We hear a lot of praise for young players in the NFL, and plenty is just off-the-cuff nonsense. But Joe Staley had some huge praise for right tackle Trent Brown this week, and it is kind of staggering. Mindi Bach put together a feature on Brown, the biggest guy on the 49ers, and apparently a guy that Joe Staley thinks has a ton of potential:
“I don’t throw this around lightly, he can be as good as anyone in the NFL that’s ever been,” left tackle Joe Staley said from in front of his locker this week. “You see him and you think Jonathan Ogden, the plays that he would make when he was playing. He’s got a ways to go before he’s there, but he has all the talent to be Jonathan Ogden-esque.”
Well, you can’t get much more significant with your praise than that, can you? The article includes several more lines from Staley, specifically stating that if Brown does not take a big step forward, it is entirely his fault. There have been concerns about Brown’s conditioning and whether or not he is prepared to make that step. But we’ve heard a lot of praise throughout camp. We’ve seen Anthony Davis volunteer to move to right guard, which would seem to indicate he recognized how good Brown is. Davis has even tweeted extensive praise for Brown.
Whether or not Brown turns into Jonathan Ogden, or anybody along those lines, it would seem the 49ers could have an impressive diamond in the rough on their hands. If he can meet the challenge to be a quality right tackle, that would be huge for this offensive line. It was viewed as a weakness heading into the offseason, but suddenly the line looks like it could develop into a strength. The 49ers have not announced their starting lineup for the Packers game, but if they roll out Staley, Garnett, Kilgore, Davis, Brown, maybe we’re looking at the Week 1 starting lineup.
They still need whatever starting five to come together and execute, but it is nice to have a little bit of optimism about the group.