Sport Weekly's Howard Balzer listed LB Keith Brooking as one of the Top 5 elite OLBs in the NFL. You can see the complete article here:http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football ... kers_x.htm
This of course is of no surprise to many of us. Falcon fans are generally split into two camps:
1. Those that think Brooking is the second coming of Nobis/Tuggle and all the great near-HOF caliber linebackers.
2. Those that think Brooking is overrated.
And often the degree of being overrated is in dispute with the second camp. I must admit I fall into the second camp. Brooking is one of the better LBs in the league, I have him rated at #11 amongst OLBs in the league. But I would then draw the line in that doesn't mean that the 10 guys I have rated above him I would necessarily take over him (3 of them are currently free agents).
Most experts believe Brooking to be a Top 5 OLB. I think they fall in love with his intensity, toughness, and burst. But really besides that Brooking brings little to the table in my opinion. I think he is one of the better pursuit players in the league, but he lacks power, and is not very fast. Sure, he has great burst to the football, but that just means he closes on ball-carriers fast, not that he can actually chase them down. And because of that, he is somewhat a liability in coverage. He's not the guy that you would match up on a guy like Brian Westbrook (if I were coach those honors would go to Bryan Scott or Demorrio).
I'm not sure how others feel about him. Most people I run into have various opinions. Some hate him, and have since his college days. Others absolutely adore him (most of the media seems to fall closer to this category). Most fans though fall somewhere in between.