Right tackle remains a large question mark for the Baltimore Ravens this offseason. Orlando Brown Jr. is reportedly seeking to be traded to a team where he can play left tackle.
Orlando Brown's representatives have begun exploring trade possibilities for a player eyeing a full-time role at left tackle, per source. The Ravens are aware of those plans. Plenty of teams will be in the market for left tackle help in coming weeks and months.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) February 25, 2021
Brown also expressed his desire to play left tackle in a series of tweets a few weeks ago.
It’s never been about the money. I’m so appreciative for this organization and all my teammates. I couldn’t thank DeCosta enough, he’s a incredible football mind and one the best men I know. I want to live out the dream my dad had for me. https://t.co/JhHj4PL2mG pic.twitter.com/bbki7zO9Vb— Orlando Brown Jr. (@ZEUS__78) February 5, 2021
Brown is one of the best offensive tackles in the league. He has been a Pro Bowl selection for the last two seasons. Last season, he played 11 games at left tackle in place of the injured Ronnie Stanley and played extremely well.
However, right tackle became a big problem with Brown at left tackle and Stanley out. Tyre Phillips, who started the season at right guard, split the right tackle snaps with veteran D.J. Fluker. Phillips allowed six sacks in the regular season, despite only playing 418 offensive snaps. For perspective, Brown allowed three sacks last season in 1,027 snaps, and left guard Bradley Bozeman allowed two sacks in 1,017 snaps. Phillips continued to struggle in the postseason giving up two sacks. On the following play, Brooks Reed simply overpowered him for the sack:
Brooks Reed powered his way through for the sack @Brooksreed50 @Titans— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) January 10, 2021
#BALvsTEN on ESPN/ABC pic.twitter.com/egejfPhBJM
Reed is not an elite edge rusher, either. He entered that game with only three total sacks across the past three years.
Meanwhile, Fluker proved to be a better pass protector, but he struggled with penalties at times. He recorded nine penalties, which was tied for the fifth-most among tackles, despite only logging 531 offensive snaps.
To be fair, Phillips was a rookie, and he has the potential to develop. Nevertheless, it is imperative that the Ravens add a tackle this offseason if Brown is traded. If he is not, adding another tackle for depth still would still be a smart move. The Ravens are competing for a championship now and counting on Phillips’s development could be risky.
Well, that brings us to Demar Dotson. He started eight games for the Denver Broncos last season and did not allow a single sack. In addition, he has posted a PFF pass blocking grade of at least 70 in each of the last five seasons. Interestingly, the Broncos were 4-4 in games that Dotson started, and two of those losses came against the Kansas City Chiefs. The Broncos were 1-7 in all other games.
There was also a staggering difference in the Broncos’ rushing production with Dotson in the lineup. Here are three statistics to illustrate that:
-With Dotson, the Broncos averaged 138.5 rushing yards per game. Without Dotson, they averaged 101.25 rushing yards per game.
-The Broncos had three games with over 150 rushing yards last season, and Dotson started in all of them.
-The Broncos failed to record 100 rushing yards in three games last season, and Dotson did not play in any of those games.
Despite his consistent play, Dotson should not receive a large contract. Last offseason, the Broncos signed him to a one-year deal worth up to $3 million with incentives. If the Ravens can sign him to a similar deal, he would be a great value.
The Ravens have around $18 million of cap space to work with, and they need to address needs at the wide receiver, guard, and edge rusher positions. As a result, top-level free agent tackles like Taylor Moton are not likely targets. At age 35, Dotson is not the future, but if they trade Brown, he will give the Ravens a reliable veteran option at an important position. They could also draft an offensive tackle without needing to start him Week 1.