Brooks was a two-year starter on one of the best defenses in the country. And many Florida State fans did not appreciate him until they realized how high he would be drafted.
Brooks was a good, but not amazing high school player whom many in Florida believed should have been a four-star, rather than the three-star ranking he receiver. Recruited as a cornerback, he excelled on special teams for FSU in 2010, was a reserve defensive back for FSU in 2011 bulking up quite a bit, then moved into the starting safety role in 2012, where he was very good and underrated. But in 2013, he really managed to put it all together and take his game to the next level.
From his FSU bio...
CBSSports.com All-America First Team
SI.com All-America Honorable Mention
Coaches All-ACC First Team
All-ACC Second Team
2013: Senior who joined with Lamarcus Joyner in key leadership roles on both the defense and the team overall...credited for helping instill a level of maturity that has helped lead FSU into the BCS National Championship Game...had an incredibly high football IQ to go along with his natural ability...reached 50 tackles for the second straight season, good for fifth on the team...came into the season with 1.5 career TFL and added 7.0 to that total this year, the fourth-most on the team...recorded his fourth career interception late in 2nd quarter at Pitt that allowed FSU to score a TD and head into halftime with a 28-10 lead...made five tackles and tied a career high with 2.0 TFLs at Florida...recovered a fumble on the first play of the game at Clemson that ended up in a TD quieting the crowd and setting the stage for FSU's 51-14 win...intercepted a pass on the second play of the game against NC State; finished with two tackles, 1.0 TFL, an INT, a pass break-up and a forced fumble...tied for second on the team with seven tackles at Boston College - including a career-high 2.0 tackles for loss...registered his first career sack and finished with six tackles against Miami...leader on nation's top-rated pass defense (156.6 ypg)...also helped the `Noles lead the nation in scoring defense (12.1 ppg) and interceptions (26), and ranked third in total defense (281.4 ypg)...competed in the Senior Bowl.
Brooks then went on to destroy the combine, with a 4.42 40-yard dash, a 38" vertical jump, and a 119" broad jump. He also performed very well during the senior bowl week. And Brooks, a bright, heady safety, reportedly had a great week at the Senior Bowl.
Brooks is a very willing player against the run, and against the pass, he shows tremendous closing speed. In the .gif at right, Brooks actually makes his break on the football from closer to the opposite hash. He offers teams versatility, as he can walk down on a receiver, if needed, play centerfield or split-field.
Brooks is not the biggest guy (5'11, 200), and he could work on some of his angles and his hands a bit, but in the changing landscape of the NFL, he fits in at safety quite well.
Brooks has never had any known issues with the law, and to my knowledge, was never suspended at Florida State. Brooks is on twitter @_showtime31.