Alabama could have three or four defensive players selected in the first round of the NFL draft. One of them is A’Shawn Robinson, a defensive tackle who so far has the Carolina Panthers, New York Jets and Detroit Lions interested.
Robinson was a consensus All-American last season, becoming yet another one in the long line of five star defensive prospects Nick Saban makes the most of. He finished with 3.5 sacks and 7.5 tackles for a loss as Alabama won the national title and finished his college career with 9 sacks and 22 tackles for a loss, playing in 39 games for the Crimson Tide, including twice in the College Football Playoffs.
Robinson, in terms of size and measurements, is exactly what scouts and NFL teams envision when they think of the ideal defensive tackle. But when watching his tape they seem to be slightly disappointed. He’s strong, but his technique and speed seem to be lacking at times, and gets stuffed when double teams come, which shouldn’t be the case considering how big and strong he is.
Robinson is one of those cases that can go either way. Under the right coaches and system, he can become an All-Pro level talent if teams put in a little bit of patience into his development project. But he can also disappoint and turn into a defensive tackle that really doesn’t stand out in either scheme, and never leave his mark on the NFL. It’s more of a question of where he falls and how much patience teams will have him as he goes through the motions, but project or immediate starter, it’s hard seeing him getting taken outside the first round.