ST. LOUIS — It was not a huge surprise to Greg Robinson when the St. Louis Rams made him the second overall pick of the NFL draft.
The team telephoned the Auburn offensive tackle earlier Thursday. Robinson said it was just to confirm they had the right number, but agreed it was quite a hint.
“It was just so unbelievable, I couldn’t believe it,” Robinson said. “I didn’t want to get any high expectations or get my hopes up and something go wrong. So, I just waited it out.”
The 6-foot-5, 332-pound Robinson was a third team All-American at left tackle last year, starting every game for the national runner-ups. The Rams need immediate help at guard, but Robinson could start at left tackle to begin the season if Jake Long isn’t ready to go after offseason knee surgery.
Robinson said the Rams (7-9) hadn’t discussed where they wanted to put him. He played some guard in high school in Thibodaux and could be the replacement at left guard for Chris Williams, who took a free agent deal in Buffalo.
“Whatever they ask of me, I’m willing to just step in and try to help the best that I can,” Robinson said.
The pick gives the Rams an upgrade up front for quarterback Sam Bradford, who’s rehabbing from knee surgery. Earlier this week, coach Jeff Fisher swatted away trade rumors involving Bradford, the first overall pick in 2010 who has two years left on his contract.
“I look forward to hearing from him and blocking for him,” Robinson said.
The pick was the final payout from the Robert Griffin III deal with the Redskins in 2012. They also held the 13th pick.
Robinson is the first offensive lineman ever taken by Fisher, entering his third season with the Rams and 20th overall as head coach.
Auburn led the nation in rushing last season with a pair of 1,000-yard rushers, and Robinson played a major role. Pass blocking is considered less of a strength.
The Rams ended up with a bust picking a tackle at No. 2 in the draft in 2009, with Jason Smith dogged by injuries. They got a star in 1997 when Orlando Pace was the first overall pick and became a seven-time Pro Bowler.
Offensive linemen were the top two overall picks last year, with Eric Fisher going to Kansas City and Luke Joeckel going to Jacksonville.
The Rams entered the draft with primary needs also at secondary and wide receiver. They’ve been quiet in free agency. The biggest move was re-signing guard Rodger Saffold, who failed a physical in Oakland, and the Rams also added wide receiver Kenny Britt and backup quarterback Shaun Hill.
Last year, St. Louis took two impact players in the first round, wide receiver Tavon Austin and outside linebacker Alec Ogletree.
The Rams had 12 selections overall, although half of them are in the last two rounds.