Kentrell Brothers Scouting Report By Charlie Campbell
Tough run defender
Plays very physical
Displays some instincts
Hits with authority
Will take on blockers
Plays with a mean streak; very physical
Shown some ability to drop into pass coverage
Can function in space
Special teams contributor
Good build for the NFL
Functional quickness, but not particularly fast
Can misread plays
Sometimes is slow to the flat
Overpursuit issues from aggressiveness
Lacks true sideline-to-sideline speed
Tackles high; needs to get lower and wrap up
Summary: In recent years, Missouri has been a factory for NFL talent in the defensive front seven. Sheldon Richardson, Kony Ealy, Shane Ray and Markus Golden have been early round picks over the past three drafts. This year, Brothers is the Tigers' top defensive prospect with Josh Augusta and Charles Harris looming for the 2017 NFL Draft. Brothers isn't the caliber of prospect of Richardson or Ray, but he still was a productive player who could turn into a solid pro.
Over the past two seasons, Brothers was a tackling machine for Missouri. After 70 tackles as a sophomore, Brothers broke out during his junior year with 122 tackles with three forced fumbles, five tackles for a loss, four passes broken up and one sack. As a senior, he was even better with 152 tackles, 12 for a loss, two interceptions, 2.5 sacks, one forced fumble, three passes batted and a blocked punt. Even without a bowl game to play in, Brothers led college football in tackles.
At the Senior Bowl, Brothers was heavier than expected, and it looked like he was slowed down compared to how he played as a junior and senior. He had a decent week in Mobile, but wasn't overly impressive.
Brothers would fit in the NFL as a middle linebacker in a 4-3 defense or inside linebacker in a 3-4. He is a tough run defender who is a good tackling in-the-box presence. Brothers has instincts and is good in pursuit to track down ball-carriers. He doesn't have elite speed, but he is quick enough to be a starter. At Missouri, Brothers was a three-down defender and didn't look bad dropping into pass coverage. He isn't a linebacker who should go man-to-man on receiving tight ends, but he could function in zone. Brothers looked faster during the 2015 season, so dropping some weight for the NFL would be advisable. He should be a very good contributor on special teams quickly in the NFL as he had multiple blocked punts in college.
In the 2016 NFL Draft, Brothers looks like a mid-rounder. He could turn into a solid pro and outplay his draft slot.
Player Comparison: Brandon Marshall. Brothers kind of reminds me of Marshall. They both are quality run defenders who can contribute in pass coverage. Brothers will need some work to be on Marshall's level in pass coverage. However, they have similar size and skill sets. Marshall was a fifth-round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft and has blossomed into a good pro linebacker. I think Brothers could follow a similar path.
NFL Matches: Minnesota, Green Bay, Cincinnati, Los Angeles, New York Giants, Cleveland, Washington, Dallas, Chicago, Miami and Denver
There are a lot of teams that could consider some inside linebacker help in the mid-rounds of the 2016 NFL Draft. In the NFC North, Green Bay has been weak at inside linebacker for years. Brothers could compete quickly for the Packers. If Brothers drops some weight, he could get consideration from the Vikings as a linebacker to pair with Eric Kendricks and replace aging veteran Chad Greenway.
In the AFC North, Cincinnati signed A.J. Hawk, but could use a long-term linebacker to replace Hawk. The Browns are also in the market for inside linebacker help, especially if Craig Robertson leaves in free agency.
Los Angeles could consider some depth and competition for James Laurinaitis. His play declined last season.
In the NFC East, the Redskins could use a young inside linebacker and the Giants have needed linebacker help for years. Brothers could interest either team.
Chicago started Shea McClellin in the middle last year, and that did not go well for the Bears. They need an upgrade on the inside of their defense. The Dolphins could also consider linebacker help as many thought they would address it early in the 2015 NFL Draft, but they didn't.
The Broncos have Marshall and Danny Trevathan entering free agency. It could be hard to re-sign both. If one leaves, Denver could be a fit for Brothers in the mid-rounds.