Why Orlando Brown Jr. should start against the Bengals
Orlando Brown Jr. impressed in his start against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Ravens should let Brown Jr. continue to grow with on the job training:
Orlando Brown Jr. should be the starting right tackle against the Cincinnati Bengals. There is a real possibility that Lamar Jackson will be the starting quarterback on Sunday. There has never been a bigger opportunity to see the worth of the 2018 NFL Draft class in Baltimore. The Ravens could see Jackson under center, Brown Jr. at right tackle and Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews making plays at tight end.
What could possibly give Ravens fans more hope than Brown Jr. making a key block to allow Jackson to throw a touchdown to Andrews? That would be tomorrow becoming today. That would be a preview of what could be to come for the next era of Ravens football. Even if it’s Flacco or Robert Griffin III making the throw that sequence will be cause for optimism.
The Ravens drafted Brown Jr. because they knew he could be a huge part of the future. Just like it’s time to start letting Jackson test the NFL waters, it is time to let Brown Jr. be the right tackle he is meant to be. Baltimore should absolutely be trying to win, but there is no reason to believe that Brown Jr. playing at right tackle gives you less of a chance than James Hurst.
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The Ravens should move James Hurst to left guard. Alex Lewis hasn’t had a good year at that position and Hurst has had success there before. Brown Jr. is the intimidating force the Ravens need at right tackle and this move may just be what the Ravens need to spring the running game. If the Ravens lose to the Bengals with Brown Jr. at right tackle, his presence on the field would probably not be the reason why.
The offensive line status quo hasn’t been so good that the Ravens can’t disrupt it. Secondly, the future is important. 2019 is important. It’s a hard message to give to a coaching staff that very well may not be here next year, but it’s important all the same. Brown Jr. could benefit greatly from experience on the field this season.
Putting Brown Jr. at right tackle over Hurst would be trying to mix it up. It wouldn’t hurt the present team and it could have great rewards for the future team. Brown Jr. was thought of as a first round talent at one point and if Brown Jr. can meet the high expectations that come with that, he is a key cog in the upcoming seasons.