The St. Louis Rams did everything they could to improve their game between the trenches on Thursday, selecting Greg Robinson and Aaron Donald with their two first rounders. Here’s how the picks grade out with us.
Greg Robinson, OL, Auburn: Robinson was arguably the best tackle in this draft, so it’s difficult to fault the Rams for taking him, especially when their incumbent starting left tackle, Jake Long, is an uncertainty moving forward as he recovers from a torn ACL. Assuming that Adam Schefter’s report about the Rams wanting to play Robinson at left guard is true, the Rams filled their biggest need for the present while also getting their left tackle of the future. Robinson should be perfectly fine playing in a phone booth at guard, but as he prepares to be a starting tackle in the league, he needs to improve his pass blocking technique and consistently keep his head in the game so that he doesn’t get put on his back like he did twice during the BCS Championship Game. Overall, though, Robinson has great potential and could certainly end up being one of the better tackles in the NFL before things are all said and done.
Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh: The Rams already had a superstar defensive line that was only being held back a bit by 3-technique tackle Kendall Langford, who was solid but picked up an unspectacular seven sacks over the past two seasons. With the addition of Donald, who won the Lombardi Award, Bronko Nagurski Trophy, Chuck Bednarik Award and Outland Trophy while picking up 29.5 career college sacks and 66 tackles for loss, the Rams add an elite pass rusher from the interior who will give the Rams the most fearsome third down pass rush of any team in the NFL. It might have made sense for the Rams to make a pick at a greater position of need such as safety, cornerback, or wide receiver, but Donald will make a big impact and quiet the concerns at other positions.