football-player football-score football-helmet football-ball Accuracy Arm-Strength Balance Ball-Security Ball-Skills Big-Play-Ability Block-Deconstruction Competitive-Toughness Core-Functional-Strength Decision-Making Discipline Durability Effort-Motor Elusivness Explosiveness Football-IQ Footwork Functional-Athleticism Hand-Counters Hand-Power Hand-Technique Hands Lateral-Mobility Leadership Length Mechanics Mobility Pass-Coverage-Ability Pass-Protection Pass-Sets Passing-Down-Skills Pocket-Manipulation Poise Power-at-POA Progressions RAC-Ability Range Release-Package Release Route-Running Run-Defending Separation Special-Teams-Ability-1 Versatility Vision Zone-Coverage-Skills Anchor-Ability Contact-Balance Man-Coverage-Skills Tackling Lifted Logic Web Design in Kansas City clock location phone email play chevron-down chevron-left chevron-right chevron-up facebook tiktok checkbox checkbox-checked radio radio-selected instagram google plus pinterest twitter youtube send linkedin search arrow-circle bell left-arrow right-arrow tdn-mark filled-play-circle yellow-arrow-circle dark-arrow-circle star cloudy snowy rainy sunny plus minus triangle-down link close drag minus-circle plus-circle pencil premium trash lock simple-trash simple-pencil eye cart
NFL Draft

Who Won Orlando Brown Trade: Chiefs or Ravens?

  • The Draft Network
  • April 25, 2021
  • Share

I hope you didn’t get too far in your Friday afternoon mock draft! Unfortunately for us in the media and fans alike, the NFL doesn’t care about our mock drafts and can strike a big trade to mess everything up at a moment's notice. This happened Friday afternoon when the Baltimore Ravens agreed to trade offensive tackle Orlando Brown to the Kansas City Chiefs in exchange for the Chiefs’ 2021 first-round pick (31st overall), 2021 third-round pick, 2021 fourth-round pick, and a 2022 fifth-round pick. In addition to Brown, the Chiefs also received the Ravens' 2021 second-round pick and a sixth-round pick in 2022. There is a lot to break down about this trade, so let’s get started.

When a trade of this magnitude goes down, fans on both sides will rush to Twitter and proclaim that their team “won” the deal. In most cases, I do think you can choose a winner just based on the valuation of the assets given compared to your personal evaluation of the player, but in this circumstance, I think both teams should be very happy. The fact that the Chiefs gave up a late first-round pick and still received an additional second-round pick in this year’s draft is huge, especially when you consider that they can potentially find a pass-catcher in the second round, as this is a deep receiver class. The Ravens being able to get a first-round pick and then some for a player who openly declared he wanted to be traded is impressive—especially given the fact that Brown at some point will be looking for a new contract. In the end, the Chiefs got a left tackle they can feel good about and the Ravens definitely maximized their return. Fair deal. 

Looking at this trade first from the Ravens' point of view, I think this was a home run. Brown is an excellent player, and it's always tough to have to trade good players who are also good people, but the Ravens didn’t have much of a choice. Brown was drafted in 2018 and has started at right tackle for the Ravens since his rookie season. He has consistently improved since his rookie season and entered 2020 amongst the best players at his position. Brown was forced to move over from the right side to left tackle in the middle of the season as Pro Bowl left tackle Ronnie Stanley suffered a season-ending leg injury. Brown performed very well at left tackle and showed his versatility and that he was more than capable of playing either side.

In a perfect world, the Ravens would be thrilled with this development knowing that Brown is a great right tackle and, in a pinch, could be a very good left tackle. Unfortunately for the Ravens, Brown and his agent decided that after playing left tackle and playing it well, he has no intentions of returning to the right side and wants to be a left tackle permanently. Knowing that Stanley will be returning from injury and is already one of the highest-paid players at his position, Brown decided to demand a trade in order to go to a team that will allow him to play on the left side. The Ravens could have easily told him "no, there's no chance we are trading you," but Brown is set to be a free agent after next season and there is zero chance he would re-sign, so the team made a wise decision to strike a deal now when his value is at its highest. 

Adding an additional first-round pick will allow the Ravens to target Brown’s replacement, as I do think they’ll be some capable right tackles available at either pick No. 27 or 31. Players such as Alabama’s Alex Leatherwood, North Dakota State’s Dillon Radunz, and Notre Dame’s Liam Eichenberg are all players I could see the Ravens having interest in at the bottom of the first round—they can set themselves up with a cheap new right tackle while also having another first-round pick to target a pass-catcher for Lamar Jackson. Again, a great trade for the Ravens, but the one thing I do find surprising is that they traded him to their biggest competition in the conference. Perhaps they had no other offers, and this was the only way to get a deal done? They may regret the decision a bit if they have to face them come playoff time. 

Now looking at this trade from the Chiefs' perspective, this makes all the sense in the world for Kansas City. I recently did a seven-round mock draft of the Chiefs and while I highlighted that left tackle was their biggest need, there wasn’t one that fell to No. 31 that you feel great about inserting on the blind side of Patrick Mahomes. One thing people must realize is that even though we might like these prospects and think they can become good players, for teams like the Chiefs whose one goal is to win a Super Bowl this year, it's hard to picture a rookie tackle playing at a high level immediately and keeping Mahomes clean—not everyone is Tristian Wirfs. 

In Brown, the Chiefs are getting a proven starter who has shown to be good in the passing game while displaying an outstanding ability as a run blocker. He fills a huge hole on the left side of the offensive line that was vacant after the team decided to release long-time starter Eric Fisher. Kansas City’s offensive line now goes from a major weakness in 2020 to a huge strength as the team also added Joe Thuney to play left guard, Austin Blythe to play center, and Kyle Long as much-needed depth. Long may end up starting at the right guard spot, however, Laurent Duvarnay-Tardiff is set to return after taking the year off of football to focus on medicine during the COVID-19 pandemic. Just based on the tape from the last time Long and Duvarnay-Tardiff have played, I would assume that Duvarnay-Tardiff wins this job and Long will be a depth player or perhaps challenge Lucas Niang at right tackle. However, the competition shakes out it is very clear that this is a much-improved unit up front.

There is some risk with Brown, as again, he has only played half a season at left tackle in the NFL, and in a completely different scheme. Baltimore runs the ball the most in the NFL and that is something that plays to Brown’s strengths. Brown is a mauler at heart and is at his best playing in a down-hill gap blocking scheme where he can cover dudes up or use his power to move players off the line of scrimmage. In Kansas City, he will be asked to pass protect much more than he did so far in his NFL career and there is some unknown of how he will respond.

Now, one could argue that while at Oklahoma he was in pass protection more than almost any tackle in college football, so there shouldn’t be any issue—and I totally agree, but the NFL is still a different beast. Ultimately, I do think Brown will succeed at left tackle with the Chiefs and Kansas City just got that much better in the run game as well. 

We are less than a week away from the 2021 NFL Draft and this trade definitely shook things up in the first round. I bet this won’t be the last trade between now and when the Jaguars are on the clock on April 29. Buckle up, everyone. 

Filed In

Related Articles

Written By

The Draft Network