Ozzie Newsome is his bookending his career in Baltimore with a familiar name.
The Ravens general manager, who has been with the franchise since it was the Cleveland Browns, oversaw the selection of Oklahoma tackle Orlando Brown Jr. with the 19th pick of the third round of the NFL draft on Friday.
Newsome was a front-office executive in Cleveland when the team signed Brown’s father, Orlando Brown as a rookie free agent in 1993. Brown moved with the team from Cleveland to Baltimore in 1996 and became one of the franchise’s most visible players, earning the nickname “Zeus” as the team’s starting right tackle. Before his career was over in 2005, Brown spent six seasons over two stints anchoring the right side of Baltimore’s offensive line.
He died in 2011 at 40 years old due to complications with diabetes.
Now, Brown Jr. has followed his father’s footsteps and will be part of Newsome’s final draft class with a team he has served as GM since 2002.
The moment apparently was not lost on Brown Jr.
Orlando Brown answered the phone and said, "You're not kidding me, are you? Is this for real?" Newsome said Orlando Brown wrote him a note to talk about how special it would be to play for the Ravens.
— Jeff Zrebiec (@jeffzrebiecsun) April 28, 2018
Brown Jr. did not arrive at the moment easily, either. Considered a first- or second-round prospect after a standout Sooners career, Brown had an historically bad performance at the NFL combine. The 6-8, 360-pound tackle stunned observers when he tallied just 14 reps on the bench press, the third-worst total by an offensive line prospect since 2000.
A day later, he clocked a 5.85-second 40-yard dash, the fifth-slowest time at the combine since 2003. None of the athletes with slower times played a down in the NFL.
Oklahoma's Orlando Brown ran the 40-yard dash in 5.85 seconds, the 5th-slowest time by any player at the Combine since 2003 pic.twitter.com/rc8DRsY436
— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) March 2, 2018
He wasn’t done. His 19.5-inch vertical jump was the third-worst ever seen at the combine while his broadjump was dead last in combine history according to Pro Football Reference’s database. He also got yelled at by coaches for loafing during drills.
So yeah, it was pretty bad in Indianapolis.
All things considered, Brown Jr. couldn’t have asked for a much better outcome this week.
He won’t get the first-round money he was in the running for just a couple of months ago. But he will have a chance to compete for the Ravens’ right tackle job his father was famous for.
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