Position: Right Tackle
Height: 6’8 1/2
Weight: 311 lbs
School: Northern Iowa
Brown offers elite size for the position with a towering frame and a pair of long arms (34 3/4in), but despite his stature Brown is freakishly athletic, perhaps the most athletic lineman in this draft. Brown recently showed out at his pro day recording an unbelievable 4.88 40 time and a 4.44 in the pro agility. His athleticism was often on display as he moved out into space, climbing to the second level and closing off linebackers and even pulling from the right tackle position. He is extremely light footed and nimble getting out of his stance and turning his hips leading up through the gap. He has the natural bend for tackle despite his height, he doesn’t play stiff and tight hipped as do most overly tall tackles do, he has shown the ability to squat and get under opponents pad level, not an easy task for a player who is 6’8. His get off is great, his steps off the snap are outstanding, he gets into defenders quickly and once he is engaged, he does not just serve as barricade, he runs his feet and attempts to uproot and move them widening running lanes. He is a “worker” on every snap, rarely see him do “just enough” he is always moving, grinding and making contact. In pass pro Brown has natural gifts in both length and athleticism, he can mirror rushers well as the jab and counter, he has the feet to recuperate and reset from bad form and salvage the snap. Most importantly Brown has shown the brains for the game, picking up movement and blitzes on the fly with little surprise. As a prospect Brown checks all of the boxes and could in short time be a starting tackle on this front.
Level of competition jumps out at you, not having squared off against the best of college football week in and week out question marks linger about his ability to consistently block NFL quality pass rushers. From a technique stand point Brown has some work to do, he tends to overset in pass pro, leaving the inside vulnerable, this was clear during his reps at the Senior Bowl, rushers took advantage of his over sets. While his height helps him in some regards it has worked against him in other ways, defenders have been able to get under his pads and power him back not allowing him to recover. As big, strong and athletic as he is there are times when he is minimized in run blocking, he is better moving on angles and overwhelming defenders than he is working head up. He will need to add better core strength to his game in order to develop into the tackle he is capable of becoming, there are times when he slips off blocks and losses his balance, NFL defenders will be able to attack him in a multitude of ways and he is going to need to be more adept in all facets.
While tackle was not on the fans radar, certainly not at this point the truth of the matter is the Bills line lacks quality depth, especially at the tackle position. Ryan Bates and Bobby Hart are poor tackles who are fringe bets to make the final roster. Drafting Brown is an insurance policy for now and an investment into the future. Brown will need time to develop and mature into his frame, sitting behind Daryl Williams and Dion Dawkins will be a perfect learning experience for him. Brown has also reported that he has been working with former NFL great Joe Staley in the offseason in an effort to groom his skills and make the leap to the NFL. Brown was not the pick we expected but credit to Beane and company for making the tough call to invest in the future.