Our staff favorite — Tyrell Crosby, Oregon
We generally take a partial approach when analyzing talent, as having been in the industry since 1968, I usually have a “been there/seen that” approach. However, every once in awhile, a player comes along that is not getting due recognition from the scouts or media. One such player is Crosby, who, in my opinion, is one of the best trap and drive blockers in the industry - at any level. While he has some refinement to do in pass coverage, he’s made progress in all areas of his game every time he steps on to the field. There are just three offensive linemen in this draft that I have placed the “gotta have” label on - Crosby, Quenton Nelson and Austin Corbett.
Blocking statistics...Based on review of game film by our scouting department...SGP-season grade percentage...GM-games played...PLAYS-amount of snaps played in (pass/run)...KB-key blocks (pancake/ knock-downs)...TDB-touchdown resulting blocks... DWF-downfield blocks...PEN-number of penalties...QBH-quarterback hits...PRS-pressures allowed... SKA-sacks allowed...High Grade Game-best graded game for season.
Crosby Blocking Stats
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Note...Crosby’s blocking consistency grade was the third highest among FBS left tackles and his fifteen second level blocks led all major college tackles in 2017. One of the premier trap blockers in the college game.
The 2017 Season...Named to the All-American Super Sleeper Team by The NFL Draft Report, Crosby was also a third-team All-American choice by College Sports Madness and honorable mention by SB Nation and CollegeFootballNews.com.
Crosby allowed just a meaningless quarterback sack in the season finale vs. Oregon State, as he graded 88.0% for blocking consistency, posting 121 key blocks/knockdowns with fifteen second level blocks and twenty touchdown-resulting blocks (four passing/16 rushing). He yielded just 30 tackles to his opponents with two stops for loss, three quarterback pressures and only two quarterback hits. He was an integral part in Oregon’s 3,263 rushing yards gained, as the Ducks finished the year ranked 12th in FBS averaging 251.0 yards rushing per game.
Body Structure...Crosby has good bone structure, with a thick midsection, wide hips, big back, good bubble, thick thighs and calves. He displays natural strength and has room on his frame to add more bulk, as he can carry at least another 15-20 pounds without the added weight impacting his overall quickness. With his wide shoulders and chest width, he uses his natural power well to come off the line and generate movement. He displays minimal softness around his midsection and has very good leg muscle development and plays flat-footed, thanks to his above average balance and flexibility.
Athletic Ability...Crosby has excellent athletic ability for an offensive lineman, as he runs with a normal stride and shows very good balance attacking and stalking second level defenders when called upon as a lead blocker past the line of scrimmage. He consistently shuffles his feet when engaging defenders in the trenches and has the flexibility to change direction without taking added steps. He displays good balance staying up on his feet during his pass protection retreat and shows very quick hand usage in attempts to position, gain position and create separation (excels executing the scoop and cross blocks). He comes off the snap with good initial explosion and is quite nimble for a lineman, as he gets out on traps and pulls in a hurry, maintaining balance throughout his stride. He has the physical tools to be a productive starting left tackle at the next level, but could see quicker action with the first unit working inside at guard. Due to his quick feet to get into position to make the blocks on the edge, along with his above average balance, he also has the ability to perform capably as a pulling guard. He is an exceptional hand puncher (see 2017 Southern Utah, Nebraska, Wyoming games) with the arm quickness that rivals any other offensive lineman in the Pac-12 Conference. He demonstrates good balance and agility for the position, along with the ability to out-muscle and wall off his man in isolated coverage. The former basketball rebounding standout has the upper body power (do not judge natural power with his Combine bench press numbers) to lean into the defender and use his size to sustain. He is nimble working in space and does a good job of locating and neutralizing second level defenders. He is a natural knee bender who does a nice job of keeping his pads down due to his lateral agility and loose hips. With his arm strength, he is capable of pushing and controlling his man in the short area.
Football Sense...Crosby is a good student who shows very good field awareness for the position and the instincts to make proper adjustments on the move vs. different schemes. He is very alert on the field and excels at picking up stunts and games (see 2017 Nebraska, Washington State, Utah games). With his ability to retain plays and know all of the position assignments up front, he could be a natural calling blocking assignments, if shifted to an inside position. In pass protection, he shows the alertness to pick up the edge rushers and is able to chip to the second level with ease.
Initial Quickness...Crosby has adequate timed speed, but because of his strong legs, balance and ability to stay low in his pads firing off the snap, he generates valid initial quickness to be sudden attacking lethargic defensive linemen. He has tremendous hand quickness to lock on, steer out and control his man (see 2017 Southern Utah, Arizona State, Washington State games). He gets into his blocks with ease and is quick to gain advantage, showing the functional phone booth acceleration to gain position when working in-line. His body control and balance allows him to shock the defender coming off the ball and his lateral agility lets him maintain position working the corner, especially when called upon to deliver that crunching backside block at the opposite end of the field (see 2017 Nebraska, Arizona games). He is also adept at keeping his base when moving to the second level to cut off the linebackers.
Lateral Movement...Crosby has very good lateral quickness, especially when asked to get in front on traps and pulls, making some team feel he could be an ideal left offensive guard. He gets out of his stance with good pad level and hand punch to neutralize the wide defensive ends. The thing you see on film is his ability to adjust his feet on the move (see 2017 Southern Utah, Wyoming, Utah, Arizona games).
Balance/Stays On Feet...Crosby plays with good balance and a strong good base, doing a nice job of playing with a flat back and his pads down. It is very rare to see him get even a little off- balance with twists, as he will generally get good fits. He keeps his feet wide to seal off on the edge and is quick to recover when beaten. He is a good mauler who does a good job staying up and on his blocks, as he plays with leverage while keeping his feet under him. He has outstanding strength to lock up and is very good at sustaining his feet on the move. With his quick initial movement, even speedy edge rushers are amazed at his ability to retreat and mirror vs. them in pass protection. He consistently sustains his blocks and has impressive body control moving in-line (excels on scoop and cross blocks) and also the balance moving into the second level (bruising cut blocker).
Explosion/Pop...Since moving to left offensive tackle, Crosby has shown marked improvement with his hand punch, as he appears to be much more active shooting his hands there (likes to play on an island) than when confined to tight quarters as a right tackle (hands gets outside his framework too much on the right side, as seven of his 15 career penalties were from holding and 11 of them came when playing on the right edge). He gets a quick initial surge to make contact and sustain and has developed into a very good short yardage blocker, staying low in his pads while driving with his legs to clear the rush lanes through the “B” gap. He also shows good pop on run blocks, as he not only demonstrates good lateral range, but also shows consistency opening his hips to stay on blocks longer. When he combines his hip and leg explosion with that punishing pop with his hand punch, defenders realize their battles with him will end in short order. The thing you see a lot on film is his combination of quickness and strength coming out of his stance to attack his blocking assignments, as he generates sudden force with his surge (see 2012 Towson and Kentucky; and 2011 South Alabama, Central Michigan and Akron games).
Run Blocking...Crosby plays with excellent leverage, as he uses his upper body strength well to get into the defender’s jersey coming off the snap. He stays on feet with run blocks, play flat-footed with good balance and a low pad level to widen and sustain the rush lanes. When he brings his hips and strikes on contact, he is effective on screens, showing good finishing ability to wall off. He likes using his mauler’s mentality to move out or latch on to defenders while using his solid upper body strength and hand placement to control. He is an above average incline blocker, thanks to playing with a strong base, as he runs his feet well pushing the pile to maintain and widen the rush lanes. He has a good feel and understanding for angles attacking second level defenders (see 2017 Southern Utah, Wyoming, Utah, Arizona games) and consistently plays the game on his feet. He is quick to gain position and sustain, thanks to his good foot movement and with his hand punch and long reach, he has no problem walling off and screening when residing on an island. Evidence of his dominance as a drive blocker is the fact that over 70% of the team’s rushing yardage in 2017 was generated over the left side of their line.
Pass Blocking...Crosby has the kick slide, balance and nimble feet to latch on and ride the edge rushers away from the pocket with good consistency. He takes good sets in pass protection and plays under control, keeping a wide base and his head on a swivel to pick up stunts. He has the ability to get in front to neutralize the wide edge rusher and the knee bend needed by a tackle when moving out to dominate in isolated coverage. He has a strong pass set up and the size to occupy space, but can also sit and anchor to shut down the bull rush. On the rare times that he does get a bit straight-legged, he manages to generate a good base and anchor to maintain position. He has impressive balance and footwork to slide, along with good knee bend and hip flexibility that he combines with a strong hand punch. With that punch, he consistently gets good separation and with his ability to play at a low pad level, scouts are greatly impressed with his mirror skills out on an island.
Pulling/Trapping...Crosby shows good determination to gets out in front when pulling. He is light on his feet and can adjust on the move, showing the body control and balance to consistently defeat second level defenders. He does a nice job of keeping his shoulders square when delivering base blocks and attacks the defender with a good, flat back. He takes good angles working in-line and when operating in the second level and is able to adjust with ease to a moving target. He shows a good reach in space and is quite effective keeping his feet in front of him on short traps (see 2017 Southern Utah, Nebraska, Oregon State games). He has the athleticism teams look for in a tackle, as he consistently stays up and plays the game on his feet. He gets in front as a lead blocker with easy movement and has the quickness and hip snap to work his way down the line to deliver on scoop, scramble and slip blocks.
Adjust on Linebacker Downfield... Few linemen show the chip-&-land ability that Crosby possesses. When he gets into the second level, he quickly gains position to screen and wall off. He gets into space smoothly when blocking on screens and takes proper angles to obliterate linebackers that dare get into his path (see 2017 Southern Utah, Wyoming, Utah, Arizona games). He also shows the agility to cut off and pick up his man while on the move. He maintains the low pad level needed to cut off blitzers on the corners and keeps his balance on the move to make adjustments when the second level defenders try to elude him.
Use of Hands/Punch...Crosby shows consistency using his long arms to gain leverage, as he always seems to be able to lock on with his hands when making reach blocks. He places his hands well, doing a nice job of leaning into his man to steer the opponent wide. He was not as active with his hands when playing on the right side earlier in his career (tended to get his hands out of his frame more often there than when playing left tackle), but that appeared to have happened when he was in tight quarters. He possesses a violent punch, using his upper body strength well to control. With those “big mitts,” (10 3/4-inch hands) Crosby can easily lock on and steer his man out on running plays. He generates above average hand positioning and is very quick to replace them in pass protection. He uses those hands like weapons, as he has more than enough strength to consistently get separation.
Reactions/Awareness...When isolated on the corner, Crosby demonstrates his alertness and lateral agility to get out and neutralize the edge rush (see 2017 Southern Utah, Washington State, Utah games). He has very good awareness and vision to neutralize twists and is efficient coming off initial blocks to locate a secondary target. He knows how to use his size and upper body power to widen the rush lanes and is very conscious of working in unison with his guards and tight ends to prevent back side pressure on the pocket. He also does a nice job when he sits and recovers inside. He can easily move his feet and slide to movement, as he has the loose hips to smoothly change direction.
Compares To...Trent Williams-Washington Redskins...Like Williams, Crosby is blessed with good balance, body control, intelligence and leg drive. He is the type that puts forth the extra hours in the weight room to increase his upper body strength and in the film room preparing for opponents. He can play any position on the offensive line, but with his ability to neutralize edge rushers, he is a natural fit at his present left offensive tackle position. With his lateral range and hand quickness, he also has the potential to be a quality guard, if a team wants to utilize his in-line blocking skills.
Martinas Rankin - Mississippi State
Body Structure...Rankin has a tall, linear build that can add at least another 20 pounds of bulk without the weight impacting his overall quickness. He possesses an athletic frame with long limbs, big hands, good bubble, a firm and solidly built midsection, athletic body with adequate lower frame thickness.
Athletic Ability...Rankin has the frame to develop more bulk and strength (is not stout at the point of attack with his linear, basketball player-like frame). His quickness is evident by his suddenness getting out on the edge to block for the outside running game. He shows good change of direction agility (bit stiff in his hips, but does keep his pads down). He lacks explosive speed, but is fairly nimble for a down lineman, displaying good body control moving down the line. Still, many analysts feel that he would be better served shifting inside to guard at the next level. Before injuries hit the MSU front wall, the staff was actually going to shift him to center last season.
Football Sense...He is an intelligent athlete who is also a hard working student of the game. He tests well and shows solid field vision and instincts. He has no problems learning and retaining plays and hustles until the whistle.
Initial Quickness ...Rankin shows good initial quickness to engage and reach his pass set point, along with the athletic suddenness to gain advantage when he maintains good pad level. He plays on his feet with good balance, but needs to keep his hands active and inside his frame when trying to gain movement. He demonstrates good lower body flexibility when redirecting. He has impressive mobility to stay with his man, but you would like to see him finish better and show more aggression. He gets into his blocks quickly, thanks to above average knee bend and his natural foot quickness. He can be sudden out of his stance and quickly fits into his blocks. Even when he is late off the snap, he shows good adjustment skills on the move (likes to lead on inside sweeps). He has good initial quickness to slide, drop back and anchor in one-on-one confrontations with edge rushers, but he still needs to work on not taking false steps, as he will push forward instead of slide-stepping in pass protection, at times (see 2017 Georgia and Arkansas games).
Lateral Movement...Before his ankle injury, Rankin was able to slide and cut off the speedy edge rushers (showed marked improvement in the first half of his senior year, but struggled to readjust later in the schedule). He has the lateral slide and mirror ability in pass protection, but does lack good hand placement. He runs with a normal stride and steadily builds his acceleration. He has good hip flexibility and can be sudden, but when he gets too tall in his stance, he fails to generate much of a surge, despite good leg strength.
Balance/Stays On Feet...Rankin has become more aware of sinking his weight and staying low in his pads. He is a pretty efficient positional blocker who has the hip snap to angle his body and get proper initial hand placement (see 2017 Charleston Southern, Louisiana Tech, Auburn games). He knows how to run his feet, but unless he maintains proper pad level, he does not sustain for long. There are times that he will over-extend and lose balance, but he improved with added experience and playing time in 2017, displaying better foot quickness and agility before getting hurt. He is more of a position and wall-off type, thanks to his long reach, flashing good effort and desire attacking the defender (just needs to finish more). He will position and wall off with good desire and makes every effort to control the speedy edge rushers with his long reach. When he gets in front of his man, he uses his body effectively to stop the oncoming charge, but must improve his overall strength to prevent from getting pushed back vs. NFL type bull rushers.
Explosion/Pop...Rankin flashes good lower body strength and quickness and has steadily improved his ability to show sudden force with impact, pop and surge. He has become much better at finishing his blocks when he bends his knees, getting in trouble (walked back into the pocket) when he waist bends. He has the lower body power to create movement coming off the snap, but he must do a better job of protecting his legs and side-stepping the pile, as he will get his base too narrow playing in trash. When he hunkers down, he can deliver good explosion, but when he narrows his base, he does not always follow through and finish (see 2017 Georgia and Arkansas games).
Run Blocking... Rankin can engage and work to sustain, but has to continue working on maintaining low pad level when trying to gain movement. He has become very effective when attempting to bend his knees and running his feet on wash-down blocks. He shows a good thrust to get into space and is a decent position blocker when he gets in front of his opponent. When he uses his hands properly, he can turn and drive off a defender on running plays. He is able to gain position quickly off the snap and use his body to wall when leading on inside runs. He is still a work in progress when used for blocking on the edge, but is comfortable making adjustments in space. He uses his body well to turn and drive out a defender, but would be much better if he had the strong hand punch and placement to control.
Pass Blocking...Rankin has the flexibility to drop his rear and anchor when he gets to his pass-set point, but there are times he will duck his head and defenders can then spin him around or walk him back into the pocket. He is still too inexperienced to be considered left tackle material, where he would have to protect the quarterback’s blind side. He can reach block when he stays low in his pads (struggles to adjust on the move when he gets too tall in his stance). He shows functional lower body flexibility and proper knee bend to strike on the move and has the long arms to punch and separate (needs to improve his hand placement, as he lacks grip strength). The thing you see on film is that he is able to match step-for-step with the athletic moves of a defensive end due to good knee bend (will waist bend when he gets high in his stance).
Pulling/Trapping...Rankin’s quickness off the snap and athleticism could see him begin his NFL career at the guard position, as he does a nice job of getting off the blocks and into the second level in time, thanks to his body control and balance moving in the short areas. When he keeps his hands inside his frame and lowers his pads, he is capable of leading through the rush lanes, locating linebackers and hitting them with accuracy (see 2017 Louisiana Tech and Massachusetts games). He is better making blocks for the inside running game, thanks to his quickness and loose hips, as he still needs to gain confidence and overall power to root out defenders working on the edge. He is able to gain initial position on second level defenders, but would be even more effective if he can generate better hand grasp, as he does show decent concept for angling. He has the loose hips to do a good job of taking side blocks to shock and jolt a defender. Because of his hip snap, he could be a quality trap blocker, as he gets out front in an instant on pulls and his acceleration does not tail off running long distances.
Adjust on Linebacker Downfield...Rankin is able to reach the second level in a hurry, but if he gets too tall in his stance, he fails to settle and sustain for long, as the linebackers then have some success in getting underneath (see 2017 LSU, Alabama, Ole Miss games). He has the footwork and balance to make the cut-off in space, but when he gets high in his stance, he will have issues keeping his feet and adjusting.
Use of Hands/Punch...Rankin is still working on proper hand placement, but he has a very good reach (81 3/8-inch wingspan) to stave off defenders. When he has success in working his hands inside, he can shock in-line defenders with his punch. He has the upper body power to gain control vs. his blocking assignment, as he has the large hands to lock on, but he needs to learn how to grab better and must develop more confidence in his strong punch to shock and jolt. When his hands get outside his framework, this lets defenders have some success attacking his chest to put him up on his heels. Once he gets his hands properly positioned on a defender, he does a good job of leveraging and sustaining his blocks vs. the smaller opponent, as he has the natural upper body strength to handle a strong bull rush (just lacks visible hand grip when trying to control, at times).
Reactions/Awareness...Rankin is more consistent when playing flat-footed, along with showing better change of direction flexibility. He is a natural athlete with the foot movement needed to slide and get in front on inside pulls and traps, but has some trouble when asked to mirror vs. quick edge rushers. He just has to become more consistent in staying frontal on slide protections. Despite five penalties last year, he has become more alert of his surroundings and seems to have picked up the confidence needed to work in unison with his guards. He is a better fit at right tackle or inside at guard or center (more effective combo blocking than mauling an opponent) at this stage in his career, even though his quickness might be more suited for the quarterback’s blind side down the road. He has the long arms to engulf and the low pads to maintain balance mirroring rushers throughout the play, but needs more reps to further improve in this area.
Compares To...Donovan Smith-Tampa Bay Buccaneers...Like Smith, Rankins was an unknown until later in his career and never even got a nibble from a small college when coming out of high school. He might be a better fit at guard, as he does struggle some to handle the speedier rushers on the edge. He is a solid in-line blocker for the running game, but can be walked back by a strong bull rush.
In this case, just watch the game film — Orlando Brown, Oklahoma
Remember that saying, “let’s go to the video tape” made famous by ABC-TV/NY Warner Wolf? Well, the sage sports analyst must have had Orlando Brown in mind. Forget his horrible performance in Indianapolis and go to the video tape to see his on-field performance before handing down judgment. Yes, the Combine will certainly see his stock drop, possibly to the second round, but at his size and performance factor to date, he could be the Day 2 steal.
Blocking statistics...Based on review of game film by our scouting department...SGP-season grade percentage...GM-games played...PLAY-amount of snaps played in...KB-key blocks (pancake/ knock-downs)...TDB-touchdown resulting blocks (run/pass)...DWF-downfield blocks...PRS-pressures allowed... SKA-sacks allowed... TFL-tackles-for-loss allowed…PEN-penalties charged…High Grade Game-best graded game for the season.
Brown Blocking Stats
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The 2017 Season...Brown received first-team All-American honors from The NFL Draft Report, American Football Coaches Association, Associated Press, Football Writers Association, Sporting News and Walter Camp. One of three finalists for the Outland Trophy, he was also named first-team All-Big 12 Conference and the league’s Offensive Lineman of the Year after starting all 14 games at left tackle.
Brown’s 130 key blocks/knockdowns led the major college offensive tackles, ranking second overall with a blocking consistency grade of 88.23%. He delivered 26 touchdown-resulting blocks.
Body Structure...Brown has a massive frame with outstanding development and thickness through-out his upper and lower body. With his long arms, big bubble and large hands, he can easily absorb the smaller defenders. He has excellent thigh and calf thickness with broad shoulders, but even though he is massive, his frame shows softness in the mid-section and might be better served at a lighter weight (needs to drop about 10 pounds).
Athletic Ability...Brown is a gifted athlete who consistently plays on his feet. He might not have any quickness to be a dominant second level blocker, but demonstrates above average balance for his position when blocking in the trenches. He is very well coordinated, showing functional lateral movement shifting inside on running plays. He is only on the ground when he overextends and lunges as a drive blocker, but recovers quickly due to his flexibility. He is quite nimble in pass protection and flashes the ability to move his feet, just not enough to work up field, though. Brown needs to monitor his weight (has been as high as 380 pounds) and his girth sometimes causes him to struggle staying low in his pads, but he has worked hard during his senior year to improve his overall agility and increase his power base. For a player of his size, he shows good agility for his position. He lacks explosion, but his feet are quick enough and his balance functional enough to sustain blocks (just lacks the hip snap to redirect). He is no “dancing bear,” but is lighter on his feet working down the line than one would expect. He flashes the ability to adjust working in the short area, but will revert to playing with a narrow base, at times.
Football Sense...Brown takes well to hard coaching and will do whatever it takes to succeed. He will get taken out of his game and revert to foolish penalties (24 in three seasons - 11 in 2015; 9 in 2016, but just three last season), but as a junior, he seemed to be much more alert to his surroundings, evident by his 26 touchdown-resulting blocks and a very impressive reduction in his penalties. He is quick to recognize stunts and games and shows very good alertness in pass protection.
Initial Quickness...The stopwatch will tell you otherwise, but on film, Brown has enough quickness and ability to consistently get off the line to gain position. He flashes a sudden first step, which is rare for a player of his size. Even though he lacks explosion out of his stance, he will never give up on a play and is the type that locates secondary targets to hit after delivering his initial block. When he uses his natural knee bend, he has good success to leverage (will get into trouble vs. the bull rush when he bends at the waist, failing to redirect). He has just marginal foot speed to get into the second level, but is quite effective at sliding and reaching his set point effectively, along with the size and strength to create movement and clear rush lanes, but needs to use his hands better to lock up and sustain. A player of his size needs to drive and maul better than he does, but he knows how to use his body to wall off. He struggles in the open on traps, but has enough quickness (just must learn to lower his pads) to work in combination with the interior blockers on gap protection.
Lateral Movement...Brown has almost no up field quickness, which could lead to issues when he has to mirror NFL-type defenders when working on the edge (slow to bring his feet), as he is too stiff to open up his hips to slide back and recover when he is beaten by a speed move. He needs to do a better job of staying square in his base, but can deliver adequate lateral movement working in the short area. His problems come because of poor balance, as he tends to leave his feet too much and is a liability if a team needs him to move into the second level. He needs to keep his base wider, for when he gets too narrow, he fails to redirect quickly and can be beaten with an effective cross-over face action.
Balance/Stays On Feet...Brown has very good lower body mass and thickness, but it does not translate into a strong anchor (when he gets up on his heels, it causes him to lose balance). He lacks the body control and balance to recover quickly when beaten, but when he stays in front of an opponent, he uses his frame well to occupy and sustain. When he waist-bends in the open, he will get off balance, but when he keeps his base wide, he has a better chance to finish. His hand strength lets him control defenders playing over his head (lacks lateral agility to effectively slide and mirror vs. speed rushers) and started to show in 2017 that he has a better concept for knowing when to use his body to sit and anchor (see 2017 UTEP, Tulane and Baylor games to see how he cut down on over-extending by developing better patience to let defenders come to him).
Explosion/Pop...Brown is stout at the point of attack when he plays with a wide base and he seems to have good confidence in his reach to separate and pin the defender at the point of attack. He excels at combating an opponent in a phone booth, where his huge frame and outstanding wing span will see him generally engulf his man. He has just marginal foot quickness to slide and is not really an explosive hip roller, but is a physical drive blocker who uses his body mass effective to simply push and move defenders off the line. Still, when he does not play with good leverage, he struggles to keep his pads down and this causes him to narrow his base and lose balance when asked to play in space. He sometimes plays like “Gentle Ben,” trying to out-finesse or take passive swipes rather than maul and attack with aggression, uncommon for a player with his size and strength. He is a much better blocker in tight quarters, making him a more likely guard prospect, as he simply can’t adjust to speed moves along the edge. Even at 345-plus pounds, he will need to drop some weight and be more dominant with his initial surge. Earlier in his NFL career, he might have better success inside at guard, though.
Run Blocking...When he fails to keep his pad level down, Brown will spend too much time on the ground as a drive blocker and needs to play on his feet better rather than trying to lunge and execute a low block (bites on ankles too much). He is more comfortable walling and sealing off when working in the rush lanes, but with his size, a patient coach can teach him to use it to generate better pop on contact. He has strong hands to control (just inconsistent) and when he plays on his feet, he has enough range to sustain blocks. He will push and finish strongly, if he properly bends his knees on drive blocks. Despite these mechanical flaws, he does a good job of driving through defenders and has had good success using his body mass to gain movement off the snap. Brown has enough lower body strength and mass when he comes off the snap with a flat back, but when he gets too upright, he will not roll his hips much. He has good blocking angle technique to make the cut off working inside, but not enough to get to the second level defenders. He might overextend some, but can recover and drive the defender off the ball when he remains in the trenches.
Pass Blocking...Brown’s heavy feet cause problems when asked to slide out and defend on the edge, making him a better candidate for right tackle or shift inside to guard (will not be able to handle speed moves from left tackle in the NFL). His pass set will be affected when he gets too tall in his stance, as he sometimes trips over and crosses his feet rather than play with a wide base to anchor. He looks much better when trying to maintain inside leverage and re-adjust back when the defender slides off his blocks. He can be beaten by the speed rush and quick counter moves at the next level if he continues to play with a narrow base that sees him struggle to mirror and adjust in pass protection, but with improved hand placement and punch, he can get an advantage protecting the pocket. When he crosses his feet, he will struggle vs. counter moves, but when he drops his pads and uses his size, he will be able to sustain. In 2017, he improved his base and hand usage to compensate for a lack of ideal knee bend. When he gets his hands into a defender, he will stun his opponent. His long arms and ability to rest his hands consistently lets him keep edge rushers at bay.
Pulling/Trapping...Brown shows better quickness than expected on the short pulls when he is able to open his hips and get down the line of scrimmage to pick up on short traps (lacks consistency and a good pad level, but showed areas of improvement here in 2017 - see Tulane, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State games). He is good on the short traps, but he needs to do a much better job of redirecting and shuffling his feet moving down the line. He is too much of a waist bender to be asked to do much on traps and pulls and when he does attempt to get to the second level, his feet will suddenly stop when trying to angle (will trip over them or take false steps before redirecting).
Adjust on Linebacker Downfield...Brown struggles to reach and adjust when pulling into the second level (better working near the line). He is not consistent shooting his strong hands, but he has the upper body strength to catch with extended arms and keep proper separation. When he gets over-extended, he will lunge and miss in the open field.
Use of Hands/Punch...You would expect more physicality from his hand punch to pop and jolt, but when he gets his mitts securely into an opponent’s chest, the battle is quickly over. Brown uses his size to wall off defenders, showing proper hand usage to engage and punch his opponent (only when he keeps his hands inside his framework, though). When he stays low in his pads and generates proper hand placement he does a good job of using his size to wall off on the edge. His hand jolt is not consistent, but he has the upper body power to rocks the defenders back on their heels. Despite his massive frame and strong hand punch, he does not always keep his hands inside his frame and is easy to slip under when he over-extends while trying to reach block. When he gets too wide with his hands coming off the snap, it results in defenders having good success attacking his chest, where his balance issues come into play, as despite his size, a strong bull rush can see him walked back, especially when he gets too upright protecting on the edge.
Reactions/Awareness... Some scouts say that Brown needs to play with better field awareness and concentration, as he gets too “antsy” by a charging defender and is easily drawn offside, (resulting in 24 costly penalties in 40 games as a Sooner), but as a junior, he was much more alert to the snap cadence to cut down on his rash of false starts (just three that season). He still needs a patient coach to help him develop, but until 2017, there were doubts in the scouting circles that he had the capability to respond.
Compares To...Phil Loadbolt-ex-Minnesota Vikings...Both Sooners are massive drive blockers who lack the quick feet desired to attack second level defenders. Brown might develop into a fine left tackle in the pros, but like Loadbolt, his lack of lateral range and explosion off the snap would make him a better fit on the right side or in the interior, as he is best when playing in a phone booth rather than working on an island. For a team that plays smash-mouth football, he could be an ideal fit, as you need bus fare to get around his massive frame. He just appears too stiff in his hips to trust him with protecting a quarterback’s blind side at this stage of his game.