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Prospect Profiles: ILB Brandon Spikes

Brandon Spikes is a very well known name around the country-he is not just a draft community name. Spikes was a great player in 2008, but had some injury and character concerns this season including an incident where he blatantly eye-gouged an opponet during the season in which he was suspended for half a game vs Vanderbilt.

To his credit, Brandon Spikes suspended himself for the entire game, which shows that he can take responsbility for his actions.

Let’s check out Brandon Spikes.

ProDraft Party Video:

Brandon Spikes

(Combine Numbers Posted Here When Available)

Born September 3rd, 1987 (will be 23 next season)

6’3” 260 pounds.

Rated 33rd best player by scout.com coming out of high school

From wikipedia:

Spikes was a consensus First-team All-American and First-team All-SEC selection and a team captain in 2008. He was selected as a finalist for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy and a semifinalist for the Lombardi Award and Chuck Bednarik Award. He was a starter at middle linebacker and led the team with 93 tackles on the season, including 8.0 for a loss. He made six tackles in the BCS National Championship Game win over the University of Oklahoma and had seven tackles, two QB hurries and broke up one pass in the 2008 SEC Championship Game against the University of Alabama. After the season (his junior year) he decided to forgo entry into the 2009 NFL Draft and returned to Florida for another season.[6]

In October 2009, Spikes was named a midseason All-American by The Sporting News and CBS Sports.[7][8] He was also nominated as one of 16 semifinalists for the 2009 Butkus Award.[9]

Stats (ESPN.com)

Career: 285 tackles, 6 sacks, 1 FF, 6 sacks.

2009 52 tackles (26 solo)  3 sacks, 2 INT.

Big Games:

At Kentucky 10 tackles

At LSU 11 Tackles, 3 sacks,

at Alabama 9 tackles

Suspended vs Vanderbilt.

Did not play or get stats in two other games.

2008: 87 tackles, 2 sacks, 4 INT.

2007: 131 tackles, 1 sack, 1 FF
Brandon Spikes was a pretty productive Collegeiate Football player.

His tackle numbers went down drastically from 2007 to 2009. But his sack numbers and INT numbers went up the question is whether or not Spikes was asked to support the pass more at the expense of being a down hill run defender.

Scouting Reports

Here is a Scouting report for Brandon Spikes from walterfootball.com (from 2008)

Strengths:

  • Great production since sophomore year
  • Big-time hitter
  • Prototype size and strength
  • Always around the ball; active
  • Explosive athlete
  • Diagnoses run well
  • Disengages from blockers
  • Aggressive
  • Comfortable in space
  • Good pursuit
  • Physical
  • Good vision and can locate ball-carrier
  • Durable
  • High upside
  • Weaknesses:

  • Doesn’t always take proper angles
  • Hips could be more fluid; a little stiff
  • Looks somewhat awkward in zone coverage vs. pass
  • Lacks really impressive speed
  • Occasionally out of position
  • Good aggression, but sometimes does too much (overpursues, goes for big hit)Summary: Brandon Spikes is the prototypical 3-4 inside linebacker, but at this point I am not sold on him being the top-20 2010 NFL Draft pick most are hyping him as. He has a few technique flaws that really concern me, but he might improve those next season.
  • Player Comparison: E.J. Henderson Spikes and Henderson have outstanding tools against the run, but have weaknesses in zone

    NFL Draft Scout’s Scouting Report

    Read & React: Quick to diagnose and has good speed to the ball. Has the speed to beat the back to the edge due to good athletic ability and little to no wasted motion.

    Run defense: Rare size. Explosive punch at blockers to quickly disengage. Likes to initiates the action and is physical in removing himself from the blocker to find the ball. Can be undisciplined. Attacks the line of scrimmage so aggressively versus the run that he leaves cutback lanes for quick-footed runners to exploit. Can get locked up with blockers if his initial pop is absorbed. Needs to work on his use of hands to disengage.

    Pass defense: Quick footwork to get depth in coverage. Very good reading the quarterback’s eyes while in coverage. Breaks downhill quickly to close on the ball and arrives with an attitude.

    Tackling: Explosive wrap-up tackler who can separate the football from the ball carrier. Good athletic ability and balance to break down in space to make the tackle against the smaller, quicker athlete. Doesn’t consistently pursue with the reckless abandon normally associated with the position.

    Pass Rush/Blitz: Effective stand-up blitzer. Varies his speed off the edge and uses his explosive upper-body strength to push the blocker into the pocket. Good strength and lateral agility to slide off blocks and pressure the passer.

    Intangibles: Voted a team captain in 2008 and was a member of the 2008 UF Football leadership Committee. Returned for his senior campaign despite earning a first-day grade from the NFL Advisory Committee. Good bloodlines. Cousin, Takeo Spikes, plays inside linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers.

    NFL Comparison: Takeo Spikes

    Big Board Rankings (1/11)

    ESPN Scouts Inc: 20th

    Draft Board Insider 34th

    Drafttek.com 11th

    Pro Draft Party  25th

    Bartolis Summary and Final Verdict

    Brandon Spikes is a first round N.F.L. talent, but I think he is a fringe first round N.F.L. talent.

    Linebackers and running backs are the two easiest positions on the football field to fill later in the draft in my humble opinion.

    Becuase of that I don’t want to take any linebackers high unless they are elite pass rushers or absolutely dominating athletes, I do not believe that Brandon Spikes is that kind of player.

    It is troubling how much his numbers dipped from 2007 to 2009. He did make a few more impact plays, but the stats, at least, indicate that he was not as consistent in his production.

    Spikes is a player that could be a dominating presence as a 3-4 inside linebacker, where players dont’ need to operate in as much space as they do in the 4-3.

    Spikes is a fiery leader and he is very good against the run, but there are real concerns about how he operates in space.

    And also, I heard (did not hear it myself though) that Mel Kiper was on T.V. saying that teams are so worried about his speed that he could fall into the 4th round.

    But like I said I did not hear that myself, and I think that would be a mistake for some teams later in the first round especially those who play a 3-4.

    Final Verdict

    I, for one, think that Brandon Spikes is over-hyped and also overrated. He is a good fiery leader, but I do not want to touch him within the top 15 picks of the N.F.L. draft, and I especially don’t want to see him on the New York Giants where I have watched plenty of slower linebackers play the run well and struggle covering tight ends lately.

    I’m much more interested in a player like Darryl Washington out of T.C.U. in the second or third round who has some speed and can make some plays than I am about Brandon Spikes.

    I like Rolando McClain, who I think can do well in a 4-3.

    I’m not as sold on Brandon Spikes in that system.

    It’s also troubling that there are quite a few games over the past few seasons in which he did not accumulate any statistics, especially for a middle linebacker-if he was hurt in those games, that’s not any more  comforting because that means that there are injury concerns.

    I am completely AGAINST Drafting Brandon Spikes with the 15th overall pick in the N.F.L. Draft.

    If Spikes falls to the New York Giants in the second round I think that would be very good value and then the Giants should draft him with the 47th overall pick in a heart-beat.

    If the Giants draft him with the 15th overall pick, I’ll be dissapointed.

    That’s not to say that My analysis could be completely off with Brandon Spikes, but that is to say that I think it would be a big mistake.

    A mistake I don’t expect Jerry Reese to make.

    Previous Profiles:

    S Earl Thomas

    ILB Rolando McClain

    RB C.J. Spiller

    S Taylor Mays


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    31 Responses to “Prospect Profiles: ILB Brandon Spikes”

    1. Jason C. says:

      LB’s are the easiest position to fill late in drafts? Yeah because Wilkinson, Goff, and Kehl are tearing up the league!! If not Eric Berry or perhaps Earl Thomas (though I still say if they don’t move to get Berry they aren’t serious about contending), Spikes is the guy to get. Playing in the NFC East, it’s about time they get someone who can mix it up and get dirty with the other teams, I’m tired of them looking like pansies on the defensive end (Jacobs is tough enough on O to cover that side of the field).

      • I think 2nd round is an ideal spot to draft a linebacker not early or middle first round unless the player is absolutely dynamic

        Here are ALL the recent LB drafted in the 2nd round since 2006

        2008

        2nd Round

        Curtis Lofton-133 tackles

        Jordan Dizon (Matt Millen pick-was not a 2nd round prospect)

        2007 2nd round (4 LB drafted in round)

        Paul Posluszny 110 tackles, 1 sack, 3 FF, 3 INT (12 Games Started)

        LeMarr Woodley

        Davis Harris

        Justin Durant 98 tackles, 1 sack, 1 FF, 1INT

        2006

        DeMeco Ryans

        Dqwell Jackson 154 tackles last year when healthy

        Rocky Mcintosh 96 tackles 2 FF 2 INT

        2006

        Barrett Rudd 142 Tackles last season

        Kevin Burnett 66 tackles in 11 games

        Lofa Tatupu

        Ronald Bartell 66 tackles 3 FF

        Dan Cody

        Matt McCoy

        12 out of 15 Linebackers picked in the 2nd round are productive to very good N.F.L. players

        find another position with such high success rate

      • Russo757 says:

        The mock draft on NFL.com has Berry getting picked up 13th so there maybe hope. I personally think he will be gone before the tenth pick

    2. Steve B says:

      I completely agree, would not touch him with the 15th pick (in first round). If he falls to the second round, and the Giants pick him up, I think that would be a good move, especially if the Giants are not able to pick up McClain in the first, but get someone like Earl Thomas (S) with the 15th pick, and then get Spikes with their second pick, I would be pretty excitied.

      I keep hearing the speed issue, so it will be intresting to see what his 40 time will be. And the eye-gauging thing is a little worriesome, dont like cheap shots like that.

      I also dont know much about Darryl Washington, so I will be intrested to see his scouting report, and then compare the three LB’s, but so far McClain is still my favorite.

      • Jason C. says:

        Steve, I also don’t like cheap shots, but I’m tired of seeing every team do it to us and get away with it, sometimes you need to join in on the ruckus, and the way the Giants played last year, it’s time we get someone dirty. Ray Lewis and Brian Dawkins are both dirty players, but they’re good enough to be known otherwise, I’m not saying I want Flozell Adams on my team, but if Spikes can be great to go along with his mean streak, isn’t it about time we got someone like that? Also if you think Spikes will be around at pick 47 you’re kidding yourself. I would love to get him there as well, but I don’t see it happening (however I’m hoping we don’t pick at 47 and that pick is traded in a move for Berry. (I’m not giving up on him!!))

    3. Jeremy says:

      While Jacobs is our enforcer on O, we are in dire need of a enforcer on D, a player in the middle who scares people. Mays at MLB would do that, though I prefer Earl Thomas with the first pick. I’m crossing my fingers.

      Ive been hearing we need to fill loads of holes on our defense. I think that would be a misstep. A linebacker and safety are our only glaring needs on defense. Depending on who we let go along the DLine tackle might be neccessary as well.
      Thoughts?

    4. Michael S says:

      Safety, MLB, dt are most important. And a game changer on offense

    5. Steve B says:

      Yea I agree, priorities are on defense, and depending on who’s avilabile, we need a MLB, a Cover Saftey, and a DT (you would think we have seen the last of Robbins and Rocky).

      I also agree a game changer on offense would be awesome, and for some reason (dont hate me) I am in love with Dexter McCluster, you can line him up anywhere: RB, WR, Wildcat, and KR/PR (I believe). He has amazing speed, quickness, and feel for the game (where holes are going to open, where 1st downs are etc…). The only question is his size. I dont know if he can survive in the NFL, he is like 160/170. I am really intrested to see what the Scouts say about him, havent found any articles yet.

    6. Michael S says:

      That’s what they said about djackson. Look at him Now

    7. […] has the Giants selecting Florida ILB Brandon Spikes. Jesse did a detailed breakdown of Spikes here. Jesse is against him, and so am I. He has a lot of talent, but is not a top-15 pick. Interesting […]

    8. […] has the Giants selecting Florida ILB Brandon Spikes. Jesse did a detailed breakdown of Spikes here. Jesse is against him, and so am I. He has a lot of talent, but is not a top-15 pick. Interesting […]

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