Posted: 8:33 am Thursday, January 9th, 2014
By D. Orlando Ledbetter
The news of Auburn left tackle Greg Robinson entering the draft should have been cheered at the Falcons nerve center in Flowery Branch.
Also, the news of Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel could be good news, too. If one of the QB-needy teams in front of the Falcons (Texas, Jacksonville or Cleveland) fall in love with Manziel, a good player could get pushed down to the Falcons at No. 6.
Robinson, a massive 6-foot-5, 320-pounder, declared on Tuesday. Manziel on Wednesday. A total of 80 underclassmen have already declared for the draft, according to Gil Brandt over at NFL.com. Last season, there were 73.
Robinson is a top 10 talent and may be the second-rated tackle behind Texas A&M’s Jake Matthews.
“Greg Robinson, a third-year sophomore left tackle at Auburn, has done a spectacular job,” ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. said on a recent teleconference. “I love the way he goes out and just takes pride in his work. He’s a mature kid and professional in terms of his approach and his demeanor. He just has great talent at 6-5, 320. He’s light on his feet. He has everything that you want.”
Kiper has Robinson rated as the ninth best player on his Big Board.
Matthews is considered the top rated tackle. Kiper has Michigan tackle Taylor Lewan rated as the 20th player overall and third tackle.
Alabama tackle Cyrus Kouandjio is 22nd overall and the fourth tackle.
“Jake Matthews is right there at the top,” Kiper said. “Jake Matthews from Texas A&M was a right tackle turned left tackle. He’s done an outstanding job. He’s a guy that’s right there and will be right there all along.”
In addition to Lewan, Iowa tackle Brandon Scherfff is highly rated Big 10 tackle.
“He’s a fourth-year junior,” Kiper said. “He’s a former quarterback and punter. He’s fun to watch because he just dominates as a run blocker. He’s got good feet. He’s light on his feet. He’s had a couple of mistakes in protection.”
There could be six or seven tackles go in the first round.
“There are a lot of left tackles and you can see right now, if some of the juniors that I mentioned come out, some of the underclassmen, you’re looking at four or five,” Kiper said. “You could have seven offensive tackles go in the first round. (La’el) Collins from LSU is another underclassman with a pretty good grade.”
DRAFT ORDER AFTER WILDCARD ROUND OF THE PLAYOFFS
1. Houston Texans 2-14 .559
2. St. Louis Rams## 7-9 .551
3. Jacksonville Jaguars 4-12 .504
4. Cleveland Browns 4-12 .516
5. Oakland Raiders 4-12 .523
6. Atlanta Falcons 4-12 .553
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 4-12 .574
8. Minnesota Vikings 5-10-1 .512
9. Buffalo Bills 6-10 .520
10. Detroit Lions 7-9 .457
11. Tennessee Titans 7-9 .504
12. New York Giants 7-9 .520
13. St. Louis Rams 7-9 .551
14. Chicago Bears 8-8 .465
15. Pittsburgh Steelers 8-8 .469
t-16. Baltimore Ravens@ 8-8 .484
t-16. Dallas Cowboys@ 8-8 .484
18. New York Jets 8-8 .488
19. Miami Dolphins 8-8 .523
20. Arizona Cardinals 10-6 .531
21. Green Bay Packers 8-7-1 .453
22. Philadelphia Eagles 10-6 .453
23. Kansas City Chiefs 11-5 .445
24. Cincinnati Bengals 11-5 .480
## — From Washington in RGIII trade.
@– Dallas and Baltimore will have a coin flip.