49ers: Through the first quarter, “Most Improved Offensive Player.”

Niners live continues with its recognition and awards by now giving credit where credit is due: Through the first quarter, Most Improved Offensive Player Award goes to offensive tackle Trent Brown.


How we originally got here

San Francisco 49ers’ starting right tackle, Trent Brown, went from a 2015 seventh-round pick out of Florida, who had his weight and work ethic questioned, to a player who has been singled out by Joe Staley, a former Pro Bowler and fellow teammate, and Von Miller, an opponent, as one of the best young tackles in the NFL. However, Brown’s problems have been his overall inconsistencies, especially in the run game, and with his weight, now hold that thought something General Manager John Lynch spoke on before the season:

“He came back a little heavy, but he’s worked incredibly hard to keep that weight down,” Lynch said. “I just think he’s got a lot of great football in front of him if he can control that weight and be consistent with it, be accountable to us and to his teammates. I just think the sky’s the limit for how good he can be. He’s a guy that’s really jumped.”

Trent Brown is a mammoth of a man at 6’8” and 355 lbs. He possesses very nimble feet for a man of his size, strength, and long arms. This is ideal for the tackle position. Brown changed his diet and workout regiment heading into the 2017 season, and it paid off. He reported to camp with a vastly improved physique and stamina. 

NFL career recap

Brown has played in 26 career games, starting 22 of the contest, mostly at right tackle outside of one start at left tackle in 2016 in which he started for an injured Staley. His PFF pass-blocking grade was 78.7, while his run blocking grade was 39.0.

Why he’s been the Most Improved Offensive Player

Per Football Focus, Trent Brown is rated the 4th best (ELITE) offensive tackle in the NFL with an 85.7 grade overall (runner-up on the team is Staley with 80.1), not to mention in the pass/run blocking department Brown graded out respectfully at 85.3 and 82.8. Brown has also played 269 snaps on offense tying him with Staley for 13th most in the NFL. Recently, against the Arizona Cardinals, Brown posted an 88.5 grade overall without giving up a sack. In fact, in 173 pass block attempts, Brown has only given up one sack and five pressures with no hits allowed on his watch. 

An interesting point to note: Brown currently has the (recently updated) league’s fourth-best PFF pass-blocking grade among all tackles at 85.3, trailing only Joe Thomas (89.3), Jason Peters ( 86.4) and Russell Okung (85.5). The 49ers are currently 18th in rushing and averaging 4.4 yards per attempt and a 104.5 yards a game on Brown’s watch (via ESPN.com).

Facts to know: The only other players on the 49ers team that have a higher PFF grade than Brown are DeForest Buckner ( 93.2) and Jaquiski Tartt at (86.9) overall.

There are few bright spots on a 0-4 team, but Trent Brown, at the ripe age of (24 years young), is a building block for the future, indeed.  

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All records, statistics, and accolades are courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.comPro Football Focus49ers.comESPN.comNFL.comFoxsports.com, unless otherwise indicated. Author, Content Creator, EditorSequoia Sims .