OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Desperately needing to address the safety position, the Ravens did exactly that with the selection of Florida State safety Terrence Brooks in the third round of the 2014 draft.
A former cornerback and two-year starter for the Seminoles, Brooks was considered one of the leaders of a dominating defense and was a major part of a national championship team in his senior season. Considered solid in run support, Brooks has the athleticism and range to play center field and will likely be a fit as the free safety in the Baltimore defense, allowing 2013 first-round pick Matt Elam to move to strong safety and play closer to the line of scrimmage.
“I feel like my game is pretty fast,” Brooks said in a conference call. “When I make a decision, it’s right away, and I get there pretty fast. I feel like my acceleration is one of my strong points, and that’s great [for] breaking on the ball. I’m a versatile player. I’m physical; I’m not scared to stick my nose in there. I’ll go play in the box. Wherever I’m need, that’s what I’ll do.”
Brooks was a first team all-ACC selection in 2013 as he colleted 56 tackles, eight stops for a loss, one sack, and two interceptions. He accumulated 126 tackles and five interceptions over his four seasons with the Seminoles.
In addition to being the third straight defensive player selected by the Ravens in the 2014 draft, Brooks became the second player Baltimore took from Florida State as defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan was tabbed with the 48th overall pick earlier Friday evening.
“It’s kind of crazy, because the whole time I was like, ‘If I could take one guy with me, it would be Timmy,'” Brooks said. “I just know we do damage together. We did it at Florida State; we can do it anywhere. I’m just really happy to have him with me.”
The 5-foot-11, 200-pound defensive back clocked the fastest 40-yard dash time for all safeties at the 2014 NFL scouting combine with a mark of 4.42 seconds. He is also a standout special-teams player who should be able to contribute in that area immediately in addition to competing for the starting free safety job.