April 23, 2010

Charles Brown, offensive tackle, USC

Charles Brown, offensive tackle, Southern Cal - 64th overall pick (2nd round)
6'5, 297, 5.2 40

The Saints chose not to address the defensive front seven, where most of their needs remain. 

They took a player that was without a doubt one of the best values on the board.  The Saints ignored need - they have four solid offensive tackles, arguably the deepest position on the team.  This pick and last night's pick send similar signals - that the team is prepared to go without a veteran.  In Charles Brown's case, it likely means that left tackle Jammal Brown is on the way out.  The Saints will swap Browns by sending Jammal out with a trade, any time between now and training camp.

The Saints aren't kidding around with their strategy of picking the best player available.

A tight end recruit, Charles Brown started the transition to full time offensive tackle as a redshirt freshman in 2005, was mentored by Falcons first round pick T Sam Baker.  Brown developed started two full seasons in 2008-9.

He dropped from where many projections had him - in the top 25 picks - because of questions about durability and toughness.  He quit the scouting combine because of a calf injury and sat out of his own pro day with a pulled hamstring.

He's regarded as a finesse blocker who is still growing into his large frame, and isn't a great technician despite 26 starts.  One season spent in a pro locker room will completely overhaul his body.  See: only 20 reps of 225 pounds, a poor showing.  Brown has long 34 5/8 inch arms, big hands, and has a good amount of quickness left from his days as a tight end. 

Brown has the tools to be an elite left tackle but has a lot of sweat ahead of him to get there.  He must get stronger.  He has no maturity or off-field questions and recently turned 23.  The Saints did not meet with Brown leading up to the draft. 

The Saints left Brown's USC teammate on the board, DE Everson Griffen, a player with similar toughness questions.  Other pass rushers the Saints passed on: Clemson DE Ricky Sapp, Northwestern DE Corey Wootton, Arkansas State DE Alex Carrington, UNC DT Cam Thomas, LSU DT Al Woods, South Carolina LB Eric Norwood, Ohio State DE Thaddeus Gibson.

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