The Ravens have traded offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr. to the Kansas City Chiefs for a package of draft picks that includes the Chiefs’ 2021 first-round pick, as first reported by NFL Network.
According to multiple reports, the Ravens will send Brown, their second-round pick in this year’s draft and a sixth-round pick in the 2022 draft to the Chiefs in exchange for first- , third- and fourth-round picks this year as well as a fifth-round pick next year.
The Ravens confirmed on April 23 that they dealt Brown to the Chiefs pending a physical but did not announce the draft picks exchanged in the deal.
The Ravens, who finished 11-5 and reached the divisional round of the playoffs last year, now have picks No. 27 and No. 31 in the first round of the draft, which begins Thursday, April 29. They also have two picks each in the third round (Nos. 94, 104), fourth round (131, 136) and fifth round (171, 184) and one in the sixth (210).
Brown, who turns 25 next month and is entering the final year of his rookie contract, has made the Pro Bowl in each of the past two seasons. He made his first Pro Bowl in 2019 as the starting right tackle for a Ravens offense that became the most prolific running attack in NFL history. Last year, Brown shifted to left tackle midway through the season after Ronnie Stanley suffered a season-ending ankle injury and earned another Pro Bowl nod.
But Brown’s future with the Ravens organization has been the source of speculation much of the offseason after he tweeted, “I’m a LEFT tackle,” suggesting that he has no desire to return to the right side of the line and expects any second contract to reflect that. Left tackle is considered the premier offensive line position, given that it protects the blind side of a right-handed quarterback, and left tackles are paid accordingly.
General manager Eric DeCosta made known that the Ravens were willing to listen to trade offers for Brown, who became the first second-generation Raven when the Ravens drafted him in the third round of the 2018 draft out of Oklahoma. Brown’s late father, Orlando, had played for the Ravens from 1996-1998 and again from 2003-2005.
At his predraft news conference last week, DeCosta refused to comment on the status of any trade discussions surrounding Brown, but DeCosta was thought to be looking for a first-round pick in return. Ultimately he got his wish, along with a draft pick shuffle in later rounds, in a deal with one of the Ravens’ top rivals for AFC supremacy.
Trading Brown vaults offensive tackle to the top of the Ravens’ roster needs, considering Stanley’s availability for the beginning of the season is still unknown as he recovers from his injury. But according to reports, free agent and former Pittsburgh Steelers Pro Bowl tackle Alejandro Villanueva visited the Ravens this week.
The Ravens would prefer to hold off on signing any more free agents until after May 3, when such moves would not affect the compensatory pick equation, but the addition of Villanueva, 32, would quickly fill the void left by Brown’s departure.
For now, the Ravens don’t have a second-round pick, and two years ago when the Ravens were in that position, DeCosta lamented the long wait on Day 2 of the draft as a flurry of talented players flew off the board. But now with the additional draft capital acquired in the trade, DeCosta would be well positioned to jump back into Round 2 if so inclined.
DeCosta said he believes this is a deep draft at several positions of need for the Ravens, including edge rusher, wide receiver and center, with strong value throughout the first few rounds. So DeCosta could choose to keep those additional picks, giving him four in Rounds 3 and 4.
This story was updated after the Ravens confirmed the deal.
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