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?
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.