Sorry, I'm out of mildly clever but horrendously unfunny titles this time. I finally got a chance to finish up Charles Brown, the Left Tackle for the suddenly mortal USC Trojans. I first scouted Brown against Notre Dame, and came away extremely impressed. Then I got to catch Brown against Oregon, and while I still believe he is a first round pick, there are a few chinks in the armor.
Positive: Tall with long arms. Very good athlete for the position. Runs well in the open field. Plays with good leverage. Good lateral slide. I've scouted half a dozen tackles for this draft class and Brown is the only one who seems to have more than a passing familiarity with "punching" the DE in pass protection (something very, very few OTs do in college, but is extremely important in the NFL). Shows good awareness for the blitz and does a good job picking it up. Works his way well to the 2nd level and adjusts well on linebackers. Usually pretty good effort. Not a dominating run blocker, but uses the DE's momentum to run him out of the play.
Negative: What weight will he play in the NFL at? That's the biggest concern, if he's 285 he's a very small tackle. If he can get over 300, well, he's still small but it's not as big a problem. Struggles when DEs shoot inside, probably a strength issue there. Also has a bit of vulnerability to spin moves. Becomes a watcher sometimes (watcher is when a tackle makes initial contact, then watches as the play progresses around him), not a lot but it's something I wasn't happy to see. Made a few mental errors (noise at Oregon's famously loud Autzen stadium hurt him a bit, but USC gave up something like 8 false starts that game so it wasn't just him, and he wasn't the worst offender), but it's not a constant problem.
Fit: If Brown fits anywhere, it'll be at Seattle. He's best suited for a zone system as a left tackle. The biggest concern is if he's big enough for the NFL in any system - generally it's a bad thing when DEs like Mario Williams and Julius Peppers outweigh the LT, something that could happen to Brown.
Overall: I like Brown, but I want to see more. It seemed the more I saw him, the less I was impressed, but some of that could be due to the 2nd game being the beatdown USC suffered against Oregon. He's a lot more polished than given credit for, and every bit as athletic. More tape is needed, but right now Brown is solidly a first round grade and arguably the best tackle in this class for Seattle (I'll need to watch Russell Okung of Oklahoma State as a senior to be sure, right now Brown has the edge but I scouted Okung on 2008 tape).