Now that the NFL Draft Combine has wrapped up, we now have the fullest view we can get of most of the draft’s prospects. This allows us to finalize rankings, or our so called “big boards,” and determine who us experts have ranked in order based on talent. There are plenty of talented prospects across all possible rounds of the draft, and there will surely be steals and busts labeled everywhere. Players will be knocked for random things, and we’ll hear plenty from “an anonymous scout” until the Draft rolls around in late April. One of the guys who may have some news and highlights around him is the offensive tackle from Alabama, Cam Robinson. Robinson was in some legal troubles that made people doubt his round 1 pedigree, but it is clear that he is one of the best offensive tackles in the class. The goal of Describe in Five is to try to get the best picture of a prospect in just five .gifs, with an explanation behind each one. While you can see who we’ve already discussed here, it’s time to look at the offensive line, starting with Robinson.
5. vs. Texas A&M (2016)
This is the best example of Robinson’s ability in college. He faced off against the consensus #1 prospect in this year’s draft in Texas A&M rusher Myles Garrett, and for the most part, he had a good game. On this play, he is able to easily set his base while Garrett starts his wrap-around speed rush. Robinson is able to shut him down before he can get outside, and he keeps him in place while the rest of the pocket stays clean for quarterback Jalen Hurts. The pass was incomplete, but it shows Robinson’s ability to shut down strong rushers. He is even able to stop the counter move from Garrett when he tries to push inside. Robinson is even able to stop him so well that the rusher disengages and sets up to make another run before the pass. Robinson is a strong pass blocker, and it is clearly on display here and for most of this game.
4. vs. LSU (2015)
Run blocking is half the battle as an offensive lineman, and Cam Robinson is a solid one. Here he ends up blocking edge rusher Arden Key, who is part of a 5-2 formation. This play clearly shows Robinson’s ability to keep his legs driving and how he can latch onto a defender that he is blocking. Leg drive shows his lower body strength that is so vital for a lineman, and his strength to not allow his defender to disengage is very important. This is solid blocking that any running back would like to have. The rest of the line may not be doing the same, but Robinson is clearly doing his job on this play.
3. vs. Tennessee (2016)
This is a play that highlights a clear problem with Robinson’s kick slide, which turns into doubting his pass protection. The good part about his short, choppy slide is that it allows him to keep a strong base and take rushers head on. Here it becomes a problem when he’s facing an edge rusher who sticks to using his speed alone to win. Tennessee defensive end Derek Barnett is able to burst off the line and bend under Robinson, who is getting beat laterally. Robinson ends up reaching for Barnett, who sneaks past him and is able to get a fumble-sack on Alabama’s freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts. When Robinson is using his choppy steps to set his base, a quick edge rusher is able to speed off the line and beat him, which leads Robinson to miss on his block and allow his quarterback to get hit. There are some clear pros and cons when it comes to Robinson’s kick slide, but this displays a clear con.
2. vs. Mississippi State (2015)
This play is able to show Robinson’s ability to get to the second level of the defense. Offensive linemen being able to move forward quickly is important, especially on a run play. Here he gets past the defensive end who is collapsing on the weakside run, and moves up to the MIKE linebacker. While he misses the block, the burst is shown on the play, and that’s what matters most. The projection is the most important part of evaluation, and it’s clear that Robinson could do this in the NFL. He is a slightly above average run blocker, and his quickness will help him in the future. While some may believe this is a skill that mostly guards need, it is beneficial if you have five offensive linemen that can move well, and it can add a new element to the running game. Robinson could be one of those five players.
1. vs. Western Kentucky (2016)
Lateral movement is important for offensive linemen, and while it’s not vital to a team’s offense, it can help coordinators run certain plays and increase the chance of success for some offenses. Robinson shows off his quickness here on a screen play. While receiver Calvin Ridley doesn’t use his block, Robinson paves over a defensive back crashing on the play. If the other blockers were able to do their job, a decent hole near the sideline would have been open for Ridley. This is a good example of the tackle’s ability to make blocks on the move, as well as his ability to actually get to the spot. Offensive line coaches will like his quickness and strength on the move, and it can add portions to the offense that teams with less athletic tackles can’t run.
Cam Robinson may be the best offensive tackle in this class, and he is a good candidate to start on the blind side for a team in 2017. He has good talent, solid techniques, and decent athleticism for a position that doesn’t often require it. While there are some mechanics, like his kick slide, that some teams might not like, there are certainly teams that value his skillset and would like to draft him early on. He should be a Day 1 pick in the draft, and a Day 1 starter in the NFL for the right team.