#54, Jasper Brinkley, ILB (6015, 252, 4.59-4.75) South Carolina
Notes: Born Jasper Jerrell Brinkley, 7/12/85. Twin brother, Casper, played defensive end for the Gamecocks (2006-07) and is currently with the Carolina Panthers. Graduated from Thomson (Ga.) High School where he was coached by Luther Welch and was a first-team all-area and all-state selection.
College: Attended Georgia Military College (where he was a teammate of Vikings’ WR Aundrae Allison) for two seasons before enrolling at South Carolina in January 2006. Started immediately at middle linebacker in 2006; registered 107 tackles, 14.5 tackles-for-loss, 5 sacks and 4 pass breakups. Started the first four games of 2007 before suffering a torn right lateral collateral ligament (LCL) against LSU; finished with 21 tackles, 1 TFL. Underwent surgery in late September and received a medical redshirt. Came back to start all 13 games in 2008; totaled 65 tackles, 5 TFL, 2.5 sacks, one interception and 2 forced fumbles. Majored in African-American studies.
Pre-Draft: Recorded 1.55 10-yard, 2.63 20-yard, 4.67 40-yard, 35 ½-inch vertical jump, 9’6” broad jump, 4.32 20-yard shuttle, 6.92 three-cone drill and 26 reps at 225 pounds. Measured 6’1 5/8”, 249 pounds at his Pro Day workout, where he looked very quick and fluid in positional drills, according to NFL.com’s Gil Brandt.
Pro: The Vikings traded up in the fifth round of the 2009 draft to select Brinkley with the 152nd pick, swapping fifth-round picks with Washington and giving the Redskins a seventh-round choice.
Positives: Good natural size and strength. Very good upper-body strength (26 reps). Mobile and athletic with good timed speed and range. Plays downhill against the run. Active run defender with good instincts. Quick read, reaction and flies to the ball. Moves well for his size and can avoid blocks. Does a nice job of stepping up and filling in the box. Can take on and shed blockers. Solid, wrap-up tackler. Will hit upon arrival. Can turn and drop into coverage and has an impressive (35 ½-inch) vertical that makes can make him difficult to throw over in zone coverage. Good pass rusher/blitzer. Outstanding work ethic.
Negatives: May need some reps to learn. Inconsistent read and reactions. Avoids blocks more than taking them on and shedding. More of a downhill, in-the-box player than sideline-to-sideline defender. Durability and previous knee injury is a concern. A little stiff in coverage and in open space. Better at simple pass drops than running with opponents in man-to-man coverage.
Summary: A very nice fit for the Vikings who should provide solid depth behind E.J. Henderson in the middle and contribute on special teams. Has the tools to become an effective starter at some point and should develop nicely under the guidance of linebackers coach Fred Pagac.
What they said:
“I really like Jasper Brinkley and think he will be a player.” –Robert Ferringo, Doc’s Sports Service
“Brinkley punishes runners and can rush the quarterback. I love this pick, giving the Vikings LB corps a little more bite. When Brinkley fully heals — watch out." –Peter Schrager, FoxSports.com
“A big, strong ‘Mike’ linebacker with the size desired inside. Brinkley worked out surprisingly well at the Combine at a reduced weight, dropping 10 pounds from the East-West Shire game. Would be best suited playing between the tackles and may become a two-down linebacker. Third-to-fourth-round pick.” -Nolan Nawrocki, Pro Football Weekly
“Brinkley had a nice career overall for the Gamecocks. He did a real good job after coming back from the injury and has turned some heads in recent weeks, running better than expected during his individual workouts and showing his speed is back to where it needs to be. Brinkley fills gaps effectively and is a good run stuffer. He will get caught up in traffic some when trying to flow to the sideline, but he can make plays in the box.” -Mel Kiper, Jr.
Scout’s Notebook File
Join the discussion