Many Baltimore Ravens fans are clamoring to select a playmaker in the first round. If Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver Calvin Ridley is still available when Baltimore is on the clock, they would most likely select him. If Ridley isn’t there and Oklahoma Sooners offensive tackle Orlando Brown is still available, Baltimore wouldn’t be in the wrong to select the latter.
Taking a look at Brown, his late father, Orlando Brown Sr., was a former Raven himself. He looks like the spitting image of his dad, standing at 6-foot-8, 360 pounds and has extremely long limbs. Brown’s ability to both pass-protect and run-block with sheer power will allow him to succeed at the next level.
The 21-year old giant can play left or right tackle for Baltimore. Luckily for the Ravens, Ronnie Stanley has been very good so far at left tackle. Immediately, Baltimore would have two young bookends at the tackle positions for the foreseeable future.
Another positive for Baltimore in drafting Brown could be the cap savings. If Brown is drafted, the Ravens could cut right tackle Austin Howard. Howard played fine in 2017, but saving $3 million (according to SpoTrac) in cap space for a younger upgrade is ideal.
It is assumed that Alex Lewis and Marshal Yanda will be taking back their starting left and right guard positions, respectively. Brown will be able to play alongside Yanda, who is a former All-Pro player and perennial Pro Bowler.
Run blocking is key for the Ravens, who ranked 11th in the NFL in rushing last season(1,856 rushing yards). Adding Brown to Baltimore’s offensive line can only improve the road grading ability that Baltimore’s offensive line possesses. Running backs Alex Collins, Javorius Allen and Kenneth Dixon can have a field day running to the right of the offensive line.
Though drafting Brown in the first round may not be the sexiest of picks, it will allow the Ravens to improve up front. It never hurts to improve the offensive line, no matter how good that you already think it is. Furthermore, there are other receivers in the 2018 NFL Draft that will be available in the second round and beyond.
The Ravens are built on hard-nosed football. Brown would just make things even more rough for opposing front sevens.