Spencer Brown - OT, Northern Iowa
By the numbers:
6'8", 314 pounds per Senior Bowl measurements.
Did not play in 2020.
The most noticeable thing about Northern Iowa's Spencer Brown is his rare blend of size and athleticism. He has elite length — even for an offensive tackle — and moves extremely well for a big man. He's comfortable pulling and has a great understanding of angles and how to make the most of his swiftness in space. Brown's athletic profile is one of the best among all offensive linemen in the 2021 draft class.
Brown is a violent player who brings a mean streak and an element of "nasty" to the field. He has strong hands and greets defenders with long arms and a firm jolt at the line of scrimmage. He routinely finishes plays through the whistle and isn't afraid to get his hands dirty. Brown always looks to wipe his assignment completely out of the play. The basics are there for him to become a really good tackle in the future.
While Brown posted some impressive reps in college, he isn't ready to start at the NFL level. The jump from the FCS, combined with his rawness as a player and not having a 2020 season, makes him a draft-and-sit candidate. He lacks consistency and still needs to improve his leverage against shorter defenders, among other things. Brown has immense potential, but patience will be key in helping him unlock it.
Despite having a relatively strong upper body, Brown doesn't set and hold a great anchor. Adding strength to his legs and overall frame will assist him in holding up against more powerful defensive ends. When facing quicker edge rushers, he relies on lateral movement that just isn't quite good enough by itself. Brown is more of an open field operator and should develop a sturdier base to make him more well-rounded at the line of scrimmage.
How Brown fits with the Chiefs:
The Chiefs' need for a tackle remains legitimate — especially after releasing Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz. Signing Joe Thuney and Kyle Long certainly helps the offensive line picture, but not on the outside. Brown is a great future fit in a zone-run scheme on a team that will get him on the move. The Chiefs make a lot of sense and have a system that will maximize his value while also filling a potential future need.
Brown's length and athleticism simply can't be taught. He needs at least a year to learn and develop as a player but if his first NFL team is patient with him, he should make them very happy. He has a sky-high ceiling and is worth the investment for a team like the Chiefs. Brown grades out as a fourth-round pick who could eventually make a lot of teams jealous for passing on him multiple times.
April 5 update: After having one of the best pro day performances ever for a tackle, Brown's draft stock is soaring. He now receives an adjusted third-round grade for his efforts.