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Debate: Which top OT in 2014 draft will have best NFL career?

The top three offensive tackles in the draft -- Texas A&M's Jake Matthews, Auburn's Greg Robinson and Michigan's Taylor Lewan -- all appear destined to be drafted in the top half of the first round, but who will eventually have the best NFL career? We put that question to our experts:

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  • Daniel Jeremiah
  • Robinson has dominant traits

Greg Robinson is the best football player of this trio, and I think ultimately he will have the best NFL career. He is a more dominating player than Matthews and Lewan, who are very solid players but lack a dominant trait like Robinson, who has rare power in the run game. While he has some polishing up to do in pass protection, Robinson's combination of foot quickness, anchor, and length project well for him at the next level.

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  • Charles Davis
  • Robinson's athleticism will do him well

Jake Matthews is the safest pick in the first round, but the question concerns career, a player's entire body of work. Thus, I'm picking Greg Robinson. His athleticism, on top of his 332-pound body that can cover 40 yards in less than five seconds, leads me to fully believe he will learn to pass protect at an elite level, sooner rather than later. And, that's the only question mark I have for him at this time.

Greg Robinson may take a year to get acclimated to a true pro-style NFL offense -- he won't get to constantly crash down on defensive tackles nearly as much as he did at Auburn last year -- but once the growing pains are out of the way, he'll be the best pro tackle from the draft class. Jake Matthews and Taylor Lewan figure to have strong careers as well, but Robinson's combination of athleticism and power is on a level all its own. Robinson may be more likely than Matthews or Lewan to slide over to the right right tackle position in the NFL, but that shouldn't be taken as a sign that he can't be a dominant force. It would simply accentuate his run-blocking skills and make his pass-blocking challenges somewhat more manageable.

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  • Gil Brandt
  • Matthews will offer longevity

My choice is Matthews. Both his father (Bruce) and grandfather (Clay Sr.) enjoyed long NFL careers, and I think the team that drafts Jake will have a tackle it can count on for the next 10 years. The fact he can slide in and play guard or center better than the other two make him a more valuable and lasting commodity in the NFL.

In terms of upside, Robinson undoubtedly has the physical tools to develop into an All-Pro for many years to come. He might already be there as a run-blocker. Lewan also brings the frame of a prototypical left tackle and has plenty of room to grow with just four years at the position under his belt. But I'll go with Matthews, who is fundamentally sound, has long arms and can get to the second level easily. Plus his last name alone will get him looks from teams for years to come.

I think Matthews is the most well-rounded of the top three tackles, even though he did have his rough patches in 2013. Matthews has experience at both right and left tackle, and he could probably play center if you asked him to. His genes aren't bad, either. Robinson is the best run-blocker of the three, but he is not an elite pass blocker and I wonder if he ever will be. Lewan is a tough, physical player and highly touted Michigan linemen usually pan out, but there are some legitimate concerns about his demeanor on and off the field.

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