Derek Brim is living the dream of any Buffalo kid, putting on the charging Bull helmet and going to work at Ralph Wilson Stadium everyday. Well I guess it was the dream of Buffalo kids my age, maybe not so anymore. Brim was born November 11, 1991, the day after the Bills defeated the Green Bay Packers at Milwaukee County Stadium, to improve to 9-1. Brim was 8 when the Bills last saw postseason action. Brim has the chance to realize the new dream of Buffalo's youth, to be on the first Bills team to bring glory back to the 716.
However, Brim is facing an uphill climb. Stephon Gilmore, Leodis McKelvin, Aaron Williams and Corey Graham are slated to be a strong starting 4, leaving six spots open for the fourteen! safeties and defensive backs on roster.
Size and Measurables
The median height and weight of Buffalo's 14 DBs fighting for the final 6 spots is 6', 200 pounds. Brim clocks in at 6' 199 pounds.
Brim's 4.6 40 time is worrisome, the 3rd slowest of the 14 DBs, Brim also had the 3rd worst 20-yard shuttle and the 2nd worst 3-cone drill.
Brim put up 17 bench press reps, four more than the median and 5th highest of the 14 DBs, his 35 inch vertical was less than an inch lower than the average vert, but Brim had the 2nd longest broad jump, at 10'6".
Brim's size is decent, and his broad jump number shows he has high capacity for explosive power which is vital as a DB. His lack of speed and agility are definite red flags, especially considering the smaller shifty receivers in the AFC East including Jarvis Landry, Eric Decker, Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman.
Brim is relatively unexperienced with 75 solo tackles, 114 total tackles, 2.5 TFLs, 6 passes defended and 2 forced fumbles in his college career. Brim lacks ball skills, he is the only DB without a college interception, and only Jajuan Harley had less passes defended than Brim.
With his history, Brim looks to be more of a run stopping safety which may be a luxury the Bills cannot afford in this pass happy league and in this run weak division.
Only three of the 14 DBs fighting to join the roster have significant NFL experience, Da'Norris Searcy, Ron Brooks, and Nickell Robey. Through OTA's and mini-camp, those three seem shoe-ins to make the Bills roster, leaving 3 more spots open. Duke Williams is also a safe bet as he is slated as a challenge to the starting safety position.
Brim stacks up well against Meeks with a higher vert (35 to 33.5), a longer broad jump (126 to 115), and a quicker shuttle time (4.57 to 4.72).
Barring spectacular mini camp performance, the numbers game does not favor Brim. Brim's best chance to find a way on the roster is to be rock solid against the run, great on special teams, and to show improvement in breaking up the pass. A guy like Brim, isn't made for mini-camp in t-shirts and shorts, Brim's story will be told in pads. Fortunately, the Bills will play 4 preseason games before the cut to 75 players, Brim will literally have to play his way past that cut.