Orlando Brown Jr.
Orlando Brown Jr. has already proven himself to be a good starting tackle in the NFL. He was great as the Baltimore Ravens starting right tackle and then did a good job making the switch over to left tackle in 2020 when starter Ronnie Stanley went down. I’m excited about Brown and believe he brings a powerful, physical nature to K.C.’s tackle spot that we haven’t seen in a long time. That having been said, there are still some questions to answer.
Brown hasn’t ever played a full season in the NFL at left tackle, and the only experience he has there was for a run-heavy offense that simply didn’t ask him to have to protect his quarterback snap after snap on deep vertical drops. I’m not saying Brown can’t be successful doing it, he just has to go out and prove it. If Brown can, it will be huge for the Chiefs. To have a starting left tackle who can maul guys in a phone booth and keep speed rushers off the edge from getting their hands on Patrick Mahomes would make K.C. so hard to defeat.
In the preseason, I thought Brown looked okay in pass protection. I wouldn’t say he looked bad or great, so I’m holding off on passing judgement. Don’t forget that Brown tested very poorly at the combine, so we aren’t talking about someone with elite athleticism at the position like K.C. had with Eric Fisher. However, Brown has proven his critics wrong so far in his career with two Pro Bowl selections.
The Chiefs traded away valuable draft capital to get Brown, and he is going to want (and need) a new contract soon. In order to earn the kind of payday he wants, Brown will need to prove he can be just as valuable in a pass-heavy attack as he was in a run-heavy one. If he succeeds in doing so, not only will he earn that huge payday, but he’ll go a long way towards making the Chiefs almost impossible to beat.
The Chiefs new right tackle Lucas Niang also has a similar chance to prove himself as a quality starter and make the Chiefs that much harder to beat, but ultimately I think Brown is the player who K.C. traded for with the expectation of being great. He has a better chance to prove that this season than Niang, who is entering his first year of playing in the NFL.
Next up, let’s talk about another offensive player who could step up and make the Chiefs impossible to beat.