Levi Brown trade: A look at new starter Bradley Sowell

Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Get to know the Cardinals new starting left tackle, and if he can be the guy to protect Carson Palmer and help get the offense on track.

The question has been asked quite a bit on Twitter, so it made sense to just write a small player breakdown and what Cardinals fans can look forward to with Bradley Sowell taking over the left tackle position for at least the near future as the Cardinals return to protect the nest from the Carolina Panthers.

Bradley Sowell, 6-7 315lbs

Strengths:

  • Excellent build for a left tackle, long arms, good base, played tight end and moves like a former tight end.
  • Mirrors well and is able to slide his feet and stay in front of defenders.
  • Gets into his drop well, displaying a good kick slide, staying bent and in a good position to block in passing situations.
  • Gets to running lanes quickly, shows good explosion off the ball.

What he did well at Ole Miss:

Gets into his drop and keeps Sam Montgomery out of the quarterbacks face with good mirroring techniques.

Sowell_good_1_medium

Pulls on a counter, gets down the line, through the hole and walls off a defender to allow the running back to get to and through the hole.

Sowell_good_2_medium

Gets into Montgomery and stands him up which allows him to direct him and control him.

Sowell_good_3_medium

Passes off Courtney Upshaw and takes on the inside player on the stunt.

Sowell_good_4_medium

Weaknesses:

  • Lacks functional strength, too often is getting pushed back in pass pro.
  • Doesn’t finish well on pass or run plays.
  • Struggles to get hands engaged and control defender, too often is leaning and just "in the way".
  • Does not play a physical style of football.

What he struggled with at Ole Miss:

Over runs the defender on the stretch play, not blocking anyone (lack of awareness).

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Sowell doesn’t get his hands on the defender enough, allowing him into his chest, then getting tossed aside is too often.

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Sowell_bad_4_medium

Identifies the blitzer, but after getting into his drop doesn’t get his hands on the defender and allows him to run right by him.

Sowell_bad_3_medium

This is a ballsy move by Keim and Arians because they are still paying Levi for his services, as Jess pointed out, but they felt he was such a detriment that they moved on to an undrafted free agent who was cut by an offensive line deficient Colts team.

He has the measurables, the feet, and shows flashes of excellence in pass pro, but his lack of upper body strength, his inability to finish plays, and his troubles with hand placement/usage needs to have improved greatly in his 138 NFL snaps since his senior year at Ole Miss for this to be a success.

That being said, can it get worse than this?

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