A’Shawn Robinson has been widely projected to the Saints in many of the early mock drafts released overthe last two weeks.
New Orleans needs help on the defensive line and the Alabama defensive tackle is widely believed to be one of the more talented defensive linemen in the country. So, it makes sense many believe he would be a fit for the Saints with the 12th pick.
“The Saints really need to add another versatile defensive lineman, and Robinson fits the bill. In fact, the 6-foot-3, 313-pounder is an immediate starter who combines great awareness and strength to make plays and hold the point in the run game, as well as the ability to push the pocket. There isn’t a place where the Saints can go wrong adding talent on defense.”
No, the Saints can’t go wrong adding to their defense. But is Robinson the guy?
Quick scouting report
After viewing three of Robinson’s games (vs. LSU, Georgia and Tennessee), there’s a lot to like about him. He’s very strong, does a good job of pushing the pocket and is stout against the run.
There were many times when he drew a double team and still managed to cause disruption by ramming guys back and shrinking the quarterback’s pocket. His ability to bull rush is not in doubt.
The biggest thing missing from Robinson’s game is pass rushing moves. He has very good speed and athleticism, which really shows up when he stunts, but he relies on his power to make things happen. I can count on one hand the amount of times he attempted a pass-rush move in the three games viewed.
Knowing what Robinson is capable as an athlete, it’s somewhat frustrating waiting for him to use his speed to beat someone only to watch him continually try to gain leverage and drive his man backward.
While he’s good at the things he does, adding some finesse to his game could help him become even more disruptive on a consistent basis. These skills can be taught and developed, and that will have to be a priority for whoever drafts Robinson.
You’d also like to see him explode off the line a little quicker. There were a couple plays in each game when he was slow to get going.
There’s a lot here to like. Robinson brings a lot of power to his game and it’s easy to envision him pushing the pocket at the NFL level. Adding some rush moves would make him an even better player.
He also once did this: