Seahawks sign center Evan Brown but he likely isn’t a long-term answer

Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

The Seattle Seahawks were in need of a center prior to free agency starting and now the team has signed former Lions lineman Evan Brown. Brown was a right guard for the Lions in 2022 and wasn’t great in pass protection. But in 2021, Brown played center and was pretty good. Center is the position he should be expected to play for Seattle.

Brown kind of continues to be in the mold for what Pete Carroll likes in offensive linemen. Brown can fit a number of roles along the interior of the offensive line, though he seems to be a much better player at center. There are concerns about Brown as far as being a long-term starter, however.

One thing that isn’t a concern is that Brown has good size and girth. He is 6’3″ and 320 pounds. He is bigger than the Seahawks’ 2022 starter, Austin Blythe. In fact, Brown outweighs Blythe by about 30 pounds. His strength and power seem to be much greater than Blythe’s or Seattle’s previous starter at center, Ethan Pocic.

Seahawks sign free agent center Evan Brown

But there are potential issues. One is why Brown has bounced around the league so much. In 2023 he will be on his faith team in his five seasons in the NFL. If he was truly a productive player for a team, he likely wouldn’t have bounced around so much, right? Maybe that is just a way of being cynical but it is also a valid question.

A second concern is that Brown seems to be a bit inconsistent in his blocking prowess. He was a career-long center until 2022 but he didn’t get a chance to play much until 2021. He didn’t really get enough relevant snaps until 2021 so any grades he might have received from Pro Football Focus (subscription required) until the season before last are not worth bringing up. That said, at center in 2021 he graded well as a pass-blocker (72.4 and allowed just 8 pressures in 455 pass-block snaps) but less so as a run-blocker (62.9).

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In 2022, after moving to right guard, he was very bad in pass protection (he allowed 22 pressures in 456 pass-block snaps) but was good as a run blocker. Brown might be worthy of being a spot starter in 2023, though the ideal would be for the Seahawks to draft a potentially good center in the second round and that player would take over right away. Brown could then backup at center or right guard. Heck, maybe that’s what the Seahawks have planned for him anyway.