By CBS Baltimore Staff

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Ravens enter next week’s NFL Draft holding the 27th overall pick in the first round. With right tackle Orlando Brown Jr. requesting a trade away from the team earlier this offseason, most experts assumed the team might go with a tackle in that spot or just hold on to Brown. But, after Pittsburgh Steelers free agent tackle Alejandro Villanueva visited with the team this week, NFL reporter Josina Anderson says that the trade talks surrounding Brown are “heating up.”

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The 24-year-old Brown started the final 11 games of the team’s season at left tackle after Ronnie Stanley suffered a season-ending ankle injury against the Steelers. With Stanley expected to retake his spot on the left side this season, Brown requested a trade because he views himself as a left tackle. And, in fairness, the left tackle spot is generally a more lucrative one as they are considered the cornerstone of the offensive line protecting the quarterback’s blindside.

If the Ravens do end up moving Brown, they’re likely to receive a pretty significant haul in return. It’s not often that a 24-year-old, two-time Pro Bowl tackle capable of playing on the left side becomes available. Assuming the Ravens get a couple of picks in return, they could take a tackle in the first round or wait until the later rounds and add a veteran like Villanueva in free agency to give the prospect time to develop. Overall, it appears that general manager Eric DeCosta will be active as usual on draft weekend.

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UPDATE: Brown was traded later in the day to the Kansas City Chiefs in a deal involving multiple picks on both sides. The Ravens received the Chiefs first, third and fourth round picks this year and their fifth round pick next season in the deal.

CBS Baltimore Staff