Super Bowl-Winning OT ‘Best Fit’ for Ravens in Free Agency

Trent Brown

Getty This massive free-agent OT has been named the "best fit" for the Ravens.

Fixing the edges of the Baltimore Ravens‘ offensive line should be near the top of general manager Eric DeCosta’s to-do list this offseason. Regardless of the debate about his next contract, Lamar Jackson remains the franchise quarterback, and there’s no debate he needs better protection.

Jackson and the rest of the Ravens’ passers were sacked 57 times in 2021, the second-most in the NFL. Most of the weakness is found at the edges of the offensive line.

Fortunately, two NFL analysts believe the Ravens can solve the problem by signing a massive and versatile offensive tackle in free agency. This veteran even has a Super Bowl win on his impressive CV.

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Powerful, Well-Travelled Lineman Perfect for Jackson

In their look at the best team fits for this year’s top 50 free agents, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler and Matt Bowen identified Trent Brown as a solution to the Ravens’ problems up front.

Fowler believes 28-year-old Brown would accelerate necessary changes at the tackle spots: “Baltimore is in transition at tackle with Alejandro Villanueva (a 2023 free agent) turning 34 in September and Ronnie Stanley missing most of the past two seasons with a severe ankle injury. Quarterback Lamar Jackson would have fun running behind this mammoth man.”

Meanwhile, Bowen thinks Brown’s particular set of skills belong in the Ravens’ offense: “In the Ravens’ gap-heavy run system, Brown is an easy fit given the power he displays at the point of the attack and the light feet we see on the tape. Pull, he can block down and move people. He’s an upgrade in Greg Roman’s offensive structure.”

It’s interesting how both Fowler and Bowen highlighted the difference Brown would make to the Baltimore ground attack. There’s no denying he’s a force in the run game thanks to a massive 6’8″, 380-pound frame.

Brown, who started his career with the San Francisco 49ers in 2015, developed a niche clearing the way for running backs during two stints with the New England Patriots. His first stop with the team ended after the 2018 season, when Brown acted as Tom Brady’s blindside protector and helped the Pats win Super Bowl LIII.

Brown cashed in and took his talents to the Raiders, first in Oakland, then Las Vegas. It was no coincidence Josh Jacobs rushed for over 1,000 yards in each of the two seasons Brown played for the Silver and Black.

He continued to be an asset in run blocking when he returned to New England last year. Without Brady, the Patriots were even more reliant on the running game.

Brown (77) was a key figure in their schemes because he could knock open holes like this one, captured by Patriots Beat’s Evan Lazar, against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 11:

It’s easy to picture any one of the Ravens’ running backs, when healthy, following Pro-Bowl fullback Patrick Ricard behind a similar block from Brown.

The Ravens’ offense is going to continue to be ground-based as long as coordinator Greg Roman calls the plays. Yet, he can’t ignore the need for better pass protection, something Brown would also offer.

He helped ensure rookie Mac Jones was sacked just 28 times for the Patriots last season. The New England front five was more secure with Brown in the lineup, as’s Zack Cox noted after Week 10’s 45-7 win over the Cleveland Browns:

Brown can handle the league’s most-dominant edge-rushers, something the Ravens need in an AFC North division where Myles Garrett, T.J. Watt and Trey Hendrickson go hunting for quarterbacks.

Having Brown on either side would keep Jackson clean more often and give the dual-threat star an ideal lead-blocker to take off and run behind.

Ravens Need Brown at Either Tackle Spot

A lot of the Ravens’ issues up front exist at left tackle, where Stanley’s injury history is justifiably a concern. There are also worries on the other side, though, where the Ravens endured a revolving door of unconvincing right tackles in 2021.

Brown could solve the latter problem because he successfully transitioned from the left to the right side with both the Raiders and Patriots. He’d be a solid bookend with a fully healthy Stanley.

Alternatively, Brown’s presence could help the Ravens move on from ageing Alejandro Villanueva. Slotting Brown in on the left would solve the reliance on Stanley and leave DeCosta free to go looking for a new right tackle in this year’s draft.

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