Can help cover against tight ends and running backs
Can drop into zone coverage
Asset to spy mobile quarterbacks
Strong, thick build
Above average instincts, but not great
Does not take on blocks well
Will struggle against NFL offensive linemen
Summary: The Big XII is a conference known for its high flying offenses with passing attacks that light up the scoreboard on a weekly basis, but is not known as great defensive conference for producing NFL talent. However, the 2020 NFL Draft could see some Big XII defenders go early, including two of the top linebacker prospects in Oklahoma's Kenneth Murray and Texas Tech's Jordyn Brooks. After Isaiah Simmons from Clemson, the Big XII duo were among the best linebackers in college football last year, and they are well equipped for the next level.
Over his college career, Brooks was a steady tackler for the Red Raiders. He played very well as a senior in 2019, collecting 108 tackles with three sacks and a forced fumble. He had 84 tackles, 89 tackles and 85 tackles over the previous three seasons.
As a linebacker, Brooks looks like a safe pick to develop into a three-down starter. He has above average instincts, not great, but is quick to read his keys to get in position to make plays. Brooks functioned well in the Texas Tech scheme, and he executes well, so if he has a good pro coordinator, that could help make up for his instincts being short of elite. There is no doubt that Brooks has serious speed and can really run. Brooks has no problem getting to the perimeter, and he eats up space in a hurry. He has good length and weight to him as well, so that gives him enough versatility to play Mike - middle - linebacker, but that is not his best fit. Team sources say Brooks would be better off as a Will - weakside - linebacker.
In the ground game, Brooks is a good tackler who wraps up ball-carriers and is reliable to get them to the ground. He has sideline-to-sideline speed and does well to shut down the perimeter. For the next level, Brooks needs to get better at taking on and shedding blocks. Right now, he will really struggle to get off blocks from the 315 pounders in the pro game and he is going to have a hard time holding his ground against them. Thus, he is not a great fit as a middle linebacker.
Brooks functions well in pass coverage. Team sources like his athleticism and coverage ability in zone. He covers a lot of ground in zone coverage, is a smooth mover in space, and does a nice job of disrupting throwing lanes. His quickness and athleticism allows him to have the potential to play some man coverage on tight ends and backs out of the backfield. On dump-off passes to the flat, Brooks can close quickly to hunt down backs and is a steady tackler in space. He has the speed to run down the middle seam as well. Brook's skill set and read-and-react ability make him a capable spy to help neutralize a mobile quarterback as well. He also is a decent blitzer.
I think Brooks will be a solid starting pro linebacker. His best fit would come as a Will - weakside - linebacker in a 4-3, and he could play the Mo linebacker in a 3-4 next to a big Mike. Team sources feel Brooks is a safe second-day pick. He could go in the second round and should not last long if he makes it to the third round.
Player Comparison: Dre Greenlaw. Team sources have said Brooks reminds them of a bigger version of Greenlaw. Greenlaw played well for San Francisco in 2019.