Karl Brooks, DT, Bowling Green | NFL Draft Scouting Report

Karl Brooks faces an uphill battle to hear his name called in the 2023 NFL Draft. Is his strong MAC résumé enough to get him drafted earlier than expected?

The tried and true belief in the NFL is the games are won and lost in the trenches. Finding quality players for your defensive line is a priority for every team, every year. The fastest way to the quarterback is a straight line, and teams who can generate consistent interior pressure fare quite well in the biggest moments.

Karl Brooks is a draft prospect hoping some team feels he can be a piece that comes in and provides the ability to disrupt the opponents’ rhythm. If all goes well, the defensive tackle may hear his name called during the NFL draft. Below is everything you need to know about Brooks’ scouting report.

Karl Brooks NFL Draft Profile

  • Position: Defensive Tackle
  • School: Bowling Green
  • Year: Senior

In high school, Brooks was named to the second-team Detroit News all-state team while playing at Lansing Sexton High School. He was also selected to the first-team all-conference team. Showing off his athleticism, Brooks surprisingly also played wide receiver in high school, but it was on defense where he was truly a menace.

Brooks posted more than 100 tackles, including 12 sacks, and five forced fumbles, while scoring a defensive touchdown. All of that helped his team to an 8-5 record, including 4-3 in the Capital Area Activities Conference (Blue Division).

As a true freshman, Brooks played in all 12 games, starting eight times, including the five games to finish out the season. Making an instant impact, he led the Falcons in sacks and tied for second in tackles for loss, while also having two QB hurries and a forced fumble.

MORE: 100% FREE NFL Mock Draft Simulator

As a sophomore in 2019, Brooks continued to make a name for himself by starting all 12 games for Bowling Green, finishing the season with 33 total tackles, including 16 solo tackles, 8.5 TFLs, and 4.5 sacks. The big man also added one interception and two forced fumbles.

His 2020 junior season was a wash, but Brooks returned in 2021 and was named team captain. Brooks again started all 12 games and finished the regular season ranked fifth in the MAC with 7.5 sacks.

In 2022, he only got better. As a senior, Brooks was again named team captain and started all 13 of the team’s games. His 10 sacks rank No. 3 all time on BGSU’s single-season ledger.

Brooks also earned a ton of honors in 2022, including honorable mention for PFN’s All-Americans and both an AP and PFN 2022 first-team All-MAC selection. He was invited to the 2023 Senior Bowl as well.

Karl Brooks Scouting Report

Strengths: Underrated defensive line prospect who can rush the passer or stop the run. Explosive, breaks down well, and plays with proper pad level. Relentless, quickly locates the ball handler, and plays through the whistle. Stays with assignments, displays a tremendous first step, and flashes power in his lower body.

Agile, does a terrific job using his hands, and moves well about the field. Tough to move off the point. Nicely redirects to the action or immediately alters his angle of attack. Slices inside blocks to penetrate the line of scrimmage, then disrupts the action. Occasionally stands over tackle and effectively rushes the passer.

Weaknesses: Inconsistent using his hands. Not bulky or strong. Can be easily knocked from his angle of attack or out-positioned from the action.

Overall: Brooks has shown tremendous ability the past two seasons after making an impact at Bowling Green as a freshman and sophomore. He’s been very productive in all areas and comes with the size, athleticism, and skill to make an NFL roster as a defensive tackle in a four-man line.

Karl Brooks Combine Measurements and Results

The NFL Scouting Combine gives us a great opportunity to see how players stack up in various testing environments. Luckily, PFN has full databases of both NFL Combine measurements and NFL Combine results. Below is everything you need to know from Brook’s Combine performance.

  • Height: 6033
  • Weight: 303 pounds
  • Arm: 31 ½”
  • Hand: 9 ⅛”
  • Bench Press: 28
  • 40-Yard Dash: 5.08

Karl Brooks Current Draft Projection

According to Tony Pauline’s Big Board, Brooks is projected as a sixth-round draft pick. He is Pauline’s 16th-best available defensive tackle and the No. 191 overall prospect. While Brooks has an impressive résumé, his athletic testing may be what holds teams back from taking him earlier.

According to his Relative Athletic Score, Brooks was not a top performer. His size and speed scores were average at best, and he performed poorly in both agility and explosion. Brooks’ 1.11 short-shuttle score was well below the expectation for the position. Additionally, his vertical jump of 26 1/2″ was also below average.

As a defensive tackle, explosion and agility are paramount to operating and dominating in tight spaces. Those traits help you jump gaps against the run and collapse the pocket against the pass.

MORE: 2023 NFL Draft Defensive Tackle Class

Not helping Brooks is playing in the MAC. While it is an impressive résumé, the competition he faced isn’t as strong. Then, to not perform strongly athletically could give teams additional pause.

When running through the Pro Football Network Mock Draft Simulator, Brooks went undrafted. Defensive tackle isn’t premiere enough of a position where teams will reach to fill a need. This could mean that Brooks becomes a high-priority free agent.

A team who could target Brooks is the Philadelphia Eagles. Philadelphia struggled to stop the run at various times during the season and has lost some beef up front. Brooks could be a developmental project who ends up providing valuable depth as the season goes on.

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