The St. Louis Rams took Greg Robinson in the NFL draft Thursday night. The pick was the safe choice and the best choice for the Rams as Robinson helps the team overhaul the offensive line. Robinson’s selection came via the Washington Redskins for the Robert Griffin III trade two years ago.
This pick completes that trade. It was the first of two first round picks for the St. Louis Rams in the 2014 NFL draft. Their next choice was No. 13 overall and St. Louis took defensive tackle Aaron Donald from Pittsburgh.
So just like that the Rams addressed both sides of the ball and become a more physical team. They had to. They play in the NFC West with the Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers, the two best teams in the NFL and likely the two most physical teams in the league as well.
Robinson was considered the best offensive tackle in the 2014 draft and one of the best tackle prospects in several years. His pick by the Rams confirms head coach Jeff Fisher’s commitment to quarterback Sam Bradford, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 draft. Bradford has underachieved up to this point but much of that can be attributed to injuries, poor offensive line play and a lack of skill position talent around him.
Robinson will help solve that problem immediately as he anchored an Auburn offensive line that dominated the defending BCS champion Alabama Crimson Tide as well as the entire SEC in 2013 on their way to the BCS title game.
“Speechless, it’s a blessing to be here,” Robinson said immediately after being drafted. “Thanks to St. Louis for giving me this opportunity. I won’t let you all down.”
So not only are the Rams keeping pace with their division rivals, but this is also a nod to Fisher’s preference for tough, nasty players and perhaps a new trend in the NFL. Playing tough defense and keeping the chains moving on offense by running the ball was the recipe for a Super Bowl champion last season. For all the talk about how the NFL had evolved into a passing league, the two best teams were the Seahawks and 49ers.
Fisher had publicly pledged his support to Bradford in St. Louis Wednesday, removing much of the doubt about the Rams taking Johnny Manziel, which had been the hot rumor for much of the week. However, when the Rams had another shot at Manziel at the No. 13 pick St. Louis fans were giddy with anticipation and Fisher was tested again.
Fisher held true to his word though and stood by Bradford. He also held true to the way he coaches football. Donald was considered by most to be the best interior defensive lineman in the NFL draft and has drawn comparisons to Geno Atkins of the Cincinnati Bengals and Gerald McCoy of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, both of whom are among the best defensive tackles in the league.
The St. Louis Rams took the safe route in the first round of the 2014 NFL draft and they are better for it. They have the best offensive lineman in the draft and possibly the best defensive lineman. The old adage says teams win in the NFL along the offensive and defensive lines. If true, Fisher and the Rams just took a major step towards the Seahawks and 49ers.
Commentary By Mick Varner
Guardian Liberty Voice Sports Writer covering the St. Louis Rams