How Greg Robinson Fits Detroit’s Future Plans
What a difference three years can make. At this time in 2014, the St. Louis Rams used two first-round picks to address their trenches. With the 13th overall pick, they selected Aaron Donald, a disruptive defensive tackle from Pittsburgh. Eleven picks before that, they drafted the ultra-athletic Greg Robinson, who anchored left tackle for Auburn. Of those two, Robinson was considered the safer pick, a player who oozed potential. Many referred to the No. 2 overall pick as the next Orlando Pace, as well as the savior to a weak Rams line. Three years later, Aaron Donald is the best defensive player not named J.J. Watt, and Robinson is looking to redeem himself on a second team.
Taylor Decker’s Injury
The Lions made some noise when they traded a 2018 sixth-round pick for L.A.’s left tackle. This transaction came in light of Taylor Decker’s torn labrum, which may take up to six months for recovery. An open competition existed between Joe Dahl, Cornelius Lucas, and others, but now Robinson looks like the best option to protect Matthew Stafford’s blind side. The Auburn standout struggled, particularly with penalties, during his time with the Rams, but he still has the most experience and upside among Detroit’s tackles.
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How Robinson Translates
Bob Quinn saw a hole on his retooled offensive line, and brought in Robinson as a staple. However, retired offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz thinks the bust can flourish in Detroit’s scheme. Jim Bob Cooter’s offense plays to Robinson’s strengths, so he could conceivably revive his career in the Motor City after a failed stint with the Rams. The Lions are in “win now mode” after a surprise playoff appearance in 2016. The addition of Robinson prevents this offensive line from taking a step back after Decker’s devastating injury.
Furthermore, a solid year from the left tackle, and Detroit could retain his services. He has the size (6’5″, 332 lbs), strength, and athleticism to kick in as a starting guard in the league. The Lions have worked hard to revamp their line, but uncertainty remains at left guard. If Graham Glasgow flounders this year, they may have just acquired their missing piece in Robinson.