FAIRHOPE, Ala. — Kentrell Brothers has a firm grasp of everything he can’t do.
Rather, everything NFL draft analysts say he can’t do.
“A lot of people say I’m not physical,” Brothers said after Tuesday’s practice. “A lot of people say I’m not fast. I’m not sideline-to-sideline. That’s what I’m here to show them. I can play with the best of ‘em. I can be downhill. I can cover. I can run sideline to sideline. I can be the first one to the ball. And that’s what I plan on doing.”
The Missouri star — and the nation’s leading tackler — was slightly disappointed with his first day at the Senior Bowl, calling it “okay.”
The South squad ran through individual drills, special teams sessions, 1-on-1 contests and 11-on-11 scrimmages in a whirlwind afternoon.
“In order for me to be great, I’ve got to up my level of competition,” Brothers said. “They’re tremendous athletes. I’ve got to get my reads better. Learning a new defense can be difficult. But that’s what they want to see — they want to see you adapt to it quick, learn these things fast, and hope I can come out tomorrow and do much better.”
Despite all the things Brothers hears about himself, he’s still a strong NFL prospect. Many pundits place him in the second round, making him one of the highest-rated players in Mobile this week.
A film room frequenter, he said he’s modeling his game after Luke Kuechly, the Carolina Panthers middle linebacker who returned an interception for six in last weekend’s NFC championship game.
“I love watching him play,” Brothers said. “He’s so fundamentally sound. He reads his keys. He gets to the ball. He’s great in coverage. People saw that last game. He’s just a great all-around linebacker.”
He has two more practices and Saturday’s game (2:30 p.m. ET, NFL Network) to do his best Kuechly impression.
“I can turn around and cover a running back,” Brothers said. “Cover a tight end. Receiver if I have to. I’ve done that at Mizzou, and I feel like I can do that here, too.”