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Corey Robinson, the massive offensive tackle from the University of South Carolina, enters the 2015 NFL Draft after starting each of the last two seasons at left tackle or the Gamecocks. He started 9 additional games at left tackle in 2012 after switching back to the offensive side of the ball following a brief stint on defense. Physically, Robinson is simply “big.” He’s roughly 6’8” tall and almost 350 solid lbs. He’s not a fat guy and he has the kind of length needed to play offensive tackle in the NFL. His size is rare. He teeters on too tall for the position, especially for teams with an average or slightly below average-sized quarterback. Athletically, Robinson moves the way you’d expect a man of his size to. He’s not going to get to the second level and finish on a consistent basis, but he does possess surprisingly nimble feet in pass protection that he displays when mirroring the pass rusher. That said, he is such a big guy that he labors when sliding in response to a speed rusher with a good get off. In addition, he tends to be one of the last offensive linemen moving at the snap which contributes to his struggles versus speed players. His length helps him when he’s in recovery mode, but he is a bit of a liability on the edge. Similarly, he struggles to react quickly enough to inside pass rush moves predicated on a quick first step. On the flip side, Robinson is reliable pass protector versus power. His natural size and weight is a challenge for even the strongest defensive linemen. In the run game, Robinson is a strong and powerful force on the move who can create a significant jolt on contact. He has to work on sustaining blocks a bit longer, but he’s an effective guy in a power setting. His size works to his advantage to naturally seal the edge, and he’s just a hard guy to get around.
BOTTOM LINE: Corey Robinson looks the part, but his limited quickness is a real concern if he’s going to play tackle. In addition, his size might limit his ability to be kicked inside, as his height would create problems for the quarterback throwing from the pocket. At the end of the day, Robinson looks like the proverbial “right tackle only”, but that concept is somewhat dated. To play tackle in the NFL, you have to have be able to hold up against NFL speed. Robinson’s length will give him a fighter’s chance, but he shouldn’t be expected to start right away. His size and rare make-up suggests a Day 3 selection with some developmental upside.
GRADE: 5.3 (7th Round)
-Submitted by Bryan Perez (@FirstRoundGrade)