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2016 NFL Draft: Could DT A'Shawn Robinson complete Giants' defensive line?

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Alabama was led by A'Shawn Robinson and Jarran Reed. Could Robinson become a leader on the Giants defense?

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Without question the single strongest position in the 2016 draft is the defensive tackles. There are defensive tackles of all shapes, sizes, and play types.

For a team that needs help in their defensive front, like the New York Giants, that bodes well. As it also happens, the college football National Champion was lead by a pair of defensive tackles. The Giants met with Alabama's Jarran Reed at the Senior Bowl, but what about his partner, A'Shawn Robinson?

Measurables

Pros

  • Prototypical build for an NFL defensive tackle. Long arms, big hands, and a powerful physique throughout. Robinson is stout, but carries his weight well.
  • Great intangibles. Nasty player between the whistles and reportedly the leader of the Crimson Tide through their championship run
  • Great strength. Robinson didn't dominate the bench press, but his ability to generate power lets him control double teams, clog running lanes, and push the pocket.
  • Low mileage. Active defensive line rotation meant that Robinson only played 57 percent of the Alabama's defensive snaps over the last two years.
  • Schematic versatility. He should be able to play in any front.

Cons

  • Technically unpolished. Has impressive power, but his pad level rises negating that power and weakening his pass rush.
  • Limited pass rush repetoire. Doesn't have many moves or skills as a rusher, in addition to pad level issues.
  • More powerful than explosive. Robinson can move offensive lineman, but he generally doesn't explode out of his stance they way you'd like to see.

Prospect Video

Big Board Rankings

Big Blue View - 9th

Mocking The Draft - 16th

CBS - 17th

Draft Tek - 11th

Does He Fit With the Giants?

Before free agency I would have said most defensive linemen would fit with the Giants. Robinson is a bit raw, but his tools suggest a balanced player with a pretty high ceiling.

But with the signing of Damon Harrison, I think the Giants can safely look elsewhere, and if they want a defensive tackle, they might be better served by looking at one who's specialty is disrupting offenses.

So while the player might fit in a vacuum, in reality the Giants are probably better off looking somewhere else.

Final Thoughts

Robinson and Jarran Reed formed the core of the most dominating defensive front in college football. It was a front that Alabama rode -- along with Derrick Henry's punishing rushing attack -- all the way to a national championship.

Almost any other year, that pedigree would be enough to likely guarantee a top-15 selection, likely making them the top two tackles off the board. But this year's unusually strong defensive tackle class adds a layer of intrigue. Depending on who you talk to, there are more than a dozen defensive tackles that could garner a first-round selection, and that glut of options makes projections considerably more complex. There's a high-end talent for just about every need this year.