebacker position on the NFL level. He has tremendous sideline to sideline speed with he displayed not only on film but at the NFL Combine running a 4.54 in the 40-yard dash. Showed a knack for making plays behind the line of scrimmage with 27 tackles for loss over his last two collegiate seasons. He plays downhill and does a good job shedding blocks. His anticipation skills are excellent and he can chase plays down well from the backside.
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Scouting report according to NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein
“While his tackle production has been good in all four seasons, it’s hard not to come away from tape study feeling like his numbers should be even higher with his athletic traits and above-average instincts. Attacking blocks with better hand usage and greater physicality should allow him to eliminate some negative reps and become a more impactful player. He’s a potential future starter as an inside linebacker in even or odd fronts, but concerns with coverage duties could impact how teams see him as an every-down linebacker.”
There’s a possibility Brooks could be picked late in the first round, but if he’s there in the second, the Cowboys should be intrigued about adding him to an already improved defensive roster.