Once again Brett Veach has shocked the football world. This time he traded the team’s first-round draft pick for a massive man from Baltimore. Orlando Brown Jr. has the size and power to dominate in Kansas City for a long time.
For months now, the Kansas City Chiefs have had a massive hole at left tackle. The team released long-time starter Eric Fisher, who tore his Achilles in the AFCCG, and ever since the topic of conversation in Kanas City is who the Chiefs would bring in as a replacement.
The team missed on signing Trent Williams, didn’t go after a veteran free agent, which had many people (my self included) thinking the team would be in the market to draft one of the top offensive tackle prospects. The draft class of tackles is absolutely loaded, one of the best of all time, and I had a blast evaluating all of them. That being said, Brett Veach has no time for first-round draft picks, as once again he shocked the NFL by trading with the Baltimore Ravens for Orlando Brown Jr.
Orland Brown Jr. is a special player, and at only 24 years old he has all the potential in the world to be the Chiefs blindside protector for the next several years. At 6’8″ and 355 pounds he is perhaps the largest player in the game, and the power he generates with his massive frame is enough for him to be able to send defenders flying when he connects with them.
Brown seems to be the last piece in the massive offensive line overhaul, one that saw the Chiefs go from an average line as well as the awful Super Bowl performance to a line that will now be rich with nasty and physical play.
So what does the big man do well?
His hands and feet are one of the big reasons he has had so much success in the NFL up to this point in his career. He isn’t a great athlete in the open field, but in the short five-yard span that is so crucial to offensive line play, he moves as well as anyone in the game. He uses a ton of jump sets, which fit his playstyle well, as well as the Baltimore Ravens run and RPO heavy scheme. It allows him to get on defenders fast off the snap, and then overwhelm them with his size and power.
His feet start the fight, but his hands usually end it. He has tremendous power in his strike, and in almost all of the film clips posted here, you can see him use his pure force and will to move other large men off a spot. He knows where to shoot his hands, and he knows when to use them. The strike stuns the defenders, stopping them in their tracks, and then he uses his ridiculous reach and arm length to finish the play.
One of the underrated aspects of Brown’s game is if football IQ. He isn’t the greatest athlete in the world, so he has to be sharp off the snap, and must always put himself in a position to win plays. He always has a plan to win, and his plan usually involves mauling the man across from him. Above he sees the movement coming inside immediately, and he crashes down on the defensive tackle, creating a pile.
One of the major area’s the Chiefs struggled in during the 2020 season was run blocking, which was tough to stomach considering the talent of running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, as well as the team having favorable opportunities to run the ball.
During the Super Bowl, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers dared the Chiefs to run the ball by playing very few men in the box and dropping defenders back in coverage. Andy Reid did not appear to have confidence in his make-shift unit up front to run the ball, which is the major factor in why the Chiefs lost the Super Bowl.
Now with a potential lineup of Brown, Thuney, Blythe, Long, and Niang, the Chiefs are going to be able to put themselves in a position to run the ball when teams sell out to stop Mahomes, Hill, and Kelce. Brown will be integral in that, as he is the missing link in the overhaul of the Chiefs offensive line.
Of course, like many players, he will have some things to work on to improve his game. He is coming from an offense in Baltimore that is run-heavy and doesn’t incorporate many vertical pass sets. The Chiefs offense as we all know requires vertical pass sets and elongated protection in order for the team to get off its deep passing patterns.
Brown is fine in his vertical pass set, but he can still improve, which will come down to him changing his playstyle some, and getting lighter on his feet to be able to drive and catch more effectively and not let defenders beat him around the edge.
Brown is only 24 years old, made the Pro Bowl twice, and brings to Kanas City a wealth of experience, but also in many ways a blank slate. His time in Baltimore turned him into a pro, but it will be his time in Kansas City that defines his career. He is going to have the task of protecting Patrick Mahomes for the foreseeable future, which will put him under a microscope.
He has the physical gifts, the football IQ, and the nasty streak to be one of the all-time greats. His style of play will help the Chiefs in areas they struggled in during the 2020 season. In return, it will be up to the Chiefs to help him complete his career arc and become the best tackle in the game.