According to longtime and well-respected draft analyst Tony Pauline, it's starting to look like that Alabama offensive tackle Cam Robinson may be the first tackle off the board in the first round of Thursday's NFL Draft.
The order in which these tackles go off the board has been widely speculated, but as we continue to get closer to Thursday's first round, Cam Robinson is picking up plenty of steam.
"It’s looking more and more as though Cam Robinson will be the first tackle selected in the draft. I’m not a big believer in Robinson lining up at left tackle in the NFL, but several people tell me his combine workout convinced them he can hold down that spot at the next level. I’m told there has been a big uptick in the number of teams flying into Tuscaloosa to work out Robinson over the past couple of weeks."
This isn't the first time that Robinson has been considered the top tackle in the draft recently. First, NFL Network's draft expert Mike Mayock moved Cam Robinson from his top interior guard to his top tackle in a matter of weeks. So clearly he was told or heard something that made him change his rankings.
Also, Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel talked to seventeen talent evaluators recently and asked them for their top offensive lineman in this year's draft. Alabama's Cam Robinson came out on top once again.
"Seventeen evaluators agreed this month to rank their five best offensive linemen on a 1-to-5 basis. Five points were awarded for a first-place vote, four for a second and so on.
It was a tight race for the top, with Robinson (59 points, two firsts) edging Bolles (57, nine) and Ramczyk (53, five). Following, in order, were Forrest Lamp, 38 (one); Dion Dawkins, 14 ½; Dan Feeney, 14; Ethan Pocic, 11; Pat Elflein, Dorian Johnson and Taylor Moton, two; Antonio Garcia, 1 ½, and Ben Braden, one."
As you can see, the top three were paired pretty closely so it shows once again the wide ranging opinions on this offensive tackle class.
Another thing that continues to be true is that this is a weak tackle class and all these guys will need work before becoming reliable starters. It led to one NFC executive to say that "You do not feel great about any of these guys(tackles)".
"The first three tackles could start (as rookies) potentially but they’re going to take time," said an NFC executive. "The Alabama guy might be a better right tackle. Bolles is a nutty dude. Ramczyk is quiet and (played at) Stevens Point two years ago.You don’t feel great about any of these guys."
Unless the Broncos are working on a trade for a veteran tackle or plan on bringing in King Dunlap, it appears the Broncos will be targeting on these tackle who some talent evaluators are not all that high on.
All signs right now point to Bolles being their guy, but he may go as high as the top 10 and even has high as pick four to the Jaguars. Now there's talk that Cam Robinson may be the top tackle taken leaving the Broncos potentially without Bolles or Robinson unless they trade up.
As for Wisconsin's Ryan Ramczyk, there's not a ton of buzz on him right now. He's either ranked as the top tackle or someone people are concerned about. One executive did not have many nice things to say about Ramczyk.
"We interviewed him and it was like the guy had no life, no energy," said the personnel man. "He’s not dim. I just think maybe he’s shy. He can slide a little bit."
McGinn was told that if this was a normal tackle class that Ramczyk would be a second round pick and not a first rounder like he is being considered now.
So all this leads me to believe that these tackles either go a lot higher than they should because of their positional value, or one or two falls into the late first round or day two because of their question marks and concerns.
It's going to be interesting to watch.