We are now 12 parts in on our 90-part series— assuming the roster does not change before we are complete— which will break down each player of the Steelers current 90-man roster in alphabetical order. This series will encompass many aspects of each players game and their current role with the team. At the end, I’ll give some projected stats as well as their chances to make the 53-man roster.
Today we’re going to look at the first member of the 2020 draft class to be featured on the list:
Antoine Brooks Jr.
Height: 5’ 11”
Weight: 215 lbs
Draft: 6th round, 198 Overall in 2020
2019 stats (Maryland)
87 Total tackles
5 Passes defended
1 Fumble recovery
Has not reached an agreement at this time, but the contract will run through 2023
Likelihood of making the roster
Lock. Usually there is a cut-off around the 5th round where if you are selected before the 5th round you’ll be given at least one season, even if you stink it up at training camp. This is mostly due to teams investing so much in a player, and also because they don't want to look like fools by cutting someone less than a year after drafting them. While Brooks does sit outside this general rule I can't see a world where he doesn't make the team. The Steelers are thin in both safety, and linebacker positions. Which Brooks could produce in both roles.
I don't expect Brooks to make much of an impact on the defensive side of the game right away, but I would expect a big contribution in the third phase of the game. Like much of the 2020 draft it will be hard to pick up an NFL playbook so quickly, but Brooks and his contemporaries can impact this team by going all out on special teams.
14 Games Played
2 Healthy scratches (Week 1 & 2)
Antoine Brooks Jr. has the potential to become a really nice depth/sub package type player for the Steelers. Something you’ll hear me say a lot for the rookies over the course of the series is the 2020 class will be hard-pressed to making impacts anywhere but on special teams. The lack of practice time will hurt what they'll be able to do and we’ll need to keep this in mind before judging these kids. Brooks will be fine, just be patient.