Join Date: Apr 2008
Re: Bob McGinn on 2014 NFL
Auburn tackle Greg Robinson stands out in talented lineman class
Devotees of magnificent offensive line play have been waiting patiently since 1997 for the next franchise tackle to be drafted.
On Thursday, Auburn's Greg Robinson could bring back the echoes of the five cornerstones — Willie Roaf, Tony Boselli, Jonathan Ogden, Orlando Pace and Walter Jones — who arrived in the mid-1990s to revolutionize the tackle position.
Largely because of the uncertainty regarding Robinson's pass blocking and the widespread certainty about Matthews' overall game, Robinson had just a slight edge over Matthews in a Journal Sentinel poll asking 18 national-type scouts to rate their five best offensive linemen regardless of position.
A first-place vote was worth five points, a second-place was worth four and so forth.
Here were the first-place votes: Robinson, 11; Matthews, 6; and Zack Martin, one.
Here were the point totals: Robinson, 80; Matthews, 76; Taylor Lewan, 48; Martin, 43; Cyrus Kouandjio, 11; Xavier Su'a-Filo, seven; Joel Bitonio, three; and Ja'Wuan James and Spencer Long, one.
"Matthews isn't Jonathan Ogden in dimension, but he's got the genealogy and the durability," said Phil Savage, who helped draft Ogden as the Ravens' director of college scouting. "He may not end up being as spectacular as Greg Robinson, but Day 1 he's closer to being ready to play."
The offensive line connoisseurs would settle for greatness from even one of them.
John Urschel, G, Penn State: Last month, he won the Sullivan Award as the country's top amateur athlete. Scored 43 on the Wonderlic. Taught math classes at Penn State last year. Two-year starter at right guard might have a better chance at center. On the small side (6-3, 312) but loves the game and wants to play badly before pursuing his promising academic future.
Chris Watt, G, Notre Dame: Three-year starter at left guard. Typical blue-collar grinder. Played strong, smart and aware. Then, at the combine, he measured at just 6-2½ and ran a slow 5.5 40.
QUOTE TO NOTE
NFL personnel man: "Everybody jokes about the Big Ten now. But when I look at offensive linemen that's the first place I look because they still play football in the Big Ten. It's still the Hayes-Schembechler mentality to a degree. Some of those other teams have changed things around. But you take Ohio State, Michigan, Wisconsin, Kirk Ferentz at Iowa. They still take pride. They don't run around you. They try to go right through you."