Mel Kiper Explains Why He Projects Tackle Orlando Brown to the Ravens


Mel Kiper has made two mock draft projections for the Ravens. Both times it's been an offensive tackle in the first round.

In the ESPN draft expert’s latest version, released Wednesday, he just switched the person from Pittsburgh's Brian O'Neill to Oklahoma's Orlando Brown.

"Brown is a pure mauler and plug-and-play guy over incumbent Austin Howard," Kiper wrote. "At 6-8, 345 pounds], Brown will need to lose a little bit of weight, but he was stellar protecting [Baker Mayfield's blind side at Oklahoma."

Pundits feel this is a strong class of offensive tackles, but there's no consensus on how to rank them.

Kiper has UCLA's Kolton Miller as the first tackle off the board, followed by Brown and Louisville's Geon Christian in the first round., however, has Miller as a projected fourth-round pick.

NFL Network's Mike Mayock's top three tackles, in order, are Notre Dame's Mike McGlinchey, Brown and Texas' Connor Williams. NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah has Williams first (No. 17 overall on his big board), Brown second (No. 31 overall) and McGlinchey third (No. 35).

Next week's combine will likely help to shake out the group.

So why did Kiper pick Brown for Baltimore?

"I went with Brown because he's a right tackle, he's a mauler, he's a road grader," Kiper said. "He would be next to [Marshal] Yanda and do a great job.

"Williams is a left tackle/guard and McGlinchey is a right tackle from two years ago and a left tackle this year and he struggled. Quick edge guys gave him trouble. When you go back and look at all the tape, and I did that over the past three weeks, I thought Brown was a slightly better player."

Brown would also be a sentimental pick for the Ravens considering his father by the same name played in Baltimore for six seasons (1996-1998, 2003-2005).

Nicknamed "Zeus" because of his sheer size (6-foot-7, 360 pounds) and persona, he was an intimidator on the field and well-respected affable guy off it. He died way too early in 2011 from diabetic ketoacidosis, and now his son carries on his legacy.

"If I ended up going to Baltimore, that would be very special," Brown Jr. told The Baltimore Sun.

"My dad was a leader on that team, well-respected. I grew up with that franchise, hung around the original Ravens. It was a blessing to be around players like Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Jamal Lewis, Jeff Blackshear and Wally Williams."

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