FanPost

A Tale of Two Tackles: Cameron Erving and Greg Robinson

The BCS National Championship looms only hours away and tonight most eyes will be on Jameis Winston. My eyes however, will be on the two players that enable their respective team's successful offenses. They are OT Greg Robinson of Auburn and OT Cameron Erving of Florida State. Both are underclassmen that have flown up draft boards this year. As of now, I think that Robinson will come out regardless of tonight's game but Erving's decision depends entirely on tonight's outcome. If the Seminoles win, he comes out. If not, he stays to make a run at another championship with Jameis Winston and Kelvin Benjamin. Both tackles will be compared in Build, Strength/Anchor, Pass Protection, Run Blocking and Versatility. First, an overview:

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via grfx.cstv.com

Greg Robinson - OT - Auburn - 6'5 305lbs

Profile: Robinson has a big, long athletic frame that projects well to the next level. He shows good awareness and recognition, especially in the running game. His long arms, good upper body strength and strong lower half allow him to manhandle the defensive lineman stupid enough to test him. Excellent as a drive blocker and while he doesn't have that mean-streak, he does play with tenacity. His hand placement is inconsistent as it gets high and wide leading to some holding calls. Needs to add bulk to his frame.

Tape:

-Make note of the play at 1:15. He manhandles Shane Ray and then does the same to Kony Ealy on the next play before taking it to far and getting called for holding.

-He's shown to be susceptible to speed rushers, especially when the defensive end fakes to the inside.

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via ufrsports.com

Cameron Erving - OT - Florida State - 6'6 320lbs

Profile: Erving has a pro-ready build with long arms. He is a very good hand fighter, the placement is sound and the punch is strong. His feet are quick but they don't really blow you away. His patience coupled with his long arms let him handle edge rusher with ease. Knee bend and pass set are good and he rarely overextends. Toughness and competitiveness are there. He needs more anchor strength, bull rushers don't often beat him but he seems to give up too much ground.

-Right around 5:14 you'll begin to see what I mean about giving up ground to bull rushers. He latches on nicely and holds it but the pocket begins to collapse for Winston.

Build:

Robinson: At 6'5 305 he's no slouch. His arm length appears to be NFL caliber and he's got the athleticism to get to the second level as well as drive defenders off the ball. As I said above, he really needs to add some bulk.

Erving: Pro-ready in this department. Tall, thick, with long arms. Not much to complain about.

Winner: Cameron Erving

Strength/Anchor:

Robinson: Displays great strength, especially in the running game. Can steer defenders with his upper body to create running lanes. At times he can give up some ground to bull rushers, but he is almost always able to anchor himself.

Erving: Plenty of strength in his frame, especially in his upper body. At times he able to handle the defensive end AND the linebacker blitzing off the edge. But then again, he does allow the pocket to collapse when bull rushed.

Winner: Greg Robinson

Pass Protection:

Robinson: In Auburn's run-first offense, we don't get to see a ton of pass protection from Robinson. But from what we have seen, he appears to have a sluggish first step at times and has to compensate by holding. Can overcommit at times and take himself out of the play.

Erving: Cameron Erving really has to be Jameis Winston's best friend. He transitions cleanly with a quick first step into a clean pass set. His knee bend is great and he's patient when he needs to be. His hand-fighting does wonders in this area. He's able to punch, disengage, and punch again in a short period of time. Defenders have a hard time getting hands on his body.

Winner: Cameron Erving

Run Blocking

Robinson: A true mauler of a left tackle. Auburn is very run oriented and he drive blocks as well as anyone in the country. He flashes the ability to manhandle opposing players. He can get to second level effectively but sometimes wiffs on linebackers.

Erving: Good at blocking his assignment in the running game but doesn't often drive them off the ball. He is an adequate drive blocker and blocks well from the backside on stretch runs. This is another area where improved lower body strength could benefit him.

Winner: Greg Robinson

Versatility:

Robinson: He has played tackle during his tenure at Auburn but their run-heavy offense suggests that he could translate well to guard. Adding another 10-20lbs of bulk would make him an ideal versatile lineman. His pass protection could use tweaking at the next level but his run blocking is exceptional.

Erving: Has the build to be able to kick inside. His pass protection is better than his run blocking though, so that transition might be rocky.

Winner: Greg Robinson

Overall Champion: Greg Robinson

The weird thing is, I actually have Cameron Erving graded higher. He probably is the better tackle but Robinson's superior run blocking and versatility is what lets him pull out the win here.

Greg Robinson Overall Grade: 90.8

Cameron Erving Overall Grade: 92.1

How they rank amongst my OT's:

1.) Jake Matthews - Texas A&M - 6'5 309

2.) *Cyrus Kuondjio - Alabama - 6'5 310*

3.) Cameron Erving - Florida Sate - 6'6 320

4.) Taylor Lewan - Michigan - 6'7 314

5.) Greg Robinson - Auburn - 6'5 305

(*I Know I don't have Kuondjio ranked highly in my big board but after watching more film I've fallen in love with him.*)

Another big question come May is "Who is a better fit for the Rams?". In that department I give the edge to Greg Robinson. If he puts on bulk he could be a great replacement for Rodger Saffold if he walks in Free Agency. He also could have greater value come draft day since he could possibly fall into the second round.

Other Players to Watch Tonight:

Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State - This one is pretty obvious, This Heisman winner is a special talent at the position.

Bryan Stork, OC, Florida State - I've got him ranked as my #2 center. Good build and football IQ. Makes very good reads at the line.

Tre Jackson, OG, Florida State - A good guard, he sometimes lacks tenacity and awareness. Looks for him to be an early day 3 guy in May, at most a late Day 2.

Kelvin Benjamin - A big receiver that's built like a tight end. Has showcased some impressive jump ball skills in the past, I would love to see him in horns next year.

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