It's rare that movement on the NFL's offensive tackle market impacts the first round of the draft less than a week before it commences.
Yet that's precisely what occurred Friday afternoon, when the Baltimore Ravens traded Orlando Brown Jr. to the Kansas City Chiefs as part of a package that brought an additional first-rounder to Charm City while the two-time defending AFC champions recouped a Round 2 choice from the Ravens.
Also atypical to see a pair of powerhouses in cahoots like this, but K.C. further solidified an offensive line that was its undoing in Super Bowl 55, while Baltimore bolstered its draft options while solving a looming personnel issue.
Still, not everyone came out ahead in the aftermath of Friday's transaction …
Ravens QB Lamar Jackson and Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes will both feel the impact of Friday's pre-draft trade. (Photo: Gail Burton, AP)
Brown: While filling in for injured All-Pro LT Ronnie Stanley most of last season, Brown was reminded of personal goals and the legacy his late father desired for him – a career spent at the O-line's most prestigious position. Orlando "Zeus" Brown spent the majority of his NFL career playing opposite Ravens Hall of Fame LT Jonathan Ogden. After earning Pro Bowl honors in Stanley's stead in 2020, Brown made it known he wanted to remain on the left side, where he was a unanimous first-team All-American at Oklahoma and allowed one sack of Baker Mayfield in 2017. "(My father) always told me, 'Don't settle for playing right tackle. Make sure that when it comes time and you get to every level, you're playing left,' " Brown told NFL Media this offseason, after he'd requested a trade.
His wish granted, Brown (6-8, 345) lands with another high-octane offense but will now be showcased as the bodyguard for QB Patrick Mahomes, arguably the league's premier player. If Brown, a third-round pick in 2018 following a poor scouting combine but a Pro Bowl right tackle in 2019, sustains success while safeguarding Mahomes' blind side, he stands to cash in. Due $3.4 million in the final year of his rookie deal, he should be in line for a huge payday next spring (if not sooner) whether the Chiefs franchise him, extend him or let him hit the open market – which has dictated the four best-paid blockers are left tackles, including Stanley, whose average annual compensation is $19.8 million.
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