NFL draft profile: No. 29 — Alabama OT Cam Robinson, massive man with consistency issues

Alabama OT Cam Robinson
6-foot-6, 322 pounds

Key stat: Over three seasons in Tuscaloosa, Robinson started each of ‘Bama’s 44 games at left tackle.

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Alabama OT Cam Robinson has what it takes to be great, but consistency is a concern. (AP)
Alabama OT Cam Robinson has what it takes to be great, but consistency is a concern. (AP)

The skinny: Elite prep recruit who stepped immediately into the starting lineup for the preseason No. 2 team in the country in 2014 and never left. Robinson has been the team’s left tackle for the past three seasons, including three SEC title games and five CFB playoff games, and has been named all-SEC each of the past two years.

He was arrested last May along with teammate Hootie Jones on gun (possession of a stolen firearm) and marijuana charges in Louisiana before the local prosecutor opted to drop all charges a month later. Robinson was not suspended for any games. He declared early for the 2017 NFL draft after the season and will turn 22 in October.

Best-suited destination: We think Robinson has terrific talent but needs continued work. His best scenario might be landing with a predominantly man-blocking team with a demanding OL coach where Robinson’s power and untapped potential and stand out. Teams such as the Los Angeles Chargers, Arizona Cardinals, Seattle Seahawks, Dallas Cowboys, Minnesota Vikings, Cleveland Browns, Oakland Raiders, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New York Giants, Houston Texans, New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers would fit best, but Robinson could play in pretty much any NFL scheme as a left or right tackle, or even as a massive guard in some schemes.

Upside: Massive man who can dial up power in his blocks. Durable and tough. Plays hard — to and even beyond the whistle. Football appears to mean a lot to him. Terrific experience in big games for an underclassman. Can be used in single blocking against playmakers. Showed up against toughest assignments — held Myles Garrett, the assumed No. 1 pick in the draft, without a sack. Here’s Robinson (protecting a freshman QB, backed up near his own end zone) locking Garrett up by getting his hands inside, stunting his initial rush, leveraging him upfield and preventing any countermove:

Alabama OT Cam Robinson slowing down Myles Garrett. (Draftbreakdown.com, via YouTube)
Alabama OT Cam Robinson slowing down Myles Garrett. (Draftbreakdown.com, via YouTube)

Long arms and massive mitts. Extends to lock out and usually can get his feet underneath him, especially in the run game. Moves well in screen game, taking smart angles and attacking with purpose. Played in pro-style offense with creative wrinkles that changed character dramatically at times with three different starting quarterbacks in Robinson’s tenure. Looked exceptional at NFL scouting combine positional drills and equally as good at his pro day.

Downside: Way too inconsistent. If you made a cut-up of his 20 best blocks and then one of his 20 worst reps, you might think it was two completely different players. Can play down to his competition at times. Far too penalty-prone (whistled for 25 flags past two seasons, nearly one per game). OL coaches say he needs to play with better balance, often lunging or leaning too much and struggling to recover in time. Below-average athletic testing numbers at the combine (vertical jump, 3-cone drill and short shuttle numbers were all 50th percentile or lower for tackles). Can sometimes struggle to hit moving targets on space and on the second level. Will pass off first block too soon at times to speed up process of getting to second level. Has decent feet but can be seen on the ground a lot for a man his size and strength. A bit stiff and wooden at times; better moving in a straight line than laterally. Late to recognize blitzes, shifts, overloaded gaps and stunts. In short, he doesn’t dominate for long enough stretches despite his terrific natural ability. Character must be fully vetted after 2016 arrest.

Scouting hot take: “I don’t even know if we asked him a football question [in the 15-minute combine interview]. It was guns and marijuana questions. Where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire, you know? And I really liked the way he talked about it. I felt better about it.” — AFC college scouting director after the combine

Player comp: Cyrus Kouandjio, who was an elite prep recruit, went to the same school, battled questions about consistency, measured in at the combine with almost the exact dimensions as Robinson and who has developed into a pretty good tackle in his third NFL season.

Expected draft range: First round

Previous profiles

Nos. 51-100: Here’s who just missed the cut
No. 50: Indiana OG-C Dan Feeney
No. 49: Iowa DB Desmond King
No. 48: Vanderbilt LB Zach Cunningham
No. 47: Wisconsin pass rusher T.J. Watt
No. 46. Alabama pass rusher Tim Williams
No. 45. Washington CB Sidney Jones
No. 44. Alabama LB Ryan Anderson
No. 43. Ohio State WR-RB Curtis Samuel
No. 42. Florida DT Caleb Brantley
No. 41. Connecticut DB Obi Melifonwu
No. 40. USC CB-KR Adoree’ Jackson
No. 39. Texas Tech QB Patrick Mahomes
No. 38. Michigan State DL Malik McDowell
No. 37: Ole Miss TE Evan Engram
No. 36: Florida LB Jarrad Davis
No. 35: Washington S Budda Baker
No. 34: Oklahoma RB Joe Mixon
No. 33: Alabama CB Marlon Humphrey
No. 32: Florida CB Quincy Wilson
No. 31: Tennessee RB Alvin Kamara
No. 30: Michigan DB-RS Jabrill Peppers

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Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at edholm@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!

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