I have defended Greg Robinson to our readers since Rams LT Greg Robinson was drafted 2nd overall in the 2014 NFL Draft in a class that included the following players:
- WR Odell Beckham, Jr.
- WR Mike Evans
- WR Sammy Watkins
- DE/OLB Khalil Mack
- OT Jake Matthews
- OT Taylor Lewan
- G Zack Martin
- WR Brandin Cooks
- WR Jordan Matthews
- WR Kelvin Benjamin
I’ll stop there, because it’s clear that any of those players were available at the #2 pick. The Rams did strike gold with the 13th overall pick, DT Aaron Donald, but it’s painful to look at what could have been.
After the 2015 season, Robinson finished with one of the worst PFF ratings (I know, they are subjective but usually fair when it comes to OL play), grading negatively in almost every game:
#Rams LT Greg Robinson is PFF's worst OT and 3rd-worst graded player in the entire NFL: pic.twitter.com/DbYSuEbIKL— Nick Mensio (@NickMensio) December 29, 2015
Former Pro Bowl center LeCharles Bentley had his eye on Robinson, and wanted to help fix him:
A lot of questions surrounding Rams LT, Greg Robinson's development. Here's a Block Report on him. https://t.co/nr9dPFCFsd— LeCharles Bentley (@OLineWorld65) December 7, 2015
Much to the excitement of Rams fans, OL scout Brandon Thorn and SBNation’s Stephen White, Robinson joined forces with Bentley this offseason and spent time at his training center:
Bend don't break..... #MentalShift #OLPBuiltToDominate™ @G_ROB73 pic.twitter.com/P3xxJVLEKD— LeCharles Bentley (@OLineWorld65) April 2, 2016
Greg Robinson is working with @OLineWorld65 this offseason potential is scary with him.— Brandon Thorn (@VeteranScout) March 17, 2016
So, you can understand why I was optimistic that maybe Robinson had turned a corner, and would finally realize his vast potential.
Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case so far, as Robinson had one of his worst games yesterday against the Cardinals:
Robinson penalties negated the below incredible sandlot play by Keenum, and a long Keenum run to set up 1st and goal:
"Robinson’s overall grade ranks dead last out of 72 qualifying offensive tackles," per @PFF— Joe Curley (@vcsjoecurley) October 3, 2016
Year three is the year many offensive tackles break out, but perhaps Robinson’s future isn’t at offensive tackle after all. He has incredible power and athleticism, but appears to be lost at times during pass protection and in zone blocking.
Robinson came out of Auburn with little to no pass blocking technique, and pretty much was told to plant whoever was in front of him on run plays. After three offseasons, he’s still looking for consistency. Maybe it’s time to start thinking about the left tackle position again, and see if Robinson can help on the interior of the OL where he has less ground to cover and can use his strength in a phone booth.
But, who would take over the left tackle position? And would it happen in season? My gut says no, that the Rams are going to let Robinson finish the year at LT and hope that he can improve his play incrementally. With franchise rookie QB Jared Goff watching from the bench, and not much depth at OT, this is probably the only move.
One the Rams shouldn’t have to make.