How ’bout those … offensive linemen?
The Kansas City Chiefs surprised the NFL world by signing Joe Thuney to reinforce the offensive line earlier in the offseason, and now they made another massive move, trading for Baltimore’s disgruntled tackle Orlando Brown to give the team a left tackle of the future.
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Orlando Brown trade details
The full reported trade details per Adam Schefter:
Kansas City gets:
- OT Orlando Brown
- 2021 second-round pick (58th overall)
- 2022 sixth-round pick
- 2021 first-round pick (31st overall)
- 2021 third-round pick (94th overall)
- 2021 fourth-round pick (136th overall)
- 2022 fifth-round pick
Really, this is a deal where both sides win: the Chiefs get much-needed offensive line reinforcements in the immediate and the Ravens wiggle out of a tough situation that was coming to a boil this offseason. Here’s how it grades out:
Any time you get offensive line help, and a bona-fide franchise left tackle, for the No. 31 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, it’s a win.
The Chiefs got manhandled in their Super Bowl 55 loss to the Buccaneers with both bookend tackles out. Now, with Eric Fisher departed and Mitchell Schwartz released and heading towards retirement, Kansas City needed offensive line help desperately, and they got exactly what they needed.
The Chiefs lost out on Trent Williams (who re-signed with the 49ers) but did secure Joe Thuney at guard, and they head into the 2021 NFL Draft with a revamped offensive line that features Brown on the left side and Thuney. That’s how you build on the fly and give your superstar quarterback the protection he needs in the coming years. It’s not offense when star offensive linemen hit the market, and the Chiefs understood this.
They also have to understand that while this is a deep offensive line draft, the tackle position might not be: first-round prospects Rashawn Slater and Christian Darrisaw are expected top-15 picks, which would have been well before Kansas City was slotted to select, meaning a trade-up would have cost a lot, or they’d likely miss out on both.
They also get back a late second-round pick, which mitigates the loss of the first-rounder and an extra sixth. Now, they have two second-rounders and they still have a fourth-rounder which was received as a comp pick.
While the Chiefs could still opt to target offensive line in the draft, focusing on acquiring the much-needed upgrades along the line earns KC brass high marks right now, even if a contract extension isn’t reportedly in the immediate talks.
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It’s kind of hard to give the Ravens a bad grade here considering Orlando Brown’s desire to play on the left side, and it also hurts when you’re trading a star tackle to a team that you may be vying for a Super Bowl appearance with, but the Ravens did decent overall here.
First and foremost, Baltimore’s brass must be happy to get a first, third and fourth back in the immediate even after trading away their late second-rounder (58th overall), which will give them opportunities to throw darts at the board in a deep offensive line and wide receiver 2021 NFL Draft if they so choose. This will help mitigate the loss of Brown, presumably, and also give them a chance to find more receiving help for Lamar Jackson.
Also, Baltimore is reportedly zeroing in on signing longtime Steelers offensive lineman Alejandro Villanueva to play right tackle, which would also significantly help their line now and give them less needs to target in the draft.
The bottom line is: Brown wanted out, which gave Baltimore little leverage in trade discussions. Picking up a first-round pick this year is a big win. But trade value charts say that the Ravens really lost value on the deal, even if we can’t project where exactly the Chiefs’ pick will land in 2021 — if you’re into that sort of thing.
Still, getting back three picks for a player you wouldn’t be able to re-sign or retain in the long-term is a good move. What the Ravens do with those picks will ultimately tell the story of the deal, per usual.