Terrence Brooks: Unproven or Bust?


After the 2014 NFL season in which the Ravens finished with a disappointing 8-8 record, the Ravens missed the playoffs for the first time under John Harbaugh. Ozzie Newsome made it clear – they needed a big, athletic free safety to roam the field.

When the draft came around, the Ravens were excited when Terrence Brooks was available in the 3rd round, quickly snatching on the opportunity. His rookie season he showed he was  a young player making rookie mistakes. He allowed an important late 1st half touchdown against the Saints while struggling in coverage throughout most of the season.

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Brooks did show upside, too. His powerful hit on Delanie Walker probably made Walker have nightmares in his sleep for months. But, his season ended prematurely with a torn ACL. Brooks showed no sign of quit. He made a remarkable speedy recovery that allowed him to play in the preseason of the following year. He tore his ACL in Week 15. With Kendrick Lewis expected as the starting free safety, we all expected Brooks to have a big part of the defense.

His special teams play had many flaws as well, racking up multiple “inexcusable” penalties. But, a handful of this season’s games had Brooks on the inactive list, whether injured or not. The most peculiar part of Brooks’ season long benching was that nearly every young player on the Ravens was given a chance. Players such as Jumale Rolle and Brynden Trawick were given opportunities over the second-year player out of Florida State.

What could this benching possibly mean? Could Brooks not prove himself in practice? Or was he not given the opportunity a young player of such a high-caliber should have? Can Terrence Brooks play like the athletic player he showed during his reign at Florida State?

Next season is a crucial season for Terrence Brooks. With Lardarius Webb moving to safety and Matt Elam returning from a bicep injury, it will be harder than ever for Brooks to get time at safety. But, Brooks definitely has the skill set to be the ball hawk the Ravens have hoped for. His 4.42 fourty-yard-dash time was the fastest out of all safeties during the 2014 NFL Draft Combine.

Next: Ladarius Webb: Answer At Free Safety?

So, Brooks’ next season will be the biggest of his life. After next season, the never-ending debate on the enigma of Terrence Brooks will finally tumble, leaving him as a future playmaker, or a rider of the bench until his rookie contract runs out.