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