Editors of the sites under the FanSided NFL umbrella recently completed a mock draft in which we each made the selection for the team we follow. With four quarterbacks selected in the first eight picks, and our friends at our St. Louis Rams site selecting Khalil Mack, Auburn offensive tackle Greg Robinson was staring at me when it was my turn to pick for the Detroit Lions. It’s not a scenario that has played out in other mock drafts I’ve seen but with the Falcons selecting Jake Matthews as the draft’s first tackle, Robinson fell to the tenth pick.
I submitted the following comment with my pick:
Offensive tackle isn’t the Lions’ biggest need but the opportunity to add an elite prospect is too much to pass up with the tenth pick. Riley Reiff did a good job in his first full year protecting Matthew Stafford‘s blind side but he doesn’t have Robinson’s ceiling and could move inside in the future to replace Rob Sims. LaAdrian Waddle was a pleasant suprise as an undrafted rookie but Robinson can start at right tackle as a rookie while Waddle becomes solid depth before some reshuffling takes place in 2015.
If the Lions do end up taking Robinson, or another offensive tackle, it will be met with some puzzled faces in Detroit. That being said, I feel such an opportunity is in the team’s best interest if one of the elite tackle prospects is available. Are there bigger needs for 2014? Yes, I’m fully willing to admit that. But there are still a bunch of picks remaining to fill out the draft class.
If we’re being honest, does Riley Reiff have the makings of an elite left tackle? He can be “good” or “solid” but that is what Jeff Backus was for most of his career and it wasn’t enough for most Lions fans. Some draft analysts though Reiff might eventually move inside to guard and with Rob Sims entering a contract year, the Lions gain flexibility by having a potential in-house replacement
Drafting a tackle likely means LaAdrian Waddle shifts to the bench in 2014. He had some great moments as an undrafted rookie last year but is he a proven commodity or just pleasant surprise? Having Waddle serve as solid depth while continuing his development doesn’t strike me as a bad thing.
As this mock played out, I actually had the choice of Robinson and Taylor Lewan at tackle. The Lions might consider that a dream scenario if what Jason La Canfora is hearing is true.
Continue to hear Lions and Bills exploring options to move up to get a top 3 OL if it makes sense. Otherwise, 1 of the two could take Ebron
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) May 7, 2014