With the NFL draft only a few days away, groupthink has emerged among the pundits. Several prominent draftniks are projecting Alabama offensive tackle Cam Robinson to the Baltimore Ravens in the first round.
NFL.com’s Chad Reuter has the Ravens taking Robinson in his recently released full seven round mock. Both Walter Cherepinsky and Charlie Campbell of Walter Football expect the huge blocker to end up in Baltimore. R.J. White of CBS Sports envisions Robinson to the Ravens at pick #22 after a trade back with Miami. Eric Galko of The Sporting News, Draftek and Newsday have also joined the chorus slotting Robinson to the Ravens.
The pairing of Robinson and the Ravens has some logic behind it. Right tackle is probably the team’s greatest positional weakness after Rick Wagner signed a lucrative free agent contract in Detroit. Furthermore, Robinson is an extremely powerful run blocker and the Ravens are hoping to improve their rushing attack.
Baltimore has brought in assistant coach Greg Roman to help in this regard after they averaged the third fewest rushing attempts per game and tenth fewest yards per carry last season. Robinson has some balance issues in pass protection, but he is regarded as one of the only plug-and-play blockers in an underwhelming class of offensive linemen.
The case against Robinson is based around the question of best-player-available. Cam is ranked as a late first or early second rounder on most ‘big boards.’ Drafting another offensive tackle in the first round after landing Ronnie Stanley with the sixth overall pick in the 2016 draft would also be questionable resource management. Especially considering that the Ravens have had success finding early starters on the offensive line in the middle rounds and that they have several other pressing positional needs.
Mike Williams, the physical wideout from Clemson, is the other prospect who is trending towards the Ravens in the first round. He is less likely to be available when the Ravens come on the clock because he is rated much higher than Robinson on most ‘big boards’ and is arguably the best offensive player in the class.
There is a great deal of uncertainty in this draft cycle. Robinson could plausibly be selected by the Bills in the top ten, or slide to Day 2. However, judging by the herding in his direction, Robinson appears to be one of the most likely players to be selected by the Ravens on Thursday night.
Will you trust Ozzie if the Ravens pick Cam Robinson in the first round?
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