Jasper Brinkley predraft analysis

The predraft analysis on the Vikings' fifth-round selection, South Carolina linebacker Jasper Brinkley.

Jasper Brinkley, South Carolina, 6-1¾, 252 – Fifth-year senior … Spent two years at Georgia Military College before coming to the Gamecocks … Has a twin brother named Casper … As a junior in 2006, he led all SEC linebackers with 107 tackles, along with 14.5 tackles for a loss and five sacks … Started the first four games, but tore his right lateral collateral ligament that required surgery and was granted a medical redshirt … Returned last year to post 65 tackles, five tackles for a loss and 2.5 sacks … Is a big player who has very good upper-body strength … Has good agility and can flow up and down the line … Hits the running lanes quick and hard and is willing to take on lead blockers … Is a good finisher who brings ball carriers down when he gets his hands on them … A very good leaper who is disruptive in passing lanes … Does not have an outstanding football I.Q. and may take more time … Is best suited to play between the tackles, because he is very spotty on the edge … In space, he tries to get too cute and move around blockers rather than drive them off the ball and will too often take himself out of plays … His knee may be a concern to some teams, since his junior season was much more productive than his senior season … Did not stand out at the Senior Bowl, despite being 10 pounds lighter … Ran a 4.67 40 at the Combine with 26 reps of 225 pounds and a 35½-inch vertical jump.

PROJECTION: He is a riser after putting in some impressive individual workouts and allaying some of the fears that his knee wasn't 100 percent. He is best suited to be an inside LB for a 3-4 defense where his assignments are limited. That pigeon-holing may be enough to push him into the fourth round.

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