Posted: 7:47 pm Thursday, May 1st, 2014

Falcons appear to be focusing on Greg Robinson, tackle position 

By D. Orlando Ledbetter

With a week away, it appears the Falcons have zeroed in on the offensive tackles.

The best of the bunch is Auburn’s Greg Robinson and there an “league sourced” report that they are considering trading up to the top spot for Robinson and not South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney.

That move makes sense to several draft analysts.

Robinson is the most dominating blocker in the draft over the last decade, according to ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay.

Michigan’s Taylor Lewan and Texas A&M’s Jake Matthews are the other top rated tackles.

Here’s what McShay and Mel Kiper Jr. are saying about the tackles:

TODD MCSHAY ON GREG ROBINSON: “Greg Robinson holds too much. He’s got to work on his hand placement. There are certainly some things that he’s going to have to improve on in terms of his technique and his awareness in pass protection. But everything that you need to have in terms of (skill set), he has. I’ve seen him re-direct as quickly as you’re going to see an offensive tackle his size. … I’ve seen the awareness and just the natural instincts in picking up the late twists, X stunts and different things that are hard to pick up. I’ve seen him do it. There are flashes of Greg Robinson doing everything that you need to do. It’s just that (he’s) got to get better with his hands. He’s kind of all over the place. He certainly can improve. He’s a hard worker and he’s a good kid….He’s a young man who will continue to improve and develop. But you just don’t find many guys like this. That’s the whole deal for me. It’s just one of (the things) were you turn to your offensive line coach and you say ‘figure it out.’ He’s 6-5, 332 pounds and he runs a 4.92, 40-yard dash, who cares, which I get, but it’s still rare. He’s got 35-inch arms and it’s a cab ride to get around him. He’s got big hands. He moves well. He gets downfield as a blocker. I think the most impressive part of his game is his explosive power. After watching maybe 60 or 70 offensive linemen this year in the draft, you go back and watch some of the top guys again to kind of keep them fresh in your mind, there’s nobody in this draft or last year’s draft . . . I can say in the last at least eight drafts that has the power that he has. He’s the most dominant point-of-attack player on the offensive line that I’ve ever evaluated (going back to 2002). . . .I’d take the gamble. I think he’s worth the risk. I think you have to go Robinson. It’s a mistake if you don’t take a chance on him.”

McSHAY ON JAKE MATTHEWS: “He’s not a finished product, but he’s pretty close to what is as finished as you’ll see coming out of college. With his background, the experience that he has and playing at right tackle and making the seamless transition to left tackle, the technique work and all of the things that he does, he’s ready to play. He may never get a whole lot better and he’s not an elite athlete, but he’s going to be . . . If I had to bet on one guy, he would be the real short list of guys that I’m betting are going to be really good starters for a long time in the league.”

MEL KIPER JR. ON TAYLOR LEWAN: ON LEWAN: “I’m doing a new top 100 for next week. I’m working on now and he may end up third or fourth on the big board. His pass protection skills have improved to the point this year where you weren’t beating him. He battles. He fights. He has great feet, great balance. He has a great punch. He can get after you as a run blocker. To me, Lewan is a nasty, tough street fighter, he’s a battler.”

FALCONS’ DRAFT BOARD

–A look at Louisville LB Preston Brown

–A look at Iowa TE C.J. Fiedorowicz

–A look at Texas OLB/DE Jackson Jeffcoat

–A look at West Virginia RB Charles Sims

–A look at Auburn DE Dee Ford

–A look at Brigham Young OLB Kyle Van Noy

–A look at Arizona State OLB/DE Carl Bradford

--A look at Missouri DE Kony Ealy

–A look at Texas Tech TE Jace Amaro

–A look at Alabama S Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix

–A look at Minnesota DT Ra’Shede Hageman

–A look at Boston College QB Chase Rettig

–A look at Oregon RB De’Anthony Thomas

–A look at Central Florida RB Storm Johnson

–A look at USC TE Xavier Grimble

–A look at Ohio State OT Jack Mewhort

–A look at Louisville S Calvin Prior

–A look at Ohio State LB Ryan Shazier

–BLOG: A list of the confirmed players at LOCALS DAY on Tuesday

–BLOG: FSU linebacker Telvin Smith visited the Falcons on Monday

–Falcons check out Towson State RB Terrance West, CB Jordan Love (UGA transfer)

–MyAJC ($): Eye-test vs. Tape-measure test: Falcons must trust their eyes during draft prep. 

FALCONS REWIND

–Blog: Falcons are not switching to a 3-4 defense front, they’ve been using it for past 2 seasons

–Blog: New jersey numbers picked; Devin Hester to wear No. 17

–Blog: Falcons awarded three compensatory picks

–Blog: Lamar Holmes was a performance-pay leader in 2014

–Blog: Umenyiora will return in 2014, no restructured deal

–Blog: Falcons release FB Bradie Ewing

–Blog: Falcons WR Roddy White owes Mercer fan some prime tickets

–Blog: Falcons owner Arthur Blank engaged to be married.  

–Blog: Former Falcons WR Kevin Cone to work out for Carolina

–Blog: Falcons re-sign defensive tackle Peria Jerry

–Blog: NFL to move forward on cleaning up ‘on-field’ language

MEET THE FREE AGENT SIGNEES

–MyAJC ($): Falcons spend $80 million in free agency to buy toughness

–Las Vegas doesn’t like Falcons’ free agency moves

–Falcons Free Agency Tracker — Falcons have committed $107.36 million to salaries 

–Q&A with PR/KR/WR Devin Hester

–Q&A with Falcons right guard Jon Asamoah

–Q&A with Falcons defensive end Tyson Jackson

–Q&A with Falcons defensive tackle Paul Soliai

2014 NFL DRAFT CENTRAL

–Mock Draft 1.0: Falcons trade out of sixth spot to land Pryor and Ebron

–12 teams who could draft UGA star Aaron Murray

–Louisville LB Preston Brown to work out for the Falcons

–Louisville DE Marcus Smith to work out for the Falcons

–MyAJC ($): OT Greg Robinson, DE Dee Ford shine at Auburn’s Pro Day

–VIDEO: Tackle Greg Robinson on Auburn’s Pro Day

–VIDEO: Running back Tra Mason on Auburn’s Pro Day

–Blog & VIDEO: Clemson QB Tajh Boyd has stellar Pro Day showing

–VIDEO: Clemson WR Sammy Watkins on his Pro Day

 

67 comments
ATL89
ATL89

My draft board order for the our 6th pick would be Clowney, Robinson, Lewan, Matthews, and then Mack. 

Logical One
Logical One

Why would the Falcons be trading up to no. 1 pick to get him when they could trade for a later pick and get him by giving up less? Makes no sense. Love the possibility but not at no. 1. 

RBI
RBI

Good smoke screen.  A whole lotta liars poker is being played, especially now.

traderjoe9
traderjoe9

If the Falcons had a choice between Clowney and Robinson, I'd go with Robinson. We need a great OT as much as a great DE. Robinson wins the character award hands down.

Falcons63
Falcons63

I may well be wrong, but I would fall out of my chair in disbelief if this were to actually happen.  Don't know what league source Ledbetter is citing but I would bet the house this is BS.... My personal opinion?  If Khalil Mack falls to 6 you take him.  If not... get out of the 6 spot. 

RangeRover
RangeRover

Odd.

You sign Baker to an absurd extension at your LT, he absolutely cannot play any other OL position (RT is out of the question...you need brute strength  and run blocking there, along with the guard positions) and you're looking to open the bank to replace him?

I'm not at all in disagreement with him being replaced but what a grossly expensive and irresponible way to do so!

TG88
TG88

HELP HELP HELP Trading up for a OT that cant pass Block?? WTF?? TD needs to go on Vacation next week Hopefully TD can visit Iran. Hope he likes it!!

Eric1961
Eric1961

Block. Block. Block and block some more. We need a big OT. Tired of falling short on third and fourth and one.

MoCutter
MoCutter

I like Robinson but moving up just doesn't sound like a good idea. We have to have a day 1 starting FS out of this draft so a 2nd or 3rd round pick needs to be devoted to the FS position. We need to upgrade the OLB position with someone with pass rush skills as well as decent cover skills. Bartu is a good player but he is not someone that is going to be able to handle Pro Bowl caliber players at all...same with Worrilow. I like Worrilow but we have to be careful that we don't rely/over project too much on a kid that is already being asked to do more than he is able to handle. Stay at 6 and take 1 of the top 3 OT's then fill your need at FS with maybe a Jimmie Ward in the 2nd then maybe move up a little for a guy like OLB Marcus Smith in the 3rd. We cant give up a 2nd or a 3rd in this draft IMO. I would give up a 4th with my 3rd to move up a bit for Smith but we have to hit on FS and unless Lamar Holmes has evolved into something special over the offseason or if Baker has even evolved into a guy that stays healthy then this team has to take a day 1 starting OT. Needing a day 1 OT and a day 1 FS AND needing real help at linebacker takes this team out of any trade up talk in the 1st round in my opinion. The problem we have is our GM tends to miss evaluate or poorly project his teams draft picks. Couple GM flaws with a HC that can be severely obtuse in his approach and you have the current situation. At the end of the day the real question that Falcons fans are going to have to address is whether or not Michael Smith is truly an asset at the head coaching position. I don't think he is.

AlternativeDawg
AlternativeDawg

Has there ever been a more athletic lineman with such girth and strength. Usually linemen are rangy and athletic or big and powerful. The guy is both.

twentysixpointtwo
twentysixpointtwo

I just see this draft as so very simple.....

1). Lock Dimtroff out of the draft room for the three days of the draft

2) Draft one of the Offensive Tackles of the big three ( Robinson, Lewan, Matthews) with the # 6 pick

3). Draft choice of defensive end or outside linebacker for pass rush help. Mock drafts I have seen

have 4 to 6 rated as low first round or high second round grades.

4). Fill needs.....look hard at safety.

DarlaLewis
DarlaLewis

With Sam Baker being injury prone, I turn Robinson over to Mike Tice and let the magic began. I like to see Steven Jackson and company run  behind this massive man.

Esquire
Esquire

I'd like to see Robinson a Falcon.......

FootWright
FootWright

You can't pass on Greg Robinson he's too powerful and we need a OL.

SausageKingofChicago
SausageKingofChicago

Falcons should take one of the three OTs at 6, then trade up into the high 20s with the second pick to get DE Dee Ford from Auburn. Then life is good!

thebucket
thebucket

“Greg Robinson holds too much. He’s got to work on his hand placement." (McShay) That's what the entire SEC was screaming all last year!!!!!!!

Old_Man
Old_Man

I still like my idea to do a "three-way."  ATL, Titans, and Dolphins, we give up our #6 and 2nd round pick, and end up with #11 and #19.  Get Lewan and then Barr, Shazier, or Pryor at 19.

Another idea: drafting up to 4 would only cost a single 3rd rounder.  Some people have us getting Khalil Mack at that spot.  I like him much better than Clowney anyway.  Still wonder why we don't go to a 3-4, use our OLBs as our primary edge rushers.

AlwaysReady
AlwaysReady

Just don't see Greg Robinson having an "explosive impact" like Jadeveon Clowney.

Gman84
Gman84

Get whoever you can get but please, please just spend ONE draft choice to do so.

Seems ridiculous to think you can't get a good lineman at #6....SINCE WHEN??? It's not like we are desperate for the best QB in the draft.

Seriously Falcons, this is the one chance to somehow make last year's disaster worth something. Try not to screw it up!

JLTee
JLTee

One more year and no upgrade to the pass rush

GSU93
GSU93

BTW, if the Falcons didn't trade up for Julio they could have stayed put and drafted Torrey Smith.  After 3 years, Smih has never missed a single game.  He has more yards and TD's than Julio as well...just saying.

GSU93
GSU93

I just think it'sstupid for the Falcons to even consider trading up!  They need more picks, not less.  They have so many holes b/c they have traded away so many picks the past few years. They are NOT one player away from being a contender. Look at their roster on D.  Mostly guys no one has ever heard of! The Julio deal set this franchise back and they have to rebuild from that IMO. They had 2 UNDRAFTED rookies starting at LB last year. Are you freakin kidding me??

JaySly
JaySly

maybe thomas can trade 5 picks to get another receiver!  you can never have too many!!

Flacons_go_2-14
Flacons_go_2-14

2 pass on Mansell would be the dummest thig 4 the Flacons 2 do. 

RandyFalcon
RandyFalcon

I'd love to get Robinson but I wouldn't trade all the way up to number one to get him. The price is just too high. One of the three top tackles will be there when we pick at 6. Stay put and take whats there.

RoadScholar
RoadScholar

After seeing Matt sacked over and over last year, the Falcons would be stupid not to draft a prime offensive lineman this year!

Mr_Ected
Mr_Ected

Not really feeling it for giving up so much to pick up Clowney, but at least the national media would start paying attention to this team.  There would be weekly Clowney Reports at the Deathstar, Clowney highlights, Clowney interviews, Clowney at home with the missus, Clowney clowning around, Clowney discussing religion and the meaning of life, Clowney, Clowney, Clowney.


Come to think of it, we need to trade down.

DaVoice
DaVoice

Robinson could fall to # 6. Even if not, the Birds should be able to get one of their desires by standing pat at #6. If OT is their desire of choice, they could try to move down, but probably no lower than # 8 with Minnesota. Buffalo at # 9 is looking for an OT and if one of the big 3 are

there, will take him. If the Birds are able to trade to # 8, they could get a 3 rd round pick for the exchange of moving down 2 spots and still get an OT. The Birds may have to kick back to Minn. a 5th as well to get Minn. 3rd, but it is doable if Minn. sees a QB available when Atlanta pick is up.

Old_Man
Old_Man

Tennesee 11 to ATL

ATL 6 to Tennesee

Tennesee 42 to Miami

ATL 37 to Miami

Miami 19 to ATL

Miami moves out of the first round, but points-wise, they are the winners of this deal.  By the value chart, ATL is about dead even, and Tennessee takes a little hit to move up to 6.  Pretty even points-wise all around.

We end up with 11 and 19 in the first round.  

We take Lewan and then Shazier OLB or Pryor S.

DaVoice
DaVoice

Robinson could fall to # 6. Even if not, the Birds should be able to get one of their desires by standing pat at #6. If OT is their desire of choice, they could try to move down, but probably no lower than # 8 with Minnesota. Buffalo at # 9 is looking for an OT and if one of the big 3 are there, will take him. If the Birds are able to trade to # 8, they could get a 3 rd round pick for the exchange of moving down 2 spots and still get an OT.

96JB
96JB

Lordy, please don't give up picks to draft a tackle when there are 3 or 4 available in the top 10.

BRAVES2143
BRAVES2143

"League source" my foot, this is just a bunch of bored writers making stuff up.  This draft should be over and done with by now but since the league had to push the dates back we are over saturated with new stories everyday.    

gfw
gfw

@Falcons63 Agree with what you say.  I'd just add that if Mack or Matthews is available, take whichever one you can; otherwise trade down.  (Robinson will be long gone.)  If Manziel is taken in Nos. 1-5, we get one of these two guys.  Otherwise they'll both be gone by No. 6. But what I expect is a bone-headed trade up by Dimitroff.

Esquire
Esquire

@twentysixpointtwo  


Hey Marathon, I'd sit at six and probably get one of these 3 but Robinson's probably got more quality career snaps than any of them.

AlternativeDawg
AlternativeDawg

When did he hold and not get called for it. I saw him get flagged in bcs game.

GwinnettFred
GwinnettFred

@Old_Man Moving from 6 to 4 would cost more than just an extra 3rd rounder. However, if that is all it takes, then I am on board with your line of thinking.


I really wouldn't mind sitting at #6. At WORST, we get Lewan  and don't lose any picks - we are razor thin regarding depth and need to get some kids in and 3rd rounders can certainly turn into starters, not just backups!

DexterJordan
DexterJordan

I agree with you whole heartedly!! Every draft pundit, fan and anyone else with a voice is convinced on OT for the Falcons. Sam Baker is one year removed from signing an extension which tells me the front office believes he is still servicable and oh by the way he earned the extension based on his play in 2012. Also, with the addition of Mike Tice (Zone Blocking advocate) my belief is that the zone blocking technique will be a better fit for OL Konz, Hawley, Johnson, Holmes etc. This team will never be considered a serious threat to win any championships unitl they address the pass rush!!!

oldcrackerfan
oldcrackerfan

@Gman84  

+1

Giving up picks when these "top" guys often fail to pan out is foolish.  What the Falcons need is more picks, not fewer.

RambleOn84
RambleOn84

@JLTee  Not gonna happen.  IF it does, THEN we can all be mad.

ATLfaninVA
ATLfaninVA

@GSU93  yea, b/c you could see that was going to happen. Julio is a beast. So many "fans" just have nothing better to do that whine and complain.

ForeverATL
ForeverATL

@GSU93  Those 2 undrafted LB did VERY well for being rookies. Worrilow came in an played better then the starter before him. And with the amount of experience Worrilow and Bartu have now playing so many snaps their rookie year makes me very excited to watch them this year. Personally I'm glad we got Julio. He's a top 3 WR in the league hand down... Thats the past move on man this is 2014.

Old_Man
Old_Man

@DaVoice  

Yes, I see that the three OTs are set to be gone after Buffalo picks at 9.  But all those mocks have ATL as one of those three teams picking one of the three OTs.

The Titans seems focused on defense, so one of the three OTs could fall to 11.  You would sure need to do the "math," and have assurance that one of them falls to 11.  We can agree that you have to have that locked down before making any deal.

But having both 11 and 19 sounds good.  Prolly wishful thinking.

ATLfaninVA
ATLfaninVA

@DexterJordan  you honestly think this team, as currently constructed, would compete for a championship by adding Clowney? If you do, I'm going to visit you and everyone else with this thought process in Never Never Land. Regardless of how good the defense is (his impact will not be as great as many believe on an entire defense), the offense will struggle to score when the QB has less than 2 1/2 seconds to throw and there are no holes to run through. By fixing the offense, you gain at least three possessions on offense each half. That is 18 total snaps the defense no longer has to be out there. If they draft Robinson, possibly nab Ford in the second, get best possible FS in the 3rd, then continue depth along both lines the rest of the draft. Again, this is just my opinion. If they're going to trade up, trade up to no.2 for Robinson. Trading with the Rams will not be as expensive as trading up to No.1.

JLTee
JLTee

Yep. People in this town love the team giving up 3rd and 14s