Northern Iowa offensive tackle Spencer Brown might be the best overall prospect playing in the Senior Bowl.
At 6’8 1/2″ Spencer Brown has a Twitter name of Too Tall. In seriousness, it’s a good question. How tall is too tall on the offensive line?
The answer is not 6’8 1/2″, because Brown may be the best playing at the Senior Bowl this week.
One of the concerns with a player of his height is his ability to get low and get leverage. Will he be pushed back by more compact defensive linemen? If the Senior Bowl is any indication, the answer is a resounding “no.”
Brown is able to get tremendous leverage for several reasons.
First, he has tremendous flexibility. When he’s in a three-point stance at right tackles, his hips and pad level are almost always below the guard next to him, and usually at least level with the center, who is up to seven inches shorter than him.
Second, he doesn’t have an unusually proportioned wing-span. At 82 3/8″ his wing-span is actually three inches shorter than Alabama’s Alex Leatherwood (85 3/8″) and almost an inch behind Tennessee’s Trey Smith (83 1/8″). At nearly seven feet, Brown’s wing-span is still elite for keeping defenders from getting into his body as well as steering edge rushers around the corner.
Third, he’s incredibly powerful. Brown’s height would normally put him at a disadvantage lifting weights, specifically the bench press because of leverage and distance, but with relatively shorter arms compared to his height, he’s able to generate the leverage and power for a 500 LB bench press.
By comparison Nate Soldier went in the first round in the 2011 NFL Draft to the New England Patriots. He measured 6’8 1/4″ and did 21 reps of 225 at the NFL Combine. Brown should obliterate that mark.
Finally, Brown is an outstanding athlete. A tight end when he got to Northern Iowa, Brown has excellent feet and quickness. He gets to the second level and beyond quickly and disengages and finds secondary blocks with easy.
Several mock drafts have Brown going late first round in April’s draft, so he’s not exactly a sleeper. But he should still see his stock rise over the next several months and start entering into the conversation of a Top 10-15 draft pick.