12 Most intriguing Seahawks: No. 10, LT Duane Brown
Mike Salk and Brock Huard are counting down the 12 most intriguing Seahawks players every weekday morning at 9:30 a.m. leading up to the first day of training camp on July 26. (All 2018 Seahawks Training Camp dates and times can be found here.)
The pair continued the countdown Friday morning by focusing on their No. 10 pick: left tackle Duane Brown.
At a glance
Left tackle Duane Brown will get his first full year with the Seahawks after joining Seattle as part of a midseason trade in October 2017. Pro Football Focus gave Brown the highest grade among all Seahawks linemen last season (77.9) and noted Seattle’s pass-blocking efficiency improved from 71.5 to 78.4 after the addition of the four-time Pro Bowler. The 32-year-old Brown is also a prime candidate for a contract extension. Like No. 11 pick Tyler Lockett, Brown is entering the final year of his contract: a six-year, $53.4 million deal he originally signed with the Texans in 2012.
Brock’s take: “I think Duane Brown could be in the Top-5 as far as pure intrigue. Who is he? Is he the Pro Bowl-caliber player that they gave up a lot for? It’s a question worth asking when you look at Earl Thomas; when you’re just trying to trade for a third, and realize what you gave up to get Brown in a position of need. I believe he is. Of all the players I watched at OTAs and minicamps, I was most excited about watching that man work. He is a professional. And with an offensive line that’s graded 30th in the league by Pro Football Focus, it feels absurd to say that you’ve got a Top-5 to Top-10 left tackle in this game. But that’s what Duane Brown is – and he is capable of (improving his position group). He’s also intriguing because (Mike Salk) would, and I would also, like to lock him up long-term. That contract, as of now, has not been done.
“Speaking of improvement, I think Mike Solari’s system will be a very natural fit for Brown. When you’re a Top-5, Top-10 left tackle, you should be able to play in just about any system. A zone system, like Cable’s and like the one Brown previously played in with Houston, or more of a traditional or power system. He can do that; he’s not going to have a problem flourishing in either of those systems.”
Salk’s take: “There’s a bunch of things to like and be intrigued by when it comes to Duane Brown. They spent a lot on this guy; a lot of resources. Two important picks were given up in order to acquire Duane Brown. Why? Because he’s big. But that’s not the thing that makes him intriguing. What makes him intriguing to me is whether or not he can step up and be the leader of this group. Brock has told me a million times that with the best teams he’s played on, the leadership eminated from that offensive line room. There’s not been another offensive lineman on this team for a while that has been worthy of that level of leadership, or has the personality to go with it. By all accounts, Duane Brown has that. And in year two now, his first full year in Seattle, Mike Solari is expecting some of that. Brown is a commanding presence, and that’s the first step. The next step is: how does he choose to use that leadership? By all accounts he’s good at it, and they’re going to need it.”