Pros: Good north-south runner that is tough between the tackles despite his lack of size. Is shifty and elusive in the open field, showing a nice spin move and quick feet to make defenders miss at the second level. He breaks tackles because he gets low and people can't get a square hit on him. Keeps his feet moving after contact. Has decent hands.
Cons: Not going to give you much in pass protection. Not a burner, nor has the size to really take the pounding at the next level.
Overview: Behind a better line, he probably would have been more productive and a bigger factor. But he's a sleeper in this draft that possesses the skill set to be an impact player in a one-cut, zone scheme.
NFL Forecast: Brinkley is not for everybody. He'd be an asset for a team like Indianapolis or Houston, with the potential to start. Not going to be a feature back, but could surprise a few people with how productive he is behind a solid zone blocking line. For most teams, he'd probably be a decent change of pace back that if he can improve in the passing game would make a nice third down option. He's the type of guy that would dominate a league like NFL Europa if it was still around, but will be hard-pressed to get opportunities in the NFL. Might have to play on a lesser league for a few years before he gets a legit NFL shot.
ATL Forecast: Brinkley could work in Atlanta, but he's probably not really a better option than Norwood or Thomas Brown as a third down back. Since both Norwood and Brown are faster and give you a bit more on special teams, he'd be hard-pressed to stick in Atlanta right away. He could earn a practice squad spot in hopes that he can stick a year or two down the road.
Value: For a few zone-heavy teams that have an opening for a change of pace back, Brinkley would make a nice sixth round pick. Otherwise, he's probably an undrafted free agent for most teams.
Scouting Reports of running backs and fullbacks in the 2009 draft.
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