The Los Angeles Rams (then St. Louis) selected Auburn left tackle Greg Robinson with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. In dire need of a blindside protector, taking the road grader seemed as sound a selection as any.
But it simply hasn’t panned out for the Rams in his first three seasons as a pro, and the word “bust” is getting attached to G-Rob’s name far more often than he’d like.
With the exodus of Jeff Fisher and his staff brought about new hope for the Rams and their fan base. Head coach Sean McVay’s very first move in free agency - signing former Bengals’ LT Andrew Whitworth - sought to find a viable replacement for Robinson. Mission accomplished.
But, somewhat surprisingly, the Rams did nothing else in free agency or the draft to bolster an offensive line bunch considered one of the league’s worst in 2016. Post-draft we were informed that Rams’ new offensive line coach, Aaron Kromer, aimed to work with the current crop of lineman, given their youth. It proved an unselfish move that allowed the Rams to address other areas of need — whether it pays off remains to be seen.
As for Robinson, he was immediately informed that he’d need to carve out a new role in 2017. With Whitworth inked in at left tackle, Robinson and Rob Havenstein would spend this offseason battling for the starting spots at right guard and right tackle.
But before we can even flip our calendars to June, it appears that Robinson has already coughed up his privilege to operate with the team’s starters.
Oh, and Jamon Brown got the first-team reps at right tackle today. Greg Robinson on second team.— Rich Hammond (@Rich_Hammond) May 30, 2017
The plan, early on it seemed, was that Havenstein would move inside and Robinson would kick to right tackle. Just over a week into their offseason program, G-Rob is now watching the starters from the sideline.
One has to wonder what caused the move. The rationale certainly hasn’t been given to the media, at least at this point, but it’s fair to assume that if Robinson has been making the mental mistakes we’ve seen in previous years, the staff may have already made up their mind as to his status with the team.
Maybe the coaching staff is sending a message. Maybe it’s something more. The shuffling of the offensive line is, and has been, a top storyline to monitor for the Rams this summer. But given Robinson’s early demotion to backup status, it may not be too early to start contemplating if Robinson’s employment with the Rams - not his potential starting role - is really what is worth monitoring.