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.
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
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.