Orlando Brown trade: KC Chiefs deserve high grade

BALTIMORE, MD - NOVEMBER 01: Orlando Brown #78 of the Baltimore Ravens during a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at M&T Bank Stadium on November 1, 2020 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Benjamin Solomon/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - NOVEMBER 01: Orlando Brown #78 of the Baltimore Ravens during a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at M&T Bank Stadium on November 1, 2020 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Benjamin Solomon/Getty Images) /

The K.C. Chiefs shocked the NFL when they traded for Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Orlando Brown on Friday. In the deal, Kansas City traded their 2021 first-round pick (31), a 2021 third-round pick (94), a 2021 fourth-round pick (136) and a 2022 fifth-round pick. In return, the Chiefs receive Brown, a 2021-second round pick (58) and a 2022-sixth round pick.

It was well-known that the Chiefs were looking for a left tackle at some point in this year’s draft after releasing Eric Fisher earlier in the offseason. Many assumed that Kansas City would use their first pick on a left tackle. However, trade talks had heated up in the last few weeks for Brown, as multiple teams reached out to Baltimore for the 24-year-old offensive tackle.

Originally, the Ravens had Brown starting at right tackle and Ronnie Stanley at left tackle. Stanley was the sixth overall pick in the 2016 draft and proved that he could protect the quarterback’s blindside. However, in Week 8 last year, Stanley suffered a gruesome ankle injury that ended his season. Brown would slide over to the left tackle position for the second half.

Brown found a comfort level with playing at left tackle, and wanted to remain at that position. Baltimore preferred that Brown return to right tackle this upcoming season, so that Stanley could play at left tackle after already signing a long-term extension. Brown’s desire to play left tackle (and be paid like one) resulted in him requesting a trade from the Ravens shortly after the season ended.

After months of speculation and rumors of possible trade partners for Brown, the Chiefs worked out a deal with the Ravens for the highly-touted offensive tackle. The fact that the Ravens traded a key asset to a team who is an AFC threat and a team who they struggle matching up with is shocking. Baltimore gave the Chiefs a player at a position where the Chiefs were depleted at, and the Chiefs were unlikely to find anyone in the draft who matched Brown’s caliber.

On top of that, the Chiefs were able to grab Baltimore’s 2021 second round pick. Kansas City may have given up a bulk of picks, but acquiring a proven asset with a draft selection in the second round is mind-blowing.

Trade Grade: A

Kansas City has figured out the left tackle position for this season and beyond. Brown is entering the final season of his rookie deal, and it has been reported that the Chiefs will not extend his contract at this time. Kansas City will likely pay him next offseason, and with ways to create cap space and the cap going up, the Chiefs should have no problems with signing Brown when the time comes. The Chiefs are also getting a player who has shown he is durable and can be someone the Chiefs can depend on every week.

Brown is an immediate upgrade over Eric Fisher and should be a cornerstone for the Chiefs’ offensive line for the foreseeable future. The pairing of Joe Thuney and Brown on the left side of the Chiefs’ offensive line is something that looked impossible for Kansas City to pull off earlier in the offseason. Yet, here we are.

Another reason this trade makes sense for the Chiefs is the lack of offensive lineman that will be there late in the first round. According to NFL analyst Peter Schrager:

There was a sense that the Chiefs were not going to have the opportunity to grab an offensive tackle at their spot in the first round—or at least without reaching for one. Kansas City’s front office probably knew that and could not take any chances that their left tackle would be a major question mark entering the season.

After cutting two major pieces in the offensive line group, the Chiefs said they would revamp the front line. Kansas City did just that and in impressive fashion, managing their picks and salary cap in order to complete the offensive line that they felt would best protect Mahomes with the resources that they possessed.

Next. Ranking every Chiefs first-round pick since 2000. dark