Many would argue that former Auburn star Greg Robinson is the best offensive tackle in this year's draft. But how would he stack up against the best in the NFL?
NFL Media's Charley Casserly offered a glimpse into Robinson's upside Friday on "NFL AM," comparing him with the Redskins' Trent Williams. The No. 4 overall draft pick in 2010, Williams is regarded as one of the top left tackles in the league and has been named to the last two Pro Bowls. Casserly said he actually has Robinson rated higher than Williams at the same point in their college career.
"He reminds me of Williams because both of them are top-rated tackles in the draft," Casserly said. "Williams was a more accomplished pass blocker -- smoother, more athletic, farther along in his ability to protect the quarterback at the left tackle position. Robinson is bigger, more physical, stronger, a better run blocker. Clear edge for Robinson there.
"Even though Robinson is behind Williams as a pass blocker, I think Robinson still has the ability to pass block right now and probably has a bigger upside because of his size and strength."
That combination of run-blocking ability and upside is a big reason why NFL Media's Bucky Brooks has compared Robinson to another Pro Bowl left tackle in Ryan Clady. It's also why Robinson is projected to go as high as No. 2 to the St. Louis Rams in the latest NFL.com mock drafts.
Casserly offered comparisons for three other stars in the 2014 draft:
Johnny Manziel vs. Michael Vick: "We have to remember: What was Vick like when he came out? Vick had a stronger arm, and he had a cannon for an arm -- a quick release -- and we know he had great speed and running ability. Manziel grades pretty high in those things, but Vick was higher in all of them. Manziel is probably a little more instinctive and has been exposed to a very pro-passing attack. But at the point that they each came out of the draft, I would have had Vick rated higher."
Blake Bortles vs. Ryan Tannehill: "Both of them were reaches to get into the top 10. Both are athletic, both were somewhat raw coming out of college. But I had Tannehill rated higher. I think Tannehill has a stronger arm, can make more of the big-time throws, and is a more accurate passer. ... Both are more prospects than top-10 picks, but I had Tannehill rated higher at the same point in their college career."
Sammy Watkins vs. A.J. Green: "This is a tough one because they're top players. I like Watkins as far as his separation ability, his abilty to run after the catch, I think he's outstanding in both of them and probably has a little bit of an edge over Green. But I'm going to go for Green, not because of what he's done, but what I thought he was going to do. Green, to me, was the best player in that draft. ... Green's edge is in size and more consistency in catching the football, even though Watkins has good hands."