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The Luxury of Orlando Brown, Jr.

Detailing why the Ravens need not worry about the offensive line

October 18, 2018 - 11:21 am
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By Austin Medina  

Let’s dial back the clock. In the preseason as Marshal Yanda continued rehabbing, the Ravens offensive line had another name along the front.

As All-Pro guard Marshal Yanda recovered from injury, Rookie Orlando Brown Jr. filled in at right tackle and James Hurst moved to right guard. The idea always was for Yanda to come back at right guard and move Hurst back to right tackle.

The former third-round pick Brown Jr. made the move a competetion, as he played well enough to deter the Ravens orginal plans.

Was Hurst clearly better than Brown Jr.? Not at all. The Ravens went with a more experienced, and highly-paid, Hurst than their rookie. After starting 16 games last season, Baltimore gave Hurst a four-year extension worth $17.5 million.

Regardless, drafting Brown Jr. was not just coincidence.

The Ravens drafted Brown Jr. to push the envelope and make the starters work for their job. But why does this matter? The Ravens are 4-2 and their offensive line has looked sharp for a majority of the season.

With guard Alex Lewis pinching a nerve in his neck (and fortunately nothing worse), the Ravens have a decision to make.

They could rush to play him, as he is listed as day-to-day. Or they can use the better option.

This option is “better” for two reasons. It gives Lewis his necessary rest, as a pinched nerve is something that takes time. Secondly, and perhaps more intriguingly, the Ravens fanbase can see Brown Jr. make his first NFL start.

The 6’6, 345 pound tackle could see some intense competition Sunday, as Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan would surely look to exploit a rookie tackle. Jordan already has five sacks on the season.

Personally I would love to see Brown Jr. get his feet wet. Of course having Marshal Yanda next to him would ease the work load.

And this isn’t to say he even needs the workload lightened. Brown Jr. is ready to play, and Ravens fans should be not only ready but excited.

Tune into 105.7 The Fan for updates on the offensive line for the Ravens upcoming game against New Orleans.

Be sure to follow Austin on his Twitter for more coverage.