Brents Has the Length & Athleticism to be a Shutdown NFL CB | Washington Commanders
By Adam Aniba
This year's draft class features a wide array of cornerbacks with varying skill sets. Having length, speed and athleticism to keep pace with dynamic NFL receivers is imperative for modern days corners.
Kansas State cornerback Julius Brents boasts elite size and took his game to another level, after transfering from Iowa. Brents has been one of the biggest risers since the NFL combine and is ideal for a zone heavy scheme, but has the length to have success in press-man as well (NFL Combine record for a CB with 82.6" wingspan).
6'3" 198 lbs | CB | KSU
Proj 2nd Rd Grade
Career Iowa (19 games) 17 TAK (9 solo), 1 INT & 5 PD
Career KSU (27 games) 94 TAK (69 solo), 6.5 TFL, 0.5 SACKS, 1 FF, 5 INTs & 11 PD
2022 (14 games) 45 TAK (28 solo), 3.5 TFL, 4 INTs & 8 PD
Brents grew up in Indianapolis, IN and led Warren Central HS to a 25-10 record during his time there playing defensive back, in addition to running track. As a senior he registered 18 tackles and 3 pass breakups.
The team captain was rated as the #28 ranked cornerback in the 2018 national recruiting class and #4 prospect in the state of Indiana per Rivals.
Brents earned 1st Team All-Conference during his 3 years as a prep. He finished his time at Warren Central with 53 tackles and 3 interceptions. As a 3-star prospect Brents received offers from Boston College, Michigan State and Iowa. The Warren Central HS cornerback ultimately choose to play for the Hawkeyes for the '18 season.
As a true freshman, Brents played in 11 games, mainly in a reserve role. He finished the season recording 8 tackles and 5 assists, 1 interception and 2 pass breakups. The following year in '19, Brents would play in just one game after getting injured.
In 2020 Brents returned, playing in 7 games as a rotational defensive back. He recorded a career high 4 tackles vs Purdue. After exclusively playing as a reserve for the Hawkeyes, Brents elected to transfer to Kansas State for the '21 season.
Brents became an immediate starter for the Wildcats in '21, starting 13 games and recorded his first interception vs Oklahoma. He also had a career high 7 solo tackles and a tackle for a loss vs Texas. In addition, Brents broke up 1 pass during K-States Texas Bowl victory vs LSU. The Wildcats defensive back received Honorable Mention All-Big 12 for his performance in '21.
For the second consecutive season, Brents started all 14 games in '22. Brents once again set career marks with 45 tackles, 3.5 tackles for a loss, 4 interceptions and 8 passes defended.
The Wildcats corner was elected to the All-Big 12 First Team from the league’s coaches and Second-Team All-Big 12 from the Associated Press.
One of his interceptions took place during the Big 12 Championship vs TCU, where he halted a late Horned Frogs scoring drive. Brents continued to show how clutch he was, forcing a fumble after his endzone interception. 2022 was Brents best season on the collegiate level, in which he had an impressive QB rating when targeted of 48.3.
Measurables are off the charts at 6'3 with 34" arm length (98th percentile), which allows him to high point and disrupt 50/50 jump balls
Versatility to line up at safety in sub-packages
Can be effective playing man or zone coverages
Physical style that is evident when asked to contribute in run support
Athleticism is off the charts with a 41.5" vertical leap (98th percentile) and a 11'6" broad jump (100th percentile)
Feetwork/backpedal will require refinement on the next level
Overaggressive at times vs the run, which occasionally led to over-pursuing the ball
Tendency to get grabby in coverage if out of position
Fooled by quarterback misdirection on occasion and needs to be more disciplined in this area
Occasionally bites on double moves and unable to recover
The 5th year senior has the length, athleticism and attributes to have success in the NFL. He's been compared to Seahawks '22 5th round defensive back Tariq Woolen. Although not as fast as Woolen (4.26 second combine forty time in '22), Brent is an explosive athlete that can make up ground in a hurry.
Brents is built to play zone on the next level, which is where he can utilize his strength to read the field. In saying that, he also has the length and ability to be an effective press corner if needed.
The K-State corner has the ceiling to be an immediate contributor on the next level, once he refines his footwork and puts it all together.
*Games Played- 10/1/22 vs Texas Tech, 10/29 vs Oklahoma St., 11/5 vs Texas, 11/19 vs W.Virginia, 12/3 vs TCU & 12/21 vs Alabama
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