Player Profile #89 – OT James Brewer

His high school basketball coach talked him into going out for football in his senior season. Up to that point, James Brewer’s interest had been devoted to the round ball as he made his way through three different Indianapolis high schools in four years.

His pre-season performance got the attention of his offensive line coach at Arlington High School, and he got in touch with the folks at Indiana University. That’s when Brewer was given the opportunity for a scholarship with the Hoosiers before playing a game of football.

Now, Brewer is preparing to take the next step, as a physically gifted but inexperienced blocker ready to join the NFL.

Here’s his story.


James Da’ One Brewer.

Born – December 23, 1987 in Indianapolis.

Family – Parents are James A. Brewer and Neitra Squires.


  • Height – 6-feet, 6¼ inches.
  • Weight – 323 pounds.
  • Arms – 35½ inches.
  • Hand – 10¼ inches.
  • 40-yard dash – 5.21 seconds.
  • 20-yard dash – 2.95 seconds.
  • 10-yard dash – 1.76 seconds.
  • Bench press – 25 repetitions with 225 pounds.
  • Vertical jump – 26 inches.
  • Broad jump – 8 feet, 4 inches.


Brewer graduated with the class of 2006 from Arlington Community High School, a public school in northeast Indianapolis and part of the Indianapolis Public Schools. It was one of three high schools he attended – Brewer spent two-plus years at Warren Central High School and then one spring semester at Lawrence Central High School. Both are on the east side of Indianapolis. He transferred to Arlington as a senior.

At Warren Central, Brewer played some football as a freshman, but none after that. At Lawrence Central, Brewer played only basketball. It was at Arlington as a senior that he went back to football and ended up earning 5A All-State recognition for his performance with the Golden Knights and Coach Rob Patchett. He was convinced to play football by the school’s athletic director Larry Nicks, who encouraged him to play.

2005 – Brewer played guard and was named to the Indianapolis Star All-City team for his performance.


He committed to Indiana on October 6, 2005, as the school offered him a scholarship before he played a high school game. Kentucky, North Carolina and Purdue also showed interest. Nebraska got in late as well. Brewer was interested in North Carolina to play basketball.


Brewer graduated with a general studies degree from IU in December 2010.

On the football field, he was as raw a product as could be. According to program records, when he arrived for his freshman season (2006) he could bench press 185 pounds just five times. By his senior season, he was bench pressing 415 pounds and ran off 25 reps on the bench with 225 pounds.

As a senior, he won the program’s 2010 Don Howell Outstanding Offensive Lineman Award. The honor was named after a Hoosiers lineman from the 1950s who would go on to become one of the most successful high school coaches in Indiana history.

Over three seasons of play, Brewer started the final 21 games at RT and played in 29 games overall.

2010 – Opened in 9 games at RT, missing 3 games with a high ankle sprain. He should have missed four to eight weeks according to trainers, but he was back in three weeks with near round-the-clock rehab. Brewer gave up two sacks on the year and was twice voted game captain. He received All-Big 10 Conference honorable mention.

2009 – He started all 12 games at RT.

2008 – Brewer played in first eight games of the season for the Hoosiers but missed the rest of the season due to an ankle injury.

2007 – He missed the entire season with a stress fracture in his foot that required surgery.

2006 – Redshirt.


Brewer missed 19 games over his career in Bloomington because of injury. The worst was a stress fracture in his foot that forced him to miss the entire 2007 season. Coming after his redshirt season in 2006 that was a two-year span where he did not play in any games. But he was able to practice in ’06 and then the ’07 spring ball, showing the Indiana coaches what he could bring to the program.

He later missed four games in 2008 because of a severely sprained ankle and then three more in 2010 with a high ankle sprain. The only season he played without problem of injury was in 2009 as a junior.


Strengths – A fairly good athlete, with long arms that are perfect for the tackle position. He’s agile and has good quickness and appears to play inside the box quite well. Brewer has a strong upper body that helps him lock on and finish his blocks, even with only average lower-body strength. His big hands and size make it near impossible for a defender to get rid of him once he clamps on.

Weaknesses – His lack of experience and still developing fundamentals have shown him to be susceptible to outside rushers. He tends to learn, overextend and lunge, any of which is a major problem for a blocker. As good as he looks inside the box, is how bad he looks playing in space, because he does not have good body control. Some scouts question his desire and whether he can overcome his penchant for playing passively; he seems more comfortable accepting a blow. His feet are not exceptional and he needs to get stronger, as his body is a bit soft.

Analysis – There’s a lot of moving parts to his huge body and that’s one thing that has caught the attention of scouts and NFL personnel types. With a lot of work, Brewer could overcome his lack of experience and be a major player at tackle. There are some NFL types that think because of his athletic ability he could eventually move over to left tackle. That’s going to take a lot of work on Brewer’s part and whether or not he’s got that type of ethic will decide whether he’s boom or bust.


From a scout with an AFC team – “He’s like a big lump of clay that’s going to need to be molded. And by lump, I mean lump, because he’s physically soft. The question everyone has is whether he’s mentally soft. I’m not sure he wants to put in that type of effort; he’s shown a passive personality. I will say he’s a smart guy who will understand the work he needs to get done.”

From a scout with an NFC team – “There’s nothing special here. I know some guys (scouts) think he could develop into something but there’s nothing on the tape that shows that type of upside. He’s too raw, missed too much time because of injury.”


On how he wants to be remembered: “Just that I was myself. I’ve matured as a person, but I think if you ask people to describe me you get the same answer from everybody. I want to be remembered as something that came and stayed true to himself.”

About being considered quiet and passive – “I try not to yell at people when I’m talking; all the things that subconsciously you do so that you don’t seem as big because I’ve always been bigger than everybody. I think just over time it got me where I was passive for awhile. I need to be nice off the field, but when you’re on the field, you know that’s not going to cut it.”


Indiana head coach Bill Lynch – “He’s the first guy we want getting off the bus.”

Indiana guard Justin Pagan – “He looks kind of scary, but there’s not a mean bone in his body. Off the field he’s a gentle giant. But when he gets on the field, it’s a whole different Brewer.”


Brewer doesn’t have the resume of the type of player that Pioli/Haley has been interested in over the last two years. There are questions about his durability, his passion, his aggressiveness and his desire. His raw physical tools will interest all 32 teams, but it’s hard to see the Chiefs investing in this young man.

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