The names of many draft prospects have been tied to to the Kansas City Chiefs during the NFL Combine, but few will be as familiar to Kansas City fans as Kansas State cornerback Julius Brents, who confirmed on Thursday that he has met with the team.
#KStateFB CB Julius Brents is not sure yet if he will be attending the #NFLDraft in Kansas City but is hopeful— Ed Easton Jr. (@EdEastonJr) March 2, 2023
He confirmed that he had a meeting with the #Chiefs #NFLCombine | @KStateFB pic.twitter.com/3dVfa5wZPG
There is a lot to like about Brents’ game. Here is what you need to know about him:
One of the larger cornerbacks in the class, Brents stands 6’3” and weighs 202 pounds. A 2023 Senior Bowl invitee, he set a record for cornerbacks when his wingspan was measured at 82 7/8 inches. He also excelled in one-on-one drills, where he could use his natural length to smother opposing receivers and press them at the line of scrimmage.
NFL scouts tell us few guys boosted their draft stock more at @seniorbowl than K-State CB Julius Brents. 6030v w/ record-setting 82 7/8 wing. DB teach tape stuff here. Textbook tight-man focus.— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) February 17, 2023
Rarely see 1-on-1 rep where QB doesn’t even throw it. #TheDraftStartsInMOBILE™️ pic.twitter.com/DvZMizYPCF
Brents was a three-star recruit coming out of Warren Central High School in Indianapolis. He originally committed to the University of Iowa, where he played two seasons before transferring to Manhattan for his junior year. There, he made an immediate impact — amassing 111 tackles and five interceptions over 27 games.
Brents primarily lined up on the boundary, where his size and length could be used to its full advantage. Out of 449 coverage snaps last season, Brents conceded only 24 receptions on 54 targets, holding opposing quarterbacks to an embarrassing passer rating of 57.7.
Longer cornerbacks like Brents sometimes struggle with agility and changing directions — but here we see that he does a good job of mirroring the wide receiver, effortlessly flipping his hips to match the route. Brents also possesses the speed to go stride-for-stride with the wideout, shutting down all hope for a reception.
Not many players with the length of Julius Brents.— Ryan Fowler (@_RyanFowler_) December 3, 2022
Nearly 34” arms and a wingspan of close to 7 feet. Senior Bowl invite has showcased well today. pic.twitter.com/CoMFH9flp4
Here we see Brents’ wingspan being used to full effect as he lines up against a possible top-10 pick: TCU wide receiver Quentin Johnston. Brents does a good job, keeping at least a hand on Johnston’s inside shoulder to keep Johnston from fully turning to the ball — while at the same time, using his length to reach in and break up the pass.
In addition, Brents doesn’t overreact to the outside fake. Instead, he waits for Johnston to make his cut — and then digs in with his plant foot to push off and stay in the receiver’s pocket.
How he fits with the Chiefs
While Kansas City has already invested heavily in young players for its secondary, the NFL is a pass-happy league. You can never have too many quality cornerbacks — especially ones who possess the size, length and savvy that Brents brings to the table.
The bottom line
Brents was built in a lab somewhere to shut down players like the Cincinnati Bengals’ Ja’Marr Chase. While a player like him isn’t necessarily the team’s biggest offseason need, Brents could really fit nicely into the Kansas City secondary.