This former second round selection failed to improve in 2017. Will Year Three finally be the season this Detroit Lions’ high draft pick breaks out?
When it comes to second round selections, the Detroit Lions haven’t had the best of luck. Fans will recognize names like wide receivers Titus Young (2011) and Ryan Broyles (2012). Or how about linebacker Kyle Van Noy (2014) and running back Ameer Abdullah (2015)? Even last year’s second round pick, Florida cornerback Teez Tabor, played less than 18% of the defensive snaps in his first season in Detroit.
So to say that the Motor City has a recent history of underwhelming play from their recent second rounder would be an understatement. Unfortunately, the Lions 2016 second round pick, defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson, might soon be included on that list.
The former Alabama defender fell to the Lions 46th overall in the second round of that NFL draft two years ago. Coming out of college, Robinson was considered a potential first round selection, but his lack of production and inconsistent play caused him to fall.
During his first season in Detroit, Robinson showed flashes of potential. He posted 30 total tackles, 2.0 sacks and seven pass defended/batted balls. He played nearly 40% of the Lions’ defensive snap in Year one.
Tagged for a possible breakout season in 2017, Robinson nearly doubled his snaps in his second year. He jumped from 405 defensive snaps in 2016 to 735 snaps, playing in nearly 68% of the time when the Detroit defense was on the field last year.
Despite Robinson’s increase in playing time, his numbers weren’t very impressive. This past season he recorded 53 total tackles, 0.5 sack and six batted balls. Robinson also recorded an interception for a defensive touchdown.
It was a bit of a blah performance for the second-year defender, especially considering the Lions needed him to step up due to the season-ending bicep injury suffered by starter Haloti Ngata in Week Five.
"“Hurting matters was the stunted development of A’Shawn Robinson,” wrote Kyle Meinke for Mlive.com. “He wasn’t bad in , and continued to bat down passes at a greater clip than any tackle in the game. He even scored a touchdown. But snap to snap, he just wasn’t any better than he was as a rookie. He ranked 56th among interior defenders, per PFF. Not exactly what you’re looking for in Year 2 from a second-round pick.”"
With the addition of a defensive-minded head coach in Matt Patricia, A’Shawn Robinson could benefit the most from an improved scheme change. But his lack of growth from Year One to Year Two is certainly concerning. Who knows? Maybe Year Three will be the charm.