With a new coaching regime in place for the Los Angeles Rams, is 2017 going to be the last chance for offensive tackle Greg Robinson?
The Los Angeles Rams (then St. Louis) owned the No. 2 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft thanks to the trade with the Washington Redskins that allowed the latter to move up for Robert Griffin III in 2012. After Jadeveon Clowney went off the board with the first-overall pick, the Rams turned their sights to the offensive line. With that selection, they chose offensive tackle Greg Robinson out of Auburn.
Before anything else is said, it’s important to note that Robinson was the correct pick. The Rams offensive line was in dire need to protect Sam Bradford and Robinson was far and away the best rated player at tackle. Yes, players like Taylor Lewan and even Jake Matthews taken after him have performed better. That’s hindsight, which is 20/20 as we know. At the time, it was the pick they needed to make.
With that said, Robinson has been horrible. Whether he’s been at left tackle, right tackle or even spending time at guard, his performance has been massively disappointing. So much so that, with another big investment at quarterback in Jared Goff, the Rams are likely looking to address their offensive line in the 2017 NFL Draft.
As for Robinson, he’s going to get at least one more shot to prove himself. According to a report from Conor Orr of NFL.com on Monday, Robinson will get his shot at right tackle coming into 2017, likely competing against a rookie with veteran free-agent addition Andrew Whitworth locking down the left side now.
However, this shot at right tackle could very well be the end of the line for Robinson. And while you may think that the implication is that he will have the 2017 season to prove himself, his need to step up may be even more pressing than that.
No, the Rams aren’t going to cut Robinson — mostly because it simply doesn’t making any sense. Per Over The Cap, doing so would simply put nearly $7 million of dead cap on the books while not saving them any money. That’s not a prudent move for the front office to make. However, the team could certainly look to trade him if there’s anyone out there willing to take a flyer on the once highly touted lineman.
More pressingly, though, the onus is on Robinson throughout offseason workouts and training camp to start to realize his potential. Though he’s failed to perform and failed to develop, the traits that made him the No. 2 pick still exist. He’s still 6-5 and 330+ pounds with impressive agility for a man that size. It’s been merely a matter of technique, refinement and, frankly, effort.
Robinson simply must be diligent in trying to address those flaws this offseason. Again, he’ll have a shot at the right tackle spot on the line. However, there is a new coaching regime in Los Angeles with the arrival of Sean McVay. And with that comes no ties or commitment to Robinson moving forward. So if he doesn’t improve, his days in the City of Angels could be limited moving forward. And, unfortunately, his NFL future as a whole could also be in jeopardy.