Thursday, 25 February 2010

POTD: Charles Brown, T, USC

By Kip Earlywine
I didn't plan to do Brown the same day as his combine weigh in, but his name was next on the list, and it happened to be today. Seems like I've had a lot of luck with timing lately.

Brown is a player I've wanted to look at for a while, since Rob has said so many nice things about him and he has arguably more connections to Carroll and our system than any player in the draft.

Height: 6'5"
Weight: 303
Unofficial 40: 5.06


  • Fast off the snap
  • Very good initial quickness
  • Pulls well
  • Reaches 2nd level quickly
  • Very polished, makes few mistakes; a coach's dream
  • Great technique, footwork, and hand use
  • Long arms
  • Good at diffusing stonewalls in the run game
  • Gives up his outside shoulder but beats edge rushers anyway
  • Does a good job "locking on" in both pass pro and run blocking
  • Above average athleticism
  • Left tackle skill set
  • Prototypical zone lineman


  • Aura of a finesse player, rarely dominates
  • Doesn't seem to hold 2nd level blocks terribly long
  • Will he still move the same now that he's 18 lbs. heavier?
  • Frame is maxed out or very close to it
  • Less total upside than some other tackle prospects

My thoughts:

Brown probably wins the award for "most polished lineman in the 2010 draft." His backpedal is compact and disciplined. His hand use is textbook. He puts himself in good position and executes. He reminds me of a Marine fresh out of boot camp; he displays the kind of polish that can only be obtained through relentless drilling and practice. We never get to see Brown perform a cut block (on youtube), but we can probably assume he's pretty good at that too given how precise he is at everything else.

I think it will be interesting to see how Brown performs in the athleticism drills at his new weight. If he still looks like an amazing athlete at 300+ lbs, he will shoot up draft boards.

Brown is a prototypical zone lineman in every way. From his size to his athleticism, to his technique to his modest upside. Brown is not going to be the next Walter Jones, but what he does represent is a low risk chance for an average to above average starting NFL left tackle who will probably have a long career, which is very valuable. A good comp (listed on wikipedia) is Maurice Williams (6'5", 302 lbs). Williams was the 43rd overall pick in the 2001 draft, and was a vital part of a very good Jacksonville offensive line from the early to mid 2000's. He was an immediate starter as a rookie and at one point he started 64 straight games. He never made a pro-bowl, and at 31, he might be out of football, but he had a very nice career especially for his draft position. Brown is better than Williams coming out of college, and figures to be drafted a little higher, but I think the comparison is pretty close. If you are looking for a safe pick that would immediately upgrade the offensive line, Charles Brown is a great option.


Ben said...

Could Brown (or any of the other rookie OTs) start at LT next year or would they have to start at RT? If not, would Locklear or Frye start at LT until the rookie was ready to start?

Kip Earlywine said...

I think Brown would have as good a chance as anyone to start at left tackle, because he looks so pro-ready skills wise and was coached last year by Carroll and Bates so the familiarity is there as well. Of course, he'd have to earn it by beating Locklear and others in the preseason, but I don't see why he wouldn't be capable of it. I'm not saying he'll be a good starter right away, but I do think he'll be good enough to start.

Ben said...

Its interesting that you haven't found tape of Brown cut-blocking. Is it not a part of USC's ZBS?

Rob Staton said...

Brown cut blocks all the time - I think Kip was just referencing the video. I've not seen a prospect cut block as much as Brown whilst scouting the 2010 class.

Anonymous said...

Is this a guy we could get with the 40th pick or would we most likely have to take him at 14?

Ben said...

I'd think that Indy, KC and DC might take a hard look at him around the bottom of the 1st/top of the second (if he lasts that long).

CLanterman said...

I was kind of hoping Brown would weight in at 290. Now it looks as though we have to take him at 14 or so, or seriously risk not getting him at all.

Rob Staton said...

He'll be gone by #40. Seahawks need to decide if they want to take him at #14.

Anonymous said...

with a number like 71 he must be good.

CLanterman said...

Yes, no way he lasts until #40. I just meant, if we trade down to say, 25, I would bet against him being available now that he's a 'physical specimen/marvel'.

Savage said...

How does Brown compare to Bulaga? I would think that one of them will be the #14 pick. The Hawks absolutely have to get a LT. The new front office and coaching staff don't have the same level of comitment to Locklear that Ruskell did. They could either shift him back to RT or turn him back into a G like he was in college.

Take Claussen, Morgan or JPP with #6 and the Brown or Bugala with the #14.

Lenny james said...

Fellow Bloggers, At pick 6 I would take the best Defensive palyer available. Suh, Mccoy, Morgan, Berry in that order. With Suh and Mccoy off the board. I would pick D. Morgan with the 6 pick. Maybe trade down from 6 to 8 and pick up 2nd or 3rd round in the process. I would not wait until 14 to pick D line because the elite ones will be gone by then. At 14 I would take the best LT available. Brown is worthy of a 14h pick. He has alot of upside for the future and could also play next year, giving Matt a instant boost in protection. Okung will be gone, Bruce Cambell is injury prone, Davis is great but still a lil raw to start next year. Buluga has shotr arms and is a tad slow for his smaller size, Charles Brown will be the best all around LT available when we pick at 14. Not to mention, PC knows him well and is a typical Gibbs zone blocking lineman.

6. Trade down to 8 or 9 for a 2nd or 3rd rd pick before the jags because they could pick a DE.

9. D. Morgan
14. Charles Brown.
40. Best WR available
3rd Best DB available
4th Best DT available
5th Lagerrette Blount RB

Kip Earlywine said...

While I like Brown, I still feel uncomfortable taking him at #14. He's like Damian Williams. He's a safe pick and I think he'll be good, but he's not a likely future HoF type player. I think if you are drafting in the top half of the first, you should be trying to identify those talents and adding them to your team (QB is an exception- a QB doesn't have to be Peyton Manning to be worth drafting that high).

I'm a bigger fan of Brown than Davis, but at the same time, if everything breaks right with Davis, he'll be an all-pro. Brian Bulaga is nearly as polished as Brown and has all-pro potential as a RT (and could be a good LT too). Brown is the safest bet but with relatively ordinary upside. My gut instinct is that Brown's typical NFL season would be roughly about as good as 2005 Sean Locklear (but maybe a tiny bit better against the run).

We've heard that the Seahawks have interest in Davis and today they made meeting with Brown a priority. Wouldn't it be something if they ended up drafting both? As unlikely as that would be, I'd find that pretty exciting (Locklear would make a good, albeit overpaid RG too).

CLanterman said...

Both? That's hard to wrap my head around. Whatever it takes to protect Jake Locker though, the man deserves the best.