Brown signed on with the Hokies as a tight end. He redshirted his first year in the program, then caught three passes for 64 yards and a touchdown in his first season on the field. He was moved to offensive tackle before the 2005 season, and moved into the starting lineup at right tackle. He’s been a starter at tackle since.
Brown is a very good athlete, and has a lot of upside because of his natural ability. He was a tight end just two years ago, so he has the natural athleticism, quickness, and lateral agility to be a quality pass protector in the NFL. Brown has been a solid performer on the field, but it is the upside that entices teams.
This is just his third season on the offensive line, so he is definitely a work in progress. He is relying on his talent and intensity right now because of his inexperience. He lacks consistency on the field, and may need time to develop before he steps on to the field. Brown will also need to continue to get stronger in the NFL to develop a more well rounded game.
Duane Brown has a lot of upside, and that may cause him to be taken earlier than his on field performance has shown to date. The natural gifts he has project very well to the left side in the NFL, and everyone is looking for a left tackle that can keep the quarterback standing.