Round 3: Ravens Select Offensive Tackle Orlando Brown at No. 83


The Ravens have brought "Little Zeus" home.

When Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome called Orlando Brown to let him know Baltimore was selecting him, the Oklahoma offensive tackle couldn't believe it.

"You're not kidding me, are you? This is for real?" Brown asked.

Yes, Baltimore selected the son of beloved late Ravens tackle Orlando Brown in what's both a feel-good story and value pick. The elder Brown played in Baltimore for six years (1996-98, 2003-05).                                            

The Ravens traded back twice on Day 2 and landed Brown in the third round with pick No. 83 overall. It comes just a couple months after Brown was commonly projected to Baltimore at No. 16 overall in the first round.

That changed following a rough NFL Scouting Combine showing in which Brown ran the 40-yard dash in 5.85 seconds and only put up 14 reps on the bench press. Several offensive linemen who were drafted in the top 40 didn't even attempt to run the 40, which speaks to Brown's competitiveness. He improved on those numbers at his Pro Day, but not dramatically.

Once viewed as one of the top three tackles in this year's draft class, Brown became the sixth offensive tackle off the board.

The Ravens have always been a team that trusts the tape more than measurables, and Brown's tape is strong. Baker Mayfield's protector was a two-time Big 12 Offensive Lineman of the Year,  2017 Outland Trophy finalist and two-time AP All-American.

Assistant General Manager Eric DeCosta said Brown was one of the first prospects he evaluated. He saw a "physically tough, mean, nasty" blocker who just didn't get beat.

"The tape is what we always go back to, especially with offensive linemen. How they play, that's how they play," DeCosta said. "Offensive linemen don't have to run 40 yards very often. When you see a guy consistently control his man, knock his man down, block to the whistle and protect the quarterback, what else do you have to see?"

Like his father, Brown is a massive human being that's difficult for defenders to get around. Brown stands in at 6-foot-8, 345 pounds with 35-inch arms. He has the physical tools, and should get even better with more time in an NFL strength and conditioning program.

The Ravens are relying on Brown to get to work, and they're confident he's willing to put in the time. He'll compete with James Hurst to be the Ravens' starting right tackle this season. Baltimore needs a new starter after releasing Austin Howard in March.

Brown's connection to Baltimore couldn't be any stronger, and he felt "so incredibly blessed" to be a Raven. He was born in 1996, the first year of the Ravens franchise, and grew up at Ravens training camp practices.

As a 10- or 11-year-old boy, he was hanging around Ray Lewis, Ed Reed and all the legendary Ravens. Brown joked that he remembers watching Reed refuse to practice and watching his father get into fights with everybody (except Ray Lewis) at practice.

"The list goes on and on," Brown said. "I have a ton of great memories there. I have a ton of pride and ton of respect for that franchise."

Brown Sr. was known for being a bully on the field. He may be the most physical offensive player in Ravens franchise history, but was a beloved softie off the field. He tragically passed away at just 40 years old on Sept. 23, 2011 from diabetic ketoacidosis.

His son has carried on his legacy. When Brown came to Baltimore for one of the team's official 30 pre-draft visits, Newsome said he "brought a light to the building." Brown also left Newsome a note that said it would be very special to him to be drafted by the Ravens.

That didn't lead Newsome to make the pick, he said, but it showed what kind of person the Ravens are getting.

"He's going to give us everything he has," DeCosta said. "We want players that are invested in our program, and there's not going to be any kid that we draft this year that's going to be more invested in the Ravens than Orlando."

Former Ravens guard Edwin Mulitalo, who played with Zeus on the offensive line more than a decade ago, announced the pick in Dallas.

"God works in mysterious ways," Multialo said before calling Brown Jr.'s name.

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