Auburn University’s Greg Robinson began this week in consideration as one of the top tackles in the 2014 NFL Draft. Following the show he put on during the testing portion of the NFL Combine on Saturday, he may have moved himself right to the top of the pack.
Robinson turned in an official 40-yard time of 4.92 seconds, tied for best among offensive linemen on the day. He posted a 10-yard split, which is the more pertinent figure among linemen, of 1.68 seconds. At 6’5” and 332 pounds, Robinson offers a unique combination of size and athleticism to whichever NFL team chooses select him in May.
Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher has yet to select a first-round offensive lineman in his head coaching career, but Robinson gave the Rams and every other NFL team plenty of reason to consider investing in one early this time around. Should the right candidate be available, Fisher emphasized that the Rams have no qualms over selecting a first-round lineman this spring, and Robinson’s junior season at Auburn caught the eye of the Rams’ head coach.
“Gus (Malzahn)’s offense is unique, and it’s very difficult to defend,” Fisher said. With the turnover they had from last year to this year, obviously they were doing some good things, and he (Robinson) was a big part of it. He was a dominating player at that level.”
Robinson was the linchpin of Auburn’s, fast-paced, run-heavy offense in 2013, which included a trip to the BCS Championship game. While speaking to media Friday, Robinson made clear his preference for a run-based offensive scheme. That trait would happen to match well with the Rams’ offensive attack last year behind running back
“I excel at run blocking because I work on it a lot,” Robinson said. In run blocking, you can really be as aggressive as you want. You can come off the ball how you want and as long as you’ve got yourself in a good position, you’re ready to block.”
As impressive as Robinson was on the field Saturday, his performance was prefaced a bit by his press conference on Friday, when he said he expected the physical aspect of the Combine to be likely the easiest of his evaluations.
“We’re so prepared, we’ve been training for six to eight weeks,” Robinson said. “This is something we’ve been preparing for, so it is sort of easy.”
Robinson’s performance immediately elicited strong positive reactions from media types, though none of it came as a surprise to those most familiar with the left tackle, including college teammate and chief benefactor of Robinson’s efforts, running back Tre Mason.
“Since freshman year, I knew Greg was going to be something special,” Mason said.
Following Saturday’s showing, a number of NFL teams likely agree.