NEW YORK -- Penn State was expected to have an impact on the NFL draft and it occurred a little sooner than expected today when the Arizona Cardinals used the fifth pick in the first round to select Nittany LionS offensive tackle Levi Brown.
The Cardinals allowed 35 sacks last season and more importantly, they had an anemic ground game, despite the presence of proven Edgerrin James, who averaged just 3.4 yards per carry.
Brown, 6-foot-5 and 324 pounds, was expected to go in the Top 10 with Miami being the most frequently mentioned destination. But he is a solid pick for the Cardinals, who struggled in 2006 after entering the season considered by many to be a playoff contender.
Brown started 45 games for Penn State, including all 11 at left tackle last year. He should compete for immediate playing time, helping the Cardinals in their area of greatest need.
As the lone returning starter on the offensive line in 2006, he earned second team All-American honors for the second consecutive year, from the Walter Camp Football Foundation and The Sporting News. He also earned third team All-American honors from the Associated Press as a senior to go along with his AP second team honors in 2005.