Former NFL defensive end Stephen White revisited his rookie profiles from draft season at SB Nation on Tuesday, assessing where some of the biggest names among this year's rookies stand after one preseason game. There are three players from the St. Louis Rams on his list, so let's check in with what he had to say about them.
Temper your expectations, for now anyway. The first-year offensive lineman is still catching up to the way things are done in the NFL. Here's White's take:
Robinson wasn't dominant against the Saints, and it appears that it will take him a little time to catch up to the speed of the game. Right now, he is working at guard and offensive tackle. That may be slowing his progress a little bit because he hasn't settled into one spot yet. He's still going to be a monster in my opinion, but for now, it looks like he is going to need quite a bit of work to feel comfortable enough to come off and mash people like he is used to doing.
The shifting positions part is interesting. It's good over the long run, but in the short-term, you wonder if that won't compromise the offensive line early in the season as Robinson gets up to speed with the pro game. But that's relatively minor. Most linemen take some time to adjust. Robinson will get there, and when he does ... watch out.
He is so damn quick off the ball and good with his hands. There were a few plays against the Saints where it looked like he was unblocked, but on second glance, you could see that he just beat the block right away.
Oh man, just thinking about what Aaron Donald can do with that group gives me the willies, in a good way.
I thought the Rams ended up getting a steal when they drafted Sam in the seventh round. Every team needs guys who can rush the passer, and that's something Sam had a knack for in college. ... His performance against the New Orleans Saints showed that he can play in this league. He was able to turn the corner several times on pass rush, and he made a pretty good tackle on a run stunt where he showed his quickness and change of direction.
None of this means he will ever start a football game or be a star player. What it does mean is he didn't look out of place ...
It's fair to wonder whether or not Sam will make the final cut to the 53-man roster. He might unless he can be a special teams standout early on. The Rams could stash him on the practice squad, but he's not going to last there, not after sending a clear message that looks like a guy who can give a roster a little pass rushing depth.
All three of these guys are sitting on a world of potential. We still have three games left in the preseason, not to mention the year ahead, but the early returns on the Rams 2014 draft class are looking good.