"Because this is a big man's game," he said. "There are smaller players who have had success, but, overall, history will show you this is a big man's game." - Phil Emery at his introductory news conference.
Michael Brockers is 6'6", 316 lbs. He was born on Dec. 21, 1990 making him just 21 years old. He's a big man with big traits and big production at a big time program at LSU. At his pro day he improved upon his combine numbers and solidified his status as 1 of the best DT prospects in this draft:
For starters, he slimmed down from 322 pound to 316, which isn't a major change, but it shows that he's working. In addition, the mammoth defensive tackle improved his time in the 40-yard dash from 5.36 at the combine to a respectable 5.15 today. His 21 reps on the bench press were also respectable considering his arms are 35 inches long. His 30 inch vertical jump was also an improvement over the 26.5 inches he recorded at the combine.
His draft value is all over the place but his potential is undeniable. Kiper has him going 25. NFL.com mock drafts have him as high as 15 and as low as 25. CBSsports.com has him at 11 & 15. WCG's mock draft has him at 25. SBN's mock draft also has him at 25. We have a need at DT. Emery likes big men (NTTAWWT) (TWSS).
Mocking the Draft:
...Generates a good bull rush using his powerful legs and has the quickness to be used to get outside on twists...Has shown an advanced knowledge of how to use to his frame to get skinny and work through the gap...Gets off the line of scrimmage with ease. His first step isn't elite, but it's not bad. Displays good effort if he loses on the first move. Gives a good effort to get his hand on the ball carrier, even when held up on blocks...he doesn't give up ground. Gets lined up over center or in the A-gap. Shows good instincts to get after running backs as they come through the hole. Has nice change of direction ability for such a big player. Alert lineman who can quickly recognize and react to trap blocks.
Final word: In the 2012 NFL Draft, few players carry as much potential and upside as Brockers, a redshirt sophomore. On a loaded LSU defensive line, Brockers routinely stood out and should transition well to the NFL. At 6-foot-6, Brockers has an impressive frame with a lot of room to grow. Because of his relative inexperience (one season as a full-time starter), he'll need to get drafted on a team that can rotate him in while he develops.
Brockers was one of the leaders of a group of future NFL defensive linemen at LSU. He was a disruptive force in 2011, totaling 54 tackles with 10 tackles for a loss, two sacks, one forced fumble and one blocked kick. Brockers didn't see a ton of action as a redshirt freshman last year, assembling only 25 tackles, one tackle for a loss and zero sacks. Brockers played well in both games against Alabama. In the National Championship game, he totaled seven tackles and a blocked kick.
A well-rounded player, Brockers is fast and strong.
A couple of more notes on Phil Emery: Last year with the Chiefs he drafted 2 defensive linemen. Powe was 331lbs. Bailey is a 288 lb DE. In 2009, the Chiefs drafted Tyson Jackson, DE LSU, 3rd overall and then drafted another defensive lineman Alex Magee in the 3rd round. In 2008, the Chiefs drafted Glen Dorsey, DT from LSU, 5th overall. (not sure if Emery was with Atlanta or KC for the 2008 draft though)
In 2007, the Falcons drafted Jamaal Anderson, 6'6" 272 lb DE out of Arkansas, with the 8th overall pick. In 2005, Atlanta took 3 defensive linemen (2nd, 4th, 7th rounds) in that draft including Chauncey Davis who is now with the Bears.
Emery worked for the Bears from 1998 to 2004. Notable high draft pick defensive linemen include Tommie Harris (1st round), Tank Johnson (2nd), Michael Haynes(1st), Ian Scott (4th), Alex Brown (4th), Karon Riley (4th), Russel Davis (who?) (2nd).
I think Phil Emery is going to draft a DT and a DE both within the first 4 rounds this month. If Brockers is there at 19, he's going to be the pick.