The NFL is a big man's game and they simply do not come much more qualified than the 6-foot-7, 345 pound Brown, whose blocking played a key role in Oklahoma earning a playoff berth and his quarterback, Baker Mayfield, winning the Heisman Trophy in 2017.
Given that Brown would go on to earn All Big 12 honors from league coaches the past three years - including First Team accolades in 2016-17, some might be surprised to learn that he initially was slated to play at the University of Tennessee, with only academic concerns from the Volunteers' staff pushing the massive blocker west to Big 12 country.
The surprising late switch to the Sooners earned plenty of buzz in the scouting community but Brown ultimately redshirted in 2014, getting both his grades and weight in check. He earned the starting left tackle position a year later and never looked back, starting every game the past three seasons at the critical blindside position.
Brown's massive frame and nearly 7-foot wingspan give him a significant advantage in pass protection as defenders have to run a very wide arc just to get by him. Generally speaking, when Brown gets his hands on opponents - whether in the pass protection or run blocking - it is generally game over. Oklahoma's wide splits, up-tempo attack and Mayfield's mobility are each factors which aid Brown's blocking, however, raising concerns that he faces a steeper jump to the NFL than his reputation suggests.
Brown was recruited by all of the top programs in the country, including Alabama, Clemson, Florida State, Ohio State and initially committed to Tennessee before the Volunteers backed out due to eligibility concerns. In part due to academics, as well as the fact that at one point he weighed 415 pounds, Brown was graded as only a three star recruit by some analysts. With the help of mentor and former OU/NFL standout Jammal Brown (unrelated), Orlando has matured into a team leader, being voted a captain by teammates for 2017. His father, Brown, Sr. died of diabetic ketoacidosis in September, 2011 when Orlando, Jr. was just 15 years old.
This big guy certainly looks the part of an NFL offensive tackle. Brown towers over his competition with ideal height, vines for arms and much improved weight distribution with little extra around his middle after struggling with his weight earlier in life. Brown eases out of his stance, showing good lateral agility in his initial kick-step. His long arms snake out to latch onto pass rushers and he possesses the vice-like grip to lock on and end the battle before it has even begun. When playing on the balls of his feet, Brown shows the ability to slide left and right to mirror pass rushers, effectively sealing them off from the quarterback. Similarly, Brown's girth and length make him an effective run blocker simply because opponents struggle to get around him. Among Brown's most impressive attributes is how he can fire off the ball as a run blocker, cutting the legs of unsuspecting defensive tackles on down blocks. He is an intimidating presence at the second level who is willing to block yards downfield. Brown plays with the same surliness which made his father so successful, getting an extra shot on opponents when he can and occasionally talking trash. Like his quarterback, Brown has an outgoing, almost flashy personality that has endeared him to teammates and the OU coaching staff. He was recognized as a team captain in 2017. - Rob Rang 12/2/2017
Brown does not possess the elite feet most teams require at left tackle and has not played any other position at OU, making him a potentially significant project. Rarely asked to block out of a three point stance and will need time to acclimate if asked to do this in the NFL. Speed rushers can get him leaning to his left and Brown shows less than ideal balance reacting to inside counters, occasionally crossing his feet. When his weight is not in check, Brown can look the part of a classic "heavy-legged, waist-bender" failing to bend at the knees and leaving himself vulnerable to being overpowered on bull rushes by much smaller opponents. While certainly an imposing figure, Brown lacks ideal anticipation and agility for blocking at the second level, too often over-running his target and forcing himself to either lunge or attempt to block some other defender. - Rob Rang 12/2/2017
COMPARES TO: Hall of Famer Orlando Pace, Rams. Brown does not possess the sweet feet which helped Pace earn the No. 1 overall selection in 1997 and seven Pro Bowl nods at left tackle. He possesses similar size as the 6-7, 320 pound Pace. Brown uses his rare girth and length to provide a clean pocket and wide rushing lanes for dynamic skill-position players on his team to exploit.