Former BYU offensive tackle Braden Brown was converted from tight end halfway through his 2009 season. He wound up starting all 13 games that season and 38 consecutive games thereafter.
Even though he was a right tackle while at BYU, most of his protection was on the blind side of left-handed quarterback Riley Nelson.
Brown has the athleticism and size to continue on at the right tackle position at the next level but will need some development to break into a starting lineup.
Currently, he would be a great late-round addition to add depth or, possibly, for a rotation on the line.
Brown has a very long and athletic frame which makes him ideal for fast pass-rushers coming off the edge. His size allows him to contain these defenders around the perimeter of the pocket.
Being a former tight end, Brown has nice lateral agility when asked to stay ahead of quick ball-carriers that are heading to the outside.
He is able to come off the snap and set himself quickly while keeping his feet moving in pass protection. Along with his nice punch when his arms are extended, it makes him a very formidable opponent for pass-rushers.
Brown does not have enough natural power to drive defenders back on their heels on a consistent basis.
He has a tendency to lock his knees in pass protection which makes him an easy target to stand up and blow past. He needs to keep his arms extended more consistently as he uses his shoulders and chest to block with frequency.
Brown needs to improve as a run blocker. He does not make sound decisions when asked to block a defender in space and struggles to anticipate the movement of moving blocking assignments.
Brown stands at an impressive 6'5" and weighs 310 pounds. He adds a very athletic and lean frame to his build. This is a prototypical size for a tackle at the NFL level.
His 34" arms are a great length for a right tackle who will go up against faster defensive ends. His length will allow him to keep these pass-rushers outside of the pocket.
Like many BYU prospects, Brown comes in to the NFL with a great deal of maturity.
He spent a year on a mission to Ecuador to help build a school and irrigation system. While he was there, he taught the younger villagers how to play football.
During his collegiate career, Brown spent most of his snaps protecting out of the spread offense in shotgun formation.
He did not see many snaps in a traditional, pro-style offense with the quarterback under center. This will be something that he must be helped along with by position coaches at the next level.
Brown's strongest suit is in pass protection. His length and athleticism make him an ideal candidate for the tackle position in the NFL.
While he needs to work on his technique, Brown can certainly develop into a starter at the next level based solely upon how well he has picked up the nuances of this position over the past few seasons.
This is the area in which Brown needs to improve. He needs to build upper-body strength to be able to push defenders back off the line of scrimmage.
He does not have great instincts when it comes to run-blocking and sometimes will miss his assignment entirely.
Blocking in Space
Yet another aspect that Brown must improve upon to be successful at the next level.
He does a nice job with his quickness and lateral movement to get to the outside and block for quicker running backs. However, when he is asked to block at the second level, he does not anticipate defender movement well and has trouble picking up his assignment.
Brown does some nice things with his technique on the offensive line. He generally keeps a nice pad level and has a great punch when he gets his arms extended. He does not overextend and has patience to sit back and punch at a defender to keep the pocket from collapsing.
However, he does not do any of these things on a consistent basis. These are things he must work on with position coaches in the NFL to shore up his ability to be continuously effective.
Brown should catch on to a team late in this year's draft. If, for some reason, he is not drafted, he should be able to find a team in free agency.
He does have a nice chance to make a final roster or end up on a practice squad based on his high ceiling.
He will not start any time soon in the NFL, but with the right amount of coaching, he could become a starter in the future.
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