By now, I am sure you are well aware that the Pittsburgh Steelers have traded a conditional draft pick to the Arizona Cardinals for left tackle, Levi Brown. Brown, a former fifth overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft, missed the entire 2012 season to a torn tricep he suffered in the preseason. Brown started every game for four consecutive seasons before his season ending injury a year ago. How much value does the 6’5″ 320 pound lineman have?
After hearing word that Kelvin Beachum would be the team’s starting left tackle over Mike Adams, it will be interesting to see if they pull Beachum back to start Brown. Although I do not see the Steelers doing that until they see what Beachum can do at left tackle, Brown is capable of playing left or right tackle. Brown played his first three seasons at right tackle before making the move to left in 2010.
Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians said all offseason that Levi Brown was “elite” according to azcardinals.com, but after a shaky start to the 2013 season where Brown gave up three sacks, Arians decided to make the trade three and a half weeks later.
The good things that Brown may bring to the table first is experience to an offensive line that has very little. When the season started, the average age of the starting offensive line was 24 years old. Brown was named an alternate to the 2009 Pro Bowl, a year that the Cardinals offensive line allowed just 26 total sacks.
“Obviously his ability to take in and learn information is going to be an element of that, said head coach Mike Tomlin. “Obviously [we’re] excited about acquiring a veteran offensive lineman.”
According to Pro Football Focus, Levi Brown is the 50th rated tackle in the National Football League through four games. Brown ranks seven places higher than former starting offensive lineman Mike Adams. Since allowing three sacks in the season opener, Brown has only allowed one more go by. Brown has allowed 8 hurries which is ranked 28th amongst offensive lineman.
While six years in Arizona, Brown was a part of an offense who had a 700+ yard runner for four seasons and a passing attack that threw for 30+ touchdowns two times.
Now that the Steelers are on their bye, they have time to bring Brown in for a good look. Hopefully, he can work into the scheme of things for the offense that is starting to get healthier than they were in the beginning of the season.