SideLion Report continues to analyze the newest members of the Detroit Lions roster as we take a closer look at seventh round selection, Corey Robinson.
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Certainly the Lions have done a lot to strengthen their offensive line this offseason, particularly along the interior. But should they be confident with the status at right tackle? Let’s take inventory. 2013 undrafted free agent LaAdrian Waddle, who took over the starting right tackle position midway through his rookie season, played in 12 games with eight starts. The former Red Raider did more than hold his own, finishing with a 5.5 rating from Pro Football Focus on his 553 snaps. Waddle entered 2014 as the starter, but missed six games due to calf and knee issues, and finished the season on injured reserve with a partially torn ACL.
When Waddle went down to injury, promising UDFA rookie, Cornelius Lucas stepped in, but wasn’t ready for prime time. Lucas finished the season with a -9.0 rating from Pro Football Focus on 526 snaps, most of which came while filling in for Waddle.
Wisely not wanting to hang all their hopes for the position on a starter coming off knee surgery and a raw, second year player, the Lions took a chance on another mammoth right tackle prospect who has upside with their selection of South Carolina’s Corey Robinson in the seventh round.
After watching three games (Miami, Texas A&M, Missouri), I gave Corey Robinson a 6.3 D (fourth/fifth round developmental) grade.
Here’s an excerpt from his scouting report:
Corey Robinson – OT – South Carolina
Height: 6070 Weight: 324 lbs. Arm Length: 35 5/8
Prototypical height, weight and arms for the position. Uses length well to ride pass rushers around the pocket when initially beaten by speed. Possesses good upper body strength to latch on and steer or mirror when he plays with sound technique. Surprisingly easy mover for his size when releasing to the second level. Adjusts well to stunts and loops. Can create movement off the LOS vs. head-up defender when run-blocking.
Lacks the foot-quicks to slide out and consistently shut down the speed rush. Opens up the gate early to compensate, lunges and struggles re-directing vs. inside counter. Gets lazy with his hands and allows them to get outside the numbers too often. Needs to more consistently shoot/punch. Average burst/explosiveness to recover when beaten. Sets too high and doesn’t maximize his size when anchoring. Motor runs hot and cold – not a consistent finisher.
A three-year starter at left tackle for the Gamecocks, Robinson will be a right tackle only at the next level. Massive with decent mobility for his dimensions, Robinson simply lacks the agility and explosiveness to shut down the speedy edge rushers routinely found on the blind side. Still, his combination of rare size, adequate athleticism and starting experience in a power conference make him an intriguing developmental prospect who can compete early for a back-up position. Many of his flaws can be corrected through proper coaching; whether or not he can start down the line depends on his level of commitment to excellence.