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Ravens Could Draft Orlando Brown Jr.'s Mauling Oklahoma O-Line Buddies


Last year, the Ravens got a third-round steal with Orlando Brown Jr. last year. This year, they could get some of his buddies.

Oklahoma has four offensive linemen at this year's Combine, and they're all somewhat like Brown.

"It's a fun group to watch," said Ravens Director of College Scouting Joe Hortiz. "First of all, across the board, you're looking at pro bodies. And then just the mentality that they all play with. They're all physical.

"You see Orlando's influence in the guys he left behind. It's just kind of cool. … Yeah, it would be great to add one of his former teammates."

The group is led by mauling right tackle Cody Ford, who is expected to be a first-round pick and could be the top offensive lineman off the board. He's been projected to Baltimore in some mock drafts.

Behind him is, in no particular order, left tackle Bobby Evans, left guard Ben Powers and right guard Dru Samia. Any of them could climb into Day 2 but could also fall into Day 3.

None of this year's Oklahoma blockers have Brown's gargantuan 6-foot-8, 345-pound size. Ford is the shortest (just under 6-foot-4), but heaviest (329 pounds). He's a road grader, receiving high marks for his physicality and tenacity. The Athletic's Dane Brugler referred to him as a "grizzly bear in pads."

The question is whether Ford is suited more for right tackle or guard, where he would be a better fit in Baltimore. Ford started at guard in college, but told reporters at the Combine that he feels most comfortable at tackle.

Many mock drafts have Ford being drafted in the latter half of the first round, right around where the Ravens are picking at No. 22. Baltimore may face a decision between opting for a dynamic offensive playmaker to pair with Lamar Jackson or taking top offensive lineman to protect him. If it's the later, Ford could be the pick.

"It would be exciting," Ford said about the prospect of coming to Baltimore.

There will be a lot of eyes on how Ford performs at the Combine, as scouts will try to determine whether he's quick enough to play tackle in the NFL. However, Cody already raised some eyebrows with his bench performance, where he put up 19 reps. Brown posted 14 reps last year.

One area where the Oklahoma linemen will not look to replicate Brown will be in their Combine showings. With that said, Brown is a shining example that there shouldn't be too much stock put into measurables either.

"I definitely talked to Orlando prior to this week," Ford said. "He just told me to be myself, don't try to do too much. He told me to learn from his mistakes and do what I can."

Powers, Evans and Samia are all ranked differently by draft pundits.

Evans took over for Brown at left tackle after Brown left for Baltimore. Evans, who declared for the draft after his junior year, said all of his offensive line teammates are like "big brothers," but that Brown especially gave him a lot of advice.

"He was one of my mentors in college," Evans said. "I think it would be cool [to join him]. We already have some chemistry, so I can definitely learn more things from Orlando Brown."

Asked if Brown's physicality rubbed off on Evans, he laughed, "Trust me, I didn't have a choice."

Powers is a junior college product who was a steady fixture on the Oklahoma offensive line and is the most experienced at left guard. Samia is the tallest (nearly 6-foot-5) and lightest (305 pounds). He has the versatility to play at guard, tackle or possibly even center.

All of the Oklahoma blockers have experience blocking in a college read-option system and for a quarterback, Kyler Murray, that likes to run like Jackson.

"You pretty much just have to expect the unexpected," Evans said. "You never know what you're going to do, so you just have to react."

Hortiz said the Ravens have asked Brown for his take on the linemen. That could just be random chit-chat, but Hortiz said such information can be very useful.

"He knows what it means to be a Raven," Hortiz said. "We can say to [players], 'Hey, can this guy survive here? Does this guy fit in here? Does this guy have what it takes to be one of us?' They'll be honest. While they may be a Sooner or a Tiger or an Alabama Tider, they know they're Ravens now."

Brown is in Norman, Okla., right now, training and keeping an eye on how his former teammates are doing at the Combine. And there's no doubt that he gave them a good recommendation.

"With all four of them, just the mentality teams are going to get – that emotion, that energy – it's rare," Brown said.

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