VDT: Kansas State CB Julius Brents Is a Physical Freak

Every year, there are freakish athletes that come into the NFL Draft that impress with their combination of size and speed. This year, one of those physical freaks is Kansas State CB Julius Brents. After measuring in at the Senior Bowl over 6’3 and with a wingspan of nearly seven feet, he is one of the largest CBs in this draft and combines that with potential 4.4 speed.

However, does the performance on the field match up with some of the impressive measurements? That is the question we will try to answer in today’s edition of Vikings Draft Thermometer series, PurplePTSD‘s one-stop shop for all your 2023 NFL Draft needs. Throughout this series, we have examined a number of prospects ahead of the 2023 NFL Draft, analyzing their strengths, weaknesses, what exactly their role could be at the NFL level, and most importantly, whether or not they could end up playing their first NFL snaps in a Vikings uniform. 


Oct 23, 2021; Lubbock, Texas, USA; Texas Tech Red Raiders wide receiver Erik Ezukanma (13) blocks Kansas State Wildcats defensive back Julius Brents (23) in the first half at Jones AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
  • Height: 6’3
  • Weight: 202 pounds
  • Arm Length: 33 3/4″
  • Hand Size: 9 1/2″
  • Wingspan: 82 7/8″
  • School: Iowa, Kansas State
  • Games Watched: Baylor (2022), TCU (2022), Texas Tech (2022)


Oct 2, 2021; Manhattan, Kansas, USA; Kansas State Wildcats defensive back Julius Brents (23) intercepts a pass intended for Oklahoma Sooners wide receiver Michael Woods II (8) during the third quarter of a game at Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports
  • 2018: 13 tackles, 3 PDs, 1 INT (5 games)
  • 2020: 4 tackles, 1 PD (2 games)
  • 2021: 49 tackles, 3 TFLs, 2 PDs, 1 INT (13 games)
  • 2022: 45 tackles, 3.5 TFLs, 4 PDs, 4 INTs, 1 FF (14 games)


Nov 26, 2022; Manhattan, Kansas, USA; Kansas Jayhawks running back Devin Neal (4) is tackled by Kansas State Wildcats cornerback Julius Brents (23) and safety Josh Hayes (1) during the first quarter at Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

Obviously, Brents’ most intriguing trait is his size. He boasts similar measurements to that of a Tariq Woolen, who burst onto the NFL scene after being selected in the fifth round of the 2022 Draft by the Seattle Seahawks.

That’s not all to like about Brents as a prospect, though. Despite his size, he lined up in multiple spots in Kansas State’s secondary, playing outside corner, nickel corner, and even a few snaps as a safety.

He also has some outstanding ball skills, getting his ridiculously long arms into a receiver’s catch window with ease. Despite the size, Brents also brings terrific speed to the table and can keep up with most receivers downfield.


Feb 2, 2023; Mobile, AL, USA; American defensive back Julius Brents of Kansas State (23) defends against American wide receiver Jonathan Mingo of Ole Miss (18) practices during the third day of Senior Bowl week at Hancock Whitney Stadium in Mobile. Mandatory Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

Overall, the biggest problem with Brents’ play comes in route recognition. In the game against TCU, there were multiple moments where WR Quentin Johnston stole his lunch money, making him look silly with some intricate route running.

It would help for him to recognize routes, but he also needs to pair that with better execution in coverage. At times, it seems like he’s moving through quicksand as he backpedals or moves laterally.

Finally, he has terrific size, but he needs to be better about using it to his advantage. There were multiple instances where he got caught on blockers in run support.

Now, if he were drawing offensive linemen, this would be understandable, but Max Duggan scored a touchdown because Brents got stuck on a block by Johnston once again. Granted, Johnston is also a massive receiver, but it’s worth noting that these instances were sprinkled into his game film.

NFL Projections

Dec 3, 2022; Arlington, TX, USA; Kansas State Wildcats cornerback Julius Brents (23) falls back into the end zone after incepting a pass thrown by TCU Horned Frogs quarterback Max Duggan (15) during the second half at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
  • Draft Round: Early Fourth-Mid Fifth
  • Immediate Role: Depth CB
  • Best-Case Scenario: Tariq Woolen
  • Vikings Draft Thermometer: 50

The Vikings certainly will be looking for younger depth at the cornerback position this offseason, but it remains to be seen how early they will do that. If they select Brents, don’t expect him to be a Week 1 starter, but he can certainly hold his own as a rotational defensive back.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.