Typically NFL teams wait until after the Combine and Pro Day workouts to schedule private visits with potential draft picks.
The Carolina Panthers, however, have already invited LSU defensive tackle Michael Brockers to visit their facility March 8, according to the redshirt sophomore's agent.
Albert Elias of Elias Sports Management announced the proposed meeting via his Twitter account.
Listed by LSU at 6-6, 306 pounds pounds, Brockers ranks among the elite talents in what has shaped up to be a strong defensive tackle class. Brockers is currently second among defensive tackles on NFLDraftScout.com's board (behind Penn State's Devon Still) and is our No. 13 overall rated prospect. He's among six defensive tackles NFLDraftScout.com currently projects as potential first round prospects -- the highest total from any position in the 2012 draft. I'm even higher on Brockers than my peers, ranking him 10th overall on my Big Board.
The Panthers finished 25th in the NFL last season by allowing an average of 130.8 rushing yards per game. Worse, they finished 30th in the league by allowing 18 touchdowns on the ground in 2011. Clearly, improving their run defense will be a priority for Carolina. Dane Brugler and I certainly think the fit in Carolina would be a good one. Each of us currently project the Panthers to select Brockers with their first round pick.
Starting all 13 games in 2011, Brockers registered 54 tackles, including 10 tackles for loss. Though he only posted two sacks in 2011, some scouts believe LSU's speedy edge rushers simply got to the quarterback before Brockers could and that he'll ultimately prove an effective interior pass rusher in the NFL. Brockers also registered three passes broken up, an interception, a forced fumble and blocked a field goal attempt by Alabama in the BCS championship game.
Brockers only emerged as a full-time starter for the Tigers this past season but teams are enamored with his upside. He shows surprising flexibility for a man of his size, proving able to push interior linemen back with good power and pad level. Brockers, who signed with LSU as a very highly regarded defensive prospect, is a good athlete capable of chasing down ball-carriers. He is also blessed with long arms which help him break free from blocks quickly and present obstacles that quarterbacks and kickers have to avoid with the football. Scouts believe Brockers is just scratching the surface of his potential as he became increasingly effective as the season went on and was arguably the best player on the field in the national championship game.