2022 NFL Draft Prospect Profile – Kennedy Brooks, RB, Oklahoma

There may not be “blue chips,” superstar running backs in the 2022 NFL Draft, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good class of runners.

The collegiate ranks are producing quality running backs at an impressive rate. Likewise, adopting college offensive principles at the NFL level means they produce a lot and early in their careers. Oklahoma running back Kennedy Brooks is one of those runners who can do most things an offense asks and could find success early in his career.

Could Brooks be an inexpensive option for the Giants backfield?

Perspective: Kennedy Brooks (26)
Games watched: vs. West Virginia (2019), vs. LSU (2019), vs. Tulane (2021), vs. Texas (2021)

Measurable

Height: 5 feet 11 inches
Weight: 215 pounds

Career statistics

Games played: 37

Carries : 472
Construction sites (YPC): 3,320 (7.0 per carry)
Receptions: 29
Construction sites (YPC): 209 (7.2 per shot)
Total Touchdowns (rushing/receiving): 29 (29 running, 0 catching)

Statistics 2021

Games played: 13

Carries : 198
Construction sites (YPC): 1,253 (6.3 per carry)
Receptions: 9
Construction sites (YPC): 73 (8.1 per catch)
Total Touchdowns (rushing/receiving): 13 (13 running, 0 landing)

Quick Summary

Better: Contact Balance, Vision, Versatility, Hands
Worse: Pass protection, short area speed
Projection: A high volume runner in a rotation with a diversity of patterns

game tape

Full report

Oklahoma running back Kennedy Brooks brings a good combination of size, speed, vision, contact balance and versatility to the position.

Brooks is a good-sized back, listed at 5-foot-11 and 215 pounds, with a powerful lower body. He mostly played alongside quarterback in the shotgun, although he took snaps behind center in some situations.

Brooks is effective in the backfield, committing his reads early and wasting little movement in the backfield. He runs with good pace, giving his linemen time to establish their blocks before speeding through the hole. Brooks is also an incredibly savvy runner behind the line of scrimmage, using flowing hips to subtly entice defenders to attack the wrong gap before accelerating into his intended running lane.

Brooks typically runs relatively low to the ground, keeping his hips, pads, and overall center of gravity low unless he’s out in the open field. That low center of gravity – and a very strong lower body – gives Brooks fantastic contact balance. He regularly resists blows, slightly changing the angle of his body to turn shoulder checks into gaze shots, and runs through arm tackles. Brooks is a very tough runner to knock down in the second tier and has a habit of turning missed (or broken) tackles into big chunks.

He also shows an advantage as a receiving option, although that hasn’t been used extensively in Oklahoma’s offense. Brooks was mostly relegated to being a controlling option for the Sooners and did not run a varied course tree. That said, he appears to be an “hands” receiver, does a good job presenting a clean target to his quarterback and secures the ball before moving upfield.

Although Brooks is a good athlete and a smooth mover, he seems to lack speed and agility over short distances. His game visibly slows when he’s forced to string together multiple moves or fight his way through a crowded backfield.

Brooks’ biggest weakness is his pass protection. While he doesn’t seem reluctant or indifferent to pass blocking, he has appeared unsure of his mission on several occasions. Sometimes he can be seen just standing, and he rarely attacks passers with the same aggressiveness he shows with the ball in his hands. It seemed to improve in his last strip, and it could just be a training issue. If so, it’s a fixable problem and he has the tools to be a reliable password protector with the knowledge and the will to use them.

Overall score: 7.0

Projection

Kennedy Brooks projects as a relatively high volume runner in an offense that uses running back rotation.

Brooks should be able to operate in any blocking scheme an NFL team is likely to use. He has enough speed to take advantage in off-tackle runs, the balance and game strength to run between tackles, the vision to execute zone patterns, and the discipline to follow his blockers to play in patterns. away from man.

He’s an athletic runner who moves with surprising fluidity, but he probably shouldn’t be called “sneaky” either. He’s not the type of fullback who can make free rushers miss in a phone booth, but he’s able to turn bad tackle attempts into positive yardage and keep the offense on schedule. He also has enough speed to be a big-play threat on any broken tackle.

However, teams will likely have concerns about protecting his pass. Brooks looks set to be a capable pass protector, but he’s frustrating when he’s actually held back to block. Instead, he’s much more useful as a control option, provided the offense doesn’t rely on a sixth blocker to pick up the engineered pressure. Brooks’ pass protection and lack of elite athleticism could topple him.

But, if a team can train Brooks’ pass blocking to be “reliable,” he could end up being a valuable pick, as the rest of his traits suggest a productive runner in a variety of situations.

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