Draft's top guards: Oklahoma's Robinson might sneak into first round

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Duke Robinson, the massive guard from Oklahoma, wisely said he doesn't pay attention to projections about where he might be drafted this month.

"It doesn't matter as far as what round I'm taken," Robinson said. "I don't take that into consideration. I'll just be patiently waiting, and when I get to a team, I'll be focused on what I have to do, like I've always been."

Robinson is widely considered the best player at his position, the type of offensive line anchor who could play in the NFL for more than 10 years and be a force for a run-first team that needs some interior push (Pittsburgh Steelers, Philadelphia Eagles). Yet, he's a guard, a position devalued like the other up-the-gut spots: center, middle/inside linebacker and safety.

No guard is projected to be chosen in the first round this month, although Robinson could sneak in late, possibly to the Steelers with the last pick at No. 32.

Last season, USC's Chilo Rachal was the first guard drafted, taken 39th overall by the San Francisco 49ers. By the time Rachal was chosen, players at every other non-special-teams position, except one, had been drafted. The only other position besides guard to be neglected: center (see the top five centers).

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