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The 2021 NFL draft is less than a week away and one of the biggest offensive tackle dominos could soon fall.
According to NFL reporter Josina Anderson, the trade talks surrounding Baltimore Ravens OT Orlando Brown Jr. are “heating up.” This partially has to do with the draft being just around the corner, but also the recent free-agent visit of former Steelers OT Alejandro Villanueva.
Brown Jr. has been a big storyline for the Ravens this offseason and has sought a trade because he wants to play left tackle like his father. Baltimore just paid Ronnie Stanley big money to lock down the left tackle position, so Brown Jr. them at a bit of a loss. As with most situations in the NFL, deadlines spur action and the draft is seen as a soft deadline to get Brown Jr. traded to a new team.
It’d make sense for the Kansas City Chiefs to be involved in these trade talks given their glaring need at the left tackle position, but they’ll also have competition. There are at least 10 other teams who could draft an offensive tackle before the Chiefs in Round 1, so it’d make sense that any of those teams would also be interested in trading for a proven starter on the left side.
Compensation would at the very least start with a third-round draft pick, something that the Ravens would expect to earn as a compensatory pick with Brown Jr. potentially walking in free agency in 2022. If Baltimore would even consider an offer from Kansas City, the Chiefs will surely need to pay a premium price being that they’re in direct competition with Ravens for the AFC. Basically, it’s going to take more than the bare minimum to get a deal done for Kansas City.
Something that should give Brett Veach and his staff pause about a potential trade for Brown Jr. is knowing that you have to turn around and pay him a big contract soon. Obviously, it’s something the team was willing to do with a top free agent like Trent Williams. Do they value Brown Jr. similarly? It’s hard to tell.
Whether the Chiefs are involved in these trade talks or not, the outcome of a Brown Jr. trade will impact them in the draft. If he goes to a tackle-needy team that was previously looking at one in the first round of the draft, it could put Kansas City in a better position to land a player they like.