Offseason Additions: Greg Robinson

2014 NFL Draft

Well Rams fans, after about a week off, I am back at it again breaking down the addition of Rams first round pick Greg Robinson.

The Rams selected Robinson with the number 2 overall pick this past spring after a standout redshirt sophomore season at Auburn University, where he helped lead the Tigers to an SEC Championship and a spot in the BCS National Championship game.

Robinson put up some very impressive numbers at the NFL combine as he ranked 2nd among offensive linemen in the 40 yard dash, 7th in bench press, and 3rd in broad jump (his full combine results and scouting report and be found at http://www.nfl.com/combine/profiles/Greg-Robinson?id=2543458 .

I will be the first to admit that I was very disappointed with this pick when it was made. I had high hopes going into the draft and Robinson wasn’t the flashy pick that I was hoping for, like Watkins or Clowney. But the more time that I have had to think about it, Robinson was the right choice.

With an offensive line that already featured Jake Long, Rodger Saffold, and Joe Barksdale (all of whom have the potential to be starters in this league), the addition Robinson gives the offensive line the potential to be dominant. The NFC West is a division that will be won in the trenches, and the Rams are prepared for that. Robinson is expected to be the everyday left guard but is also a very good insurance policy if Jake Long is not ready to play week 1 or is bitten by the injury bug again.

There hasn’t been much talk coming out of camp about how Robinson has faired, but it seems he may be having trouble adjusting to life in the NFL. Don’t panic, there is always a leaning curve when a player enters the league and you should expect Robinson is no exception, especially while working at multiple positions.

Robinson has the potential to be one of the greatest left tackles in the league for many years to come but is still a raw product at this point so I am forced to give this pick a B+. Robinson has all of the physical tools and makeup to be great left tackle in the NFL, but a little more polish would be nice, especially from a guy taken with the number two pick. In my opinion, when a player is drafted that highly, you want someone who is a little more NFL ready. Robinson has shown that he is a great run blocker. His draft stock stemmed from how dominant he was in Auburn’s run happy offense. Pass protection is where Robinson focus on improvement needs to be. Left tackle is a pass protecting position in the NFL, and right now Robinson fits more in the mold of the mauling right tackle, or even guard. That is my only rationalization for not giving this pick an A rating. I firmly believe the Rams possess the right coaching to develop Robinson into a household name among NFL fans. Personally, I can’t wait to see how this offensive line comes together in 2014, after nearly a decade of drowning in mediocrity.

It’s not crazy, it’s sports

Eric

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Offseason Additions: Gregg Williams

Here we go again Rams fans. Training camps are under way and the start of the season is right around the corner. A lot has happened since the end of last season and many more roster decisions are still to come. Over the next few weeks I will be breaking down the moves we have already made as well as moves as they happen.

To start things off with a bang I am going to break down the addition of Gregg Williams, the new Rams defensive coordinator.

Credit: StLouisRams.com

Credit: StLouisRams.com

This isn’t Williams’s first stint in St. Louis. He was signed as the Rams defensive coordinator before the 2012 season, but was suspended indefinitely before the start of the season due to his involvement in a bounty scandal while he was coaching for the New Orleans Saints (which you can read more about here http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/7718136/sean-payton-new-orleans-saints-banned-one-year-bounties )

This looks like a match made in heaven. Williams’s defenses are known for putting pressure on opposing team’s quarterbacks and the Rams were ranked 3rd in the NFL last season at getting to other teams QBs. This year’s team has the potential to be even better without the addition of Williams. His blitz heavy scheme is designed to give defensive linemen one on one match-ups and I would like to wish good luck to anyone who plans on blocking last year’s NFL Defensive Player of the Year, Robert Quinn. Quinn is unblockable in one on one matchups let alone the rest of our defensive line which is widely considered as the best in the league.

In order for teams to be successful under Williams’ defensive scheme they need to have linebackers that are fast, athletic, and that have high football IQs, it’s a good thing that the rams have a pair of them. James Laurinaitis might not be the most athletic player on our defense but he more than makes up for it with his preparation which allows him to seemingly always be in the right place at the right time come game day. Then we have Alec Ogletree, who had an outstanding rookie season last year. Ogletree is an extremely athletic linebacker who has the ability to roam all over the field to make plays. His athleticism makes him a huge asset to this defense as he has the ability to be a force blitzing the quarterback. Tree can also match one on one with other team’s tight ends, a valuable asset for a linebacker. The point I am trying to make here is that usually when a team brings in a new coordinator, it takes a couple of years for that coordinator to get players that fit the type of scheme they are trying to run, but in the case of Williams and the Rams, those players are already in place.

I have to grade the addition of Gregg Williams as an A++. This guy knows how to coach defenses and has turned some really bad defenses into really good ones. This Rams team already had the potential to be one of the best in the league and adding Williams should help them live up to that potential. The hype around this Rams defense is higher than any other in recent memory and myself, as well as every other Rams fan out there, can’t wait to see how good this defense really is.

It’s not crazy, it’s sports

Eric