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2016 NFL Draft: Could Kentrell Brothers be Giants' middle linebacker of the future?

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Missouri's Kentrell Brothers isn't a rangy athlete, but he can be an explosive hitter and a down-hill menace. Is that enough to make him the missing piece in the Giants' linebacking corps?

Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants have been searching for an heir to Antonio Pierce since his career was ended by a neck injury in 2009. By 2016, they have tried Jon Goff -- who's career ended by knee injury--, Chase Blackburn -- who's effort and intelligence couldn't quite overcome his athletic limitations--, and Jon Beason -- who was finally forced into retirement by injuries.

Missouri's Kentrell Brothers is a smart, instinctive player who thrives playing downhill. Could he finally be the answer the Giants have been looking for?

Measurables

Pros

  • A tackling machine. Has had 100+ tackles in each of the last two seasons, led the nation in tackles per game in 2015 (12.7 tackles per game).
  • Shows a high football IQ, fast processing speed, and good instincts.
  • Aggressive player who drives ball carriers backwards on impact.
  • Plays faster than he will time, and shows good lateral agility.
  • Very active player, shows hustle and a high motor on the field.

Cons

  • Shorter with shorter arms than ideal. Lack of length could hurt him taking on blockers at the next level.
  • Limited foot speed will likely limit his range.
  • Like many aggressive players, he can be prone to biting on fakes or taking himself out of position.

Prospect Video

Big Board Rankings

Big Blue View - Not in top 50

Mocking The Draft - 51st

CBS - 55th

Draft Tek - 75th

Does He Fit With the Giants?

Kentrell Brothers is a player who's stock could be greatly affected by the NFL scouting combine. On the field he looks like a gym rat -- not much for foot speed, though he has better lateral agility and closing burst than you might think, but is a six-foot pile of muscle, ready to lay wood at a moments' notice.

Brothers isn't likely to run well, but his explosive and short-area numbers (10-yard split, 3-cone drill, short shuttle, and jumps) might wind up being impressive.

Whether or not he is a fit with the Giants largely depends on what kind of linebacker Steve Spagnuolo wants for the Giants' defense. If he wants a linebacker who can run and cover large expanses of field then Brothers probably isn't what they're looking for. But if he wants a player who can quickly cover a short area and attack downhill with bone-rattling force, then Brothers is a guy to keep your eye on.

Final Thoughts

Mizzou has been putting quality players every year for a while now. And while Kentrell Brothers isn't likely to be a first rounder, he will be playing on Sundays. In some ways, he is similar to former Miami linebacker Denzel Perryman. Both players have less length than NFL teams prefer but share a stout, power-packed frame and the ability to be explosive within their range. And like Perryman, Brothers is a smart, instinctive leader who could help the Giants' defensive communication woes.