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Bleacher Report – Vikings

After poor Combine performance, should Vikings still consider Orlando Brown?

By Matthew Coller

In Mel Kiper’s most recent mock draft, he lays out which type of draft would earn each team an “A” grade.

ESPN’s mock maven picked cornerback Josh Jackson, a top prospect at the position from Iowa, in the first round and Oklahoma tackle Orlando Brown in the second.

Kiper wrote:

“Brown had one of the worst combine workouts I’ve ever seen, but he was better at the OU pro day, and at some point you have to trust the tape. He was dominant protecting Baker Mayfield‘s blind side for three years, and he’s a monster in the run game. He’s probably going to have to play right tackle in the NFL.”

At the NFL Combine, Brown’s stock sunk after he ran 5.85 40-yard dash and bench pressed just 14 reps.

Overall, his athletic scores at the Combine were stunningly bad. Have a look at how he compares to his peers (via Mockdraftable):

The website Relative Athletic Scores takes these comparisons and weighs different drills by their connection to success or failure at the NFL level and computes a 0-10 score. Brown landed a 0.69.

It’s nearly impossible to find another starting tackle on the list of players who scored below 1.0. On the other side of the coin, it doesn’t take much work to find stars like Joe Thomas, Lane Johnson, Taylor Lewan, Tyron Smith, Trent Williams and Terron Armstead with scores of 9.0 or higher.

That doesn’t mean there is a perfect connection between being a top athlete and a great tackle. Former Viking TJ Clemmings scored a 8.3, the same mark as former Jets star D’Brickashaw Ferguson. But there is certainly a connection between being highly athletic and successful stopping the world’s best edge rushers.

The challenge with Brown is that he did slow down pass rushers at Oklahoma. He allowed one sack and zero QB hits this year protecting Baker Mayfield’s backside. Overall he was 10th in the draft class in Pass Block Efficiency – a solid rate considering his competition – and he graded excellently in run blocking.

Clearly Brown’s poor Combine will push him down the board. How far down would he have to go before being worth consideration?

While the Vikings should want high-ceiling players, the odds are so low that Brown will become a full-time NFL starter – much less a Pro Bowler – that they shouldn’t pick him in the second. Relying on him to become a Day 1 starter brings along a ton of risk that a team looking to repeat a 13-3 season cannot take.

In the third, there is a much better argument for picking a project. As Kiper noted, Brown’s Pro Day was much better (though everyone’s Pro Day is better). But the problem with picking a project is that player takes up a spot and can end up being thrown into the fire like Clemmings was in 2015.

The Vikings also have more needs. Picking two linemen in the first three rounds isn’t a terrible idea, but they could use a future tight end or wide receiver, a cornerback and/or a defensive tackle prospect.

If the Vikings traded down and picked up a fourth round pick, that might be the ideal situation to draft Brown, though it’s likely he ends up being drafted before then. The bottom line: It’s hard to find a good scenario to pick Brown. If the Vikings were a rebuilding team, it might make much more sense to take him.

The post After poor Combine performance, should Vikings still consider Orlando Brown? appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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