Florida State S Terrence Brooks Fits One Of The Steelers Many Draft Needs

Of the 17 players listed as safeties that ran Tuesday at the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine, Terrence Brooks from Florida State had the fastest 40-yard dash time. Brooks, who according to Jim Wexell of Steel City Insider met with the Pittsburgh Steelers while in Indianapolis, registered a 4.42 official time which was considerably better than the times posted by Alabama’s Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (4.58) and Louisville’s Calvin Pryor (4.58), whom many consider to be the top two safeties in the draft class this year.

When NFL.com draft analyst Mike Mayock unveiled his first position-by-position rankings for the 2014 NFL Draft just over a week ago, Brooks failed to crack his top five safeties list. However, during Mayock’s pre combine conference call with the media, he did say he thought Brooks was a third-round prospect.

The Steelers currently don’t have a 2014 third-round draft pick, but they figure to get one when the league awards the compensatory picks next month for their loss of wide receiver Mike Wallace during free agency last offseason. That being said, compensatory draft picks come at the end of rounds, so if they are hoping to draft Brooks, they might just have to select him in the second round. After his Tuesday performance at the combine, that might be where his stock is anyways.

Brooks, who measured in at just under 5’11” at the combine, showed that shouldn’t be that much of concern being as he registered a 38″ vertical jump. Like his 40 time, that was also better than the best jumps posted by both Clinton-Dix (33″) and Pryor (34.5″).

While he needs to improve his tackling, Brooks is willing to come up and do the dirty work against the run. As far as his coverage skills go, he should do well with that at the NFL level as he converted to safety from cornerback prior to his junior year. He talked about both of those qualities during his media session at the combine.

“I feel like I’m able to stay on the field with my cover skills, whether it’s man to man or up high,” Brooks said. “And I’m physical, too. I can go down in the box and handle things, too. Being versatile and being plugged in, I feel like that’s one of my good things, just being very instinctive. I have a great feel for knowing where the ball is going. I’m fast and quick and physical, too. Just all those things tie into being a good player.”

The Steelers love players that have position flexibly and Brooks certainly is one that fits that mold. He is regarded as a player that possesses an above average football IQ and a solid character and he very well could be a Steeler come May.

  • Addison

    Going from oldest to the shortest defense. Thomas, Spence, and Brooks. I kid

  • steeltown

    Man we need his type of speed in the secondary, but im not sure about using a 2nd Rd pick on him…

  • pat

    Thats why im hoping we trade back in the 1st maybe even twice I think we address the safety need thru FA That 5yr 35/40 mil that ppl are saying give Worilds id rather them give it to Verner or Byrd

  • Chad H

    I’m in for trading back. With the depth this year those picks could help greatly.

  • grw1960

    Normally I would agree, But there doesn’t seem to be many quality FS types in this draft. ….Whether or not the Steelers draft a Safety early could very well depend on how they really feel about Shamarko playing FS in 2014.

  • steeltown

    I think there’s quite a few FS prospects, of course Clinton Dix and Pryor, but also Ladler, Brooks, Bailey but also I don’t think we have to limit ourselves to a quote unquote “Free” Safety prospect because in our Defense the Safeties are taught both positions. A lot of people assume Shark Tomas will replace Troy at SS but he is being taught both positions in addition to nickel CB, so long story short SS prospects like Bucannon and Dixon should be on the radar

  • Douglas Andrews

    Good film might be a reach in the 2nd round but i’d be okay if they drafted him there. He’ll probably be gone by the end of the 3rd round especially after running a fast 40.

  • Dr. Funkenstein

    I don’t know about this kid. I turned off the tape of his game against Pitt after about 4 bad tackles and a dropped goal line INT that hit him in the hands. Maybe it was just one bad game, but I wasn’t impressed.

    If we’re going developmental, I like Jonathan Dowling. At least that kid can tackle.

  • grw1960

    I will agree some safeties like Bucannon could play SS or FS. But Quality is the key word. …Maybe 7 – 8 safeties in this draft fit that bill that we as fans feel sure of. 1st -HA-HA – Pryor 2nd – Reynolds -Ward -Bucannon 3d – Brooks 3d-4th Bailey NFL teams probably know a couple more they would take.

  • Reg Sayhitodabadguy Hunt

    Or maybe this should be one position we fill in tree agency i mean look how clark turned out for us when we picked him up and that would give us more freedom to draft other key positions thats deep talent wise

  • steeltown

    There are some late Rd guys like Dontae Johnson and Tre Boston that could provide some good value

  • steeltown

    Yea that’s the kicker, they make it sound like they will be actively seeking help via FA so it just depends who is brought in and at what position

  • Axe Skot

    Yes, trading back to get more picks, maybe in the second would be nice, but trading back in the first (where there would most likely be an athlete of a caliber we haven’t drafted in maybe ten years) would be a huge mistake. Also, remember, people have to want to deal with you and with this draft being so deep almost everywhere, I think everyone else will want as many picks as they can get.

  • grw1960

    Agree to value. It is just rare to find a starter in the late rounds. It happens for sure. The Steelers have had several though the years. WR Brown is the most recent. Defense I think it is more rare. Because the Steelers often need to develope & adapt them to their system. They seemed to think they had something in Golden. But it didn’t take long to bring Allen back to play in Goldens rotation.

  • Kenneth Wilt

    I think 2nd is too high for him but would trade maybe a 5th this year and 3rd next on order to get him in the 3rd.

    One of our main secondary issues is lack of speed. Getting Gilbert in 1 and him in 3 would help that.

  • Matt Manzo

    I know! I cringed when I read, under 5.11! I’ve been waiting for a big Safety ever since Scott Shields!!!

  • shawn

    Definitely like Dowling … the guy is a baller … excellent hands and anticipation !