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LB Bradham, the first of two fourth rounders

Posted Apr 28, 2012

After both day 2 picks for the Bills went to the offensive side of the ball Buffalo got day 3 of the NFL draft started by re-focusing on their defense. Florida State LB Nigel Bradham was their choice with the first of their two fourth-round picks followed by LSU CB Ron Brooks at the bottom of the round.

“I’m ecstatic right now,” said Bradham minutes after being selected by Buffalo. “It just seems so unreal just to have this opportunity so I am just so happy.”

 “He’s a physical kid,” said Bills National Scout Darrell Moody. “He’s got good size. In spread formations a lot of the linebackers are smaller now, but he’s got size. He’s got a chance to play at any one of the two outside positions.”

Bradham played both weakside and inside linebacker for the Seminoles, moving inside later in his career to run Florida State’s defense, which had an influx of youth in 2011.

“By me playing in the middle it just pretty much helped everyone else that was around me and me being able to communicate with them,” Bradham said. “Early on when I first got to Florida State I was a lead by example type and then like as I got a little older and earned respect from my teammates pretty much just became a vocal leader and just took control of the defense and all of the calls we had to make then just take it from there.”

A three-year starter and team captain, Bradham led the team in tackles all three years. Despite a chiseled frame, Bradham has good size at 242 pounds and ran well posting a 4.64 40-time at the NFL Combine.

“He’s got straight line speed,” said Moody. “He played in their subpackages. I think he’s got good cover skills.”

A strong special teams player Bradham will also be an immediate help on coverage units. The hard-hitting linebacker was also extremely durable as he appeared in all 52 games of his college career.

CB Brooks adds more speed
With the 29th pick in round four Buffalo took their second cornerback in the draft in LSU’s Ron Brooks. Equipped with 53 games of experience Brooks competed day in and day out with fellow cornerbacks Patrick Peterson and Morris Claiborne, who went fifth overall in last year’s draft and sixth overall in the 2012 draft.

“You can just see what kind of competitive nature this kid has in the fact that he’s behind back-to-back Thorpe winners,” said Bills scout Shawn Heinlen. “Their other corners are in the finals for the Heisman. He finds ways to get on the field and when he’s on the field he makes plays. You never hear him complain about anything, he just goes out and minds his business, works every day at practice and in games and when he gets a chance to play he’s productive.”

Brooks (5’10” 190) had only three interceptions in his college career, but it was due mainly to the fact that a pair of top five draft choices were starting ahead of him. He was used more as a blitzer from the slot.

“I played outside. I’m comfortable playing inside or outside, or even at safety,” said Brooks. “That’s one thing about me is I’m versatile. Whatever position you stick me at I’m going to be comfortable at the end and going out there and fighting my hardest.”

Well versed in special teams as well and blessed with 4.37 speed, Brooks figures to compete for the slot corner role and contribute immediately on coverage teams.

And as for Claiborne and Peterson getting most of the recognition, Brooks has no problem with it as he’d prefer to toil away from the spotlight.

“My focus wasn’t being one of the guys to get all the publicity and get all the shine,” he said. “My thing was to go out there and play and play hard and do what I love to do and try and help my team win. That’s always been my mindset that it’s not about me being in the limelight. I’m just one of those guys that’s always out to win for my team. Whether I’ve got to shine wasn’t a big priority for me.”