Summary: Oklahoma has had a prolific point machine offense over the past few seasons. In 2016, Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine led a devastating rushing offense that also saw quarterback Baker Mayfield also put together a huge season. For 2017, Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy, and of course, none of that success would have been possible without good blocking at the point of attack. On the Sooners' offensive line, the massive Orlando Brown was the best blocker and, at times, a dominating force at the line of scrimmage.
Brown broke into the starting lineup at left tackle as a redshirt freshman and remained the starting left tackle over the next two years, helping Oklahoma reach the college football playoff in his final season. Playing in the NFL runs in the family as Brown is the son of Orlando 'Zeus' Brown, who played for the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens over 11 seasons.
As a run blocker, Brown has a mean streak and blocks through the whistle. He can be a nasty run blocker when he wants to be. In games in which Brown is really motivated, like Ohio State last year, he is a beast in the ground game, pushing defenders around at the point of attack. Brown has length and functional strength to control defensive linemen. One team's top executive told me that of all the offensive tackle prospects in the 2018 NFL Draft, Brown definitely leads the way as the blocker who tosses the most defenders to the ground.
In pass protection, Brown is a giant with surprising feet and agility for such a big blocker. He had a lot of good stretches for the Sooners at left tackle last year, but he can be prone to hiccups along with playing down to competition. There are pressures that Brown should not have given up. Because of his height, playing too high can get him into trouble, and he has to watch how he bends along with not letting his feet get stuck in the ground. Brown has some athletic issues, and adding that in with playing too high leads to speed rushers giving him problems.
As a result of his inconsistencies, Brown would fit best as a right tackle in the NFL. In time he might develop into a left tackle, but considering his bending issues, it could be very risky to stick him in right away at left tackle. In the long run, staying at right tackle could be the best move for Brown. He has a remote shot at being a late first-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, but most likely, he will be a second- or third-round pick.
Player Comparison: D.J. Fluker. Teams sources have compared Brown to Fluker. Fluker (6-5, 345) is not as tall as Brown, but both of them have a lot of power and a mean streak as run blockers. They each have limitations for taking on speed rushers that limit them for the NFL. However as a pro, I think Brown could be better than Fluker.
NFL Matches: Jacksonville, New England, Philadelphia, Tampa Bay, Denver, Miami, Arizona, Cleveland, Baltimore, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh
There are a lot of teams that could be a fit for Brown in the 2018 NFL Draft. The Jaguars' offensive line could still get better and more talented. Brown could upgrade the Jacksonville line at right tackle over Jeremy Parnell. New England lost Nate Solder in free agency, so Brown could interest the organiztion to compete as a replacement.
Philadelphia needs another tackle of the future to pair with Lane Johnson. Johnson could go to left tackle to replace aging veteran Jason Peters with Brown being the starting right tackle. Brown could make a lot of sense for the Eagles if they trade down from their first-round pick.
Denver could use more offensive line help. They could bookend Garett Bolles with Brown on the right side. Tampa Bay probably will address more pressing needs, but they could use a right tackle of the future given the age of Demar Dotson.
The Dolphins need help on the line, and they might not keep Ja'Wuan James for the long term. Miami could draft Brown in the second round and start him out at guard. If James isn't in the long-term plans, then Brown could move to right tackle to form a tandem with Laremy Tunsil.
The Cardinals' offensive line was a mess in 2017. If Arizona takes a quarterback in the first round, Brown makes a lot of sense for the team as an offensive line upgrade in Round 2.
Brown could follow in his father's footsteps and play for Cleveland or Baltimore. Joe Thomas retired, leaving the Browns in need of a new starter at left tackle, so it could be possible that they would think of Brown with one of their second-round picks or their third-round pick. Cleveland has shown some interest in Brown, and he would fit with the physical rushing attack that the organization is looking to establish. Baltimore could use an upgrade at right tackle, so pairing Brown and Ronnie Stanley could make sense for the Ravens.
Staying in the AFC North, even after trading for Cordy Glenn, Cincinnati could look to do more to improve its offensive line, so Brown could be in play for the team at right tackle. If the Bengals draft Brown, they could move Cedric Ogbuehi inside to guard. Pittsburgh lost Chris Hubbard in free agency, so the team could consider Brown on the second day of the 2018 NFL Draft.