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2015 NFL DRAFT
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Darrell Brooks

Height: 6-1 | Weight: 198 | College: Arizona
 
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Overview

Brooks found a home at free safety during his final two seasons at Arizona. He began his Wildcats career as a left cornerback, shifting to right cornerback as a sophomore. In 42 games at UA, Brooks started 41 times. He finished his career ranked 16th on the school's all-time record list with 295 tackles. He had a 7-yard sack and 10.5 stops for losses of 30 yards, adding two fumble recoveries and five forced fumbles. He also deflected 17 passes and intercepted four others for 20 yards in returns.

At Moreno Valley High School, Brooks earned three varsity football letters as a free safety and wide receiver. He was named to the All-Region, All-League, All-County and All-CIF teams. He served as team captain and earned team MVP honors, leading Moreno Valley with 109 tackles and seven interceptions while catching 33 passes for 511 yards and eight touchdowns as a senior.

During his career, he had 12 interceptions and broke up 30 other passes. He earned Prep Star All-Region honors and was a highly-recruited student-athlete with interest from the service academies among other strong academic institutions. He also lettered in track and basketball. Brooks was a four-time scholar-athlete and honor roll member who was listed in Who's Who Among High School Students.

Brooks enrolled at Arizona in 2001, spending the season on the scout team as a cornerback. He took over left cornerback duties in 2002, starting ten contests, but missed two games with a left hip injury. He finished fifth on the team with 50 tackles (39 solos) and caused two fumbles while recovering another and deflecting three passes.

Brooks shifted to right cornerback in 2003. He collected 79 tackles (55 solos) with 3.5 stops for losses, three pass breakups and an interception. He served as team captain in 2004, earning All-Pac 10 Conference second-team accolades after shifting to free safety. He led the team with 73 tackles (45 solos), adding one sack, 4.5 stops for losses and a forced fumble. He batted away nine passes and picked off another. He graduated in December, 2004 with a degree in psychology.

Brooks enrolled in post-graduate school in 2005 and continued his stellar play at free safety. He was a first-team All-Pac 10 pick, a Thorpe Award semifinalist, Lott Award quarterfinalist, first-team Academic All-Pac-10 and a semifinalist for the 2005 Draddy Award, the "Academic Heisman." He again led the team with 93 tackles (62 solos), as he caused two fumbles, deflected two passes and intercepted two others.

Analysis

Positives: Has a lean, angular frame with tapered thighs and calves … Smooth in his back-pedal, demonstrating good body control and balance … Highly intelligent player who is quick to read and diagnose the plays … Makes proper adjustments on the move to close on the ball … Gets good depth in his pass drops playing in the zone, doing a nice job of keeping the plays in front of him … Likes to get physical with the receivers in attempts to reroute … Times his leaps well and appears to have the natural hands to catch and reach for the ball away from the frame … Does a nice job of playing off blocks in run support and while he lacks the explosive closing burst, he does take good angles to the ball … Has the fluid hips and change of direction agility to flow from sideline-to-sideline.

Negatives: Lacks pop and explosion behind his hits and is not a strong wrap-up tackler … Makes plays vs. the run along the perimeter, but is too weak to prevent from getting washed out on the play when trying to plug the gaps … Has marginal timed speed for the position … While he has a smooth backpedal, he is a liability in man coverage, as he gathers and struggles to turn cleanly out of his breaks … Too inconsistent with his plant-and-drive to mirror the receiver on long routes … Does not have the second gear needed to recover when beaten … Best when playing off blocks rather than engaging the more physical opponent … Needs to add more bulk and strength, but the additional weight will greatly effect his already poor timed speed … Will get run over by the lead blocker when trying to attack the rush lanes.

Brooks is a bit too lean for a free safety and lacks the foot speed needed to play deep in center field. He is a solid tackler along the perimeter, but his lack of power will generally see him get washed out of the play when working at the line of scrimmage. He shows good aggression filling the rush lanes, but gets bounced out of the hole quickly due to a poor anchor.

Brooks is best when allowed to roam the field. He takes good angles in pursuit and manages to keep most plays in front of him when operating in the zone. He is a bit of a liability in man coverage, as he might have a smooth backpedal, but struggles to get a clean break and does not have the second gear to recover.

Brooks is very instinctive and alert. Even though he does not have that explosive closing burst you want in a free safety, he will collide with the receiver and try to strip the ball from his opponent (five forced fumbles). He gets turned too often operating vs. the quicker slot receivers and while he will take on the smaller blockers, he does not have the power to stack and control.

Brooks will need to play in a right system to compensate for his lack of speed and strength. He is best when playing deep in the zone, but because of his lack of valid foot speed, he has to rely on his instincts to get a good jump on the ball.

Career Notes

Ranks 16th in school history with 295 total tackles and eleventh with 204 solo stops.

2005 Season

All-Pac 10 Conference first-team selection … Thorpe Award semi-finalist and Lott Award quarter-finalist … First-team Academic All-Pac-10 and semi-finalist for the 2005 Draddy Award, the "Academic Heisman" … Started all year at free safety, leading the team for the second-straight season with a career-high 93 tackles (62 solos) … Had one stop for a loss of 5 yards and caused two fumbles … Deflected two passes and intercepted two others for 12 yards in returns … Again served as team captain.

2005 Game Analysis

Utah … Registered eleven tackles (4 solos), including one that stopped tailback Quinton Ganther for a 5-yard loss in the season opener.

Northern Arizona … Followed with six hits (4 solos).

Purdue and Arizona State … Made seven tackles (6 solos) in each contest … Also batted away a pass vs. the Sun Devils.

California … Was in on ten stops (9 solos).

Southern California … Registered a season-high fourteen tackles (9 solos) and caused a fumble when he took down tailback Desmond Reed late in the game.

Stanford … Limited to three solo tackles.

Oregon … Caused a fumble and deflected one pass … Intercepted another for a 12-yard return and posted five hits (4 solos).

Oregon State … Added another interception and thirteen tackles (8 solos).

UCLA … Credited with five tackles (3 solos).

Washington … Came up with twelve tackles (7 solos).

2004 Season

All-Pac 10 Conference second-team pick … The team captain shifted to free safety, leading the team with 73 tackles (45 solos), including a 7-yard sack and 4.5 stops for losses of 14 yards … Caused a fumble and deflected nine passes … Also had an 8-yard interception return.

2004 Game Analysis

Had 11 tackles (9 solos) and one pass break-up vs. Arizona State … Tallied five tackles and one pass deflection at Washington … Finished with 12 tackles, including a stop for a loss vs. Oregon State … Added nine tackles (5 solos) vs. California … Collected six tackles and two pass break-ups at Oregon … Finished with four tackles and a pass deflection at UCLA and had 11 tackles (6 solos), two stops behind the line of scrimmage, a pass break-up and a 7-yard sack vs. Washington State … Posted eight tackles, two stops for losses and a pass deflection vs. Wisconsin … Produced five tackles and a pass break-up vs. Utah … Had two tackles, a forced fumble and an interception that he returned for eight yards vs. Northern Arizona.

2003 Season

All-Pac 10 Conference honorable mention … Played in eleven games and started ten at right cornerback, finishing third on the team with 79 tackles (55 solos) and 3.5 stops for losses of 7 yards … Recovered one fumble and deflected three passes … Had one interception … Sat out the Texas Christian game while battling the flu.

2003 Game Analysis

Had five tackles in the Arizona State game … Tallied seven hits, including a tackle for a loss, and a fumble recovery vs. Southern California … Added nine tackles, including one for a loss and broke up a pass vs. Washington … Notched seven tackles, including one behind the line of scrimmage and broke up a pass at Oregon State … Had three hits at California and five tackles vs. UCLA … Broke up a pass and had eight tackles at Washington State … Finished the Purdue game with a team-high 10 tackles … Tallied seven hits, including a tackle for a loss vs. Oregon … Posted a career-best and team-high 13 tackles (11 solos) and grabbed an interception in the Louisiana State game … Produced five tackles vs. Texas-El Paso.

2002 Season

Earned second-team Pac-10 Conference All-Academic honors … Stepped into the starting lineup at the beginning of the season and earned extensive playing time as a result of several injuries to key members of the Wildcat secondary … Battled back and hip problems for the latter half of the season, but started at left corner-back in ten games … Completed the year as the team's fifth-leading tackler with 50 hits (39 solos), 1.5 stops for minus 4 yards, three pass break-ups, a fumble recovery and two forced fumbles.

2002 Game Analysis

Had five tackles (four solo) and recovered a fumble in the Arizona State game … Tallied a season-high 10 tackles (seven solos) vs. UCLA … Added six tackles at Oregon State and notched five tackles and a stop for a loss vs. Washington State … Made five solo tackles and broke up a pass at Stanford … Forced two fumbles and finished with six tackles (five solos) at Wisconsin … Tallied five tackles (four solos) vs. Utah … Broke up two passes and had six solo tackles, including one for a loss vs. Northern Arizona.

2001 Season

Redshirted and impressed the coaching staff with his work on the defensive scout team.

Injury Report

2002: Suffered a left hip strain and labrum strain vs. Northern Arizona (8/31).

2003: Bothered by a left shoulder sprain in January … Sat out the Texas Christian game (9/27) while battling the flu … Underwent left hip surgery in December.

2004: Did not play vs. Southern California after suffering a right side neck stinger vs. Oregon State (10/30).

2005: Underwent right shoulder surgery in January.

Agility Tests

Campus: 4.67 in the 40-yard dash … Bench presses 225 pounds 12 times … 37.5-inch vertical jump … 10'5" broad jump … 4.12 20-yard shuttle … Right-handed … 20/25 Wonderlic score.

Combine: 4.69 in the 40-yard dash … 2.7 20-yard dash … 1.6 10-yard dash … Bench presses225 pounds 7 times … 36.5-inch vertical jump … 10'5" broad jump … 4.38 20-yard shuttle … 11.38 60-yard shuttle … 6.97 three-cone drill … 31 5/8-inch arm length … 9 -inch hands.

High School

Attended Moreno Valley (cal.) High School, playing football for head coach Will Martin …

Earned three varsity football letters as a free safety and wide receiver … Named to the All-Region, All-League, All-County and All-CIF teams … Served as team captain and earned squad MVP honors, as he led Moreno Valley with 109 tackles and seven interceptions while catching 33 passes for 511 yards and eight touchdowns as a senior … During his career, he had 12 interceptions and broke up 30 other passes … Earned Prep Star All-Region honors and was a highly-recruited student-athlete with interest from the service academies among other strong academic institutions … Also lettered in basketball and track … Four-time scholar-athlete and honor roll member who was listed in Who's Who Among High School Students.

Personal

Earned undergraduate degree in Psychology in December 2004 and is currently enrolled in graduate school working towards a master's in Public Administration … 2001 and 2002 Mary Roby Academic Achievement Award recipient … Son of Dianita and Leslie Brooks Sr … Brother, Leslie Brooks Jr., played football for Nevada-Las Vegas … Born Darrell Lamar Brooks on 3/11/83 … Resides in Moreno Valley, California.

 
 

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