I think it's safe to say that seeing Greg Robinson's name listed with the backup offensive linemen is a bit of a disappointment. It's not a surprise at this point, given how the preseason played out for the rookie, but the news still does come as a pretty big shock. It's not very often that the second overall pick in the NFL Draft starts his season on the bench.
The Rams have had the second pick in the draft three times since 2000, including back-to-back selections in 2008 and 2009. Those drafts produced Chris Long and Jason Smith, respectively. Long and Smith's careers ended up going in vastly different directions, but they both were in the starting lineup for the season opener in their rookie years.
The last No. 2 pick who wasn't part of the starting lineup in Week 1 of his rookie year was Calvin Johnson in 2007. However, he played a big role in his first game, catching four of five passes for 70 yards and a touchdown. Reggie Bush was in a similar situation with the Saints the year before. Neither player was a starter right out of the gate, but both played a big role in the offense.
Jaguars offensive tackle Luke Joeckel, last year's No. 2 pick, was in the lineup to start the season. Of course, he was injured and finished the year on injured reserve. In fact, Robinson will be the first offensive lineman picked second overall since 2000 who will not be the in starting lineup for Week 1 of his rookie season.
In the end, this may be find for Robinson. It seems better to let him keep on learning rather than throw him out there to get pounded into the dirt. The Rams offense could end up paying a short-term price for it, for not having the guard they thought they would have out there. Davin Joseph looks close to done. And Jake Long's performance in the preseason was literally disastrous.
Worse, it puts the Rams behind the curve a little. This team doesn't have the luxury of leaving a guy with this much talent on the bench. They landed a ton of draft picks in the 2012 trade, but the roster still has a lot of question marks from position group to position group, with one big exception on the defensive line.
Robinson just needs some time to figure it out. The question is, how much time do the Rams have to let him catch up?