A'Shawn Robinson, DL — Detroit Lions
School: Alabama | Conference: SEC
College Experience: Junior | Age: 21
Height / Weight: 6-4 / 312 lbs
Drafted: 2nd round, 15th pick (#46 overall)
NFL Comparison: Tyson Alualu
Player Overview — Original Profile
In a draft featuring about a dozen defensive linemen worthy of a first-round pick, A'Shawn Robinson has a case for the best of the bunch. He has it all: an excellent build, athleticism, respectable production, versatility, a clean slate of health, championship experience and good character.
Robinson benefited handsomely from playing in a typically loaded Alabama defense — he lined up next to likely first-rounder Jarran Reed, likely first-round inside linebacker Reggie Ragland was the quarterback of the defense and cornerback Cyrus Jones is unlikely to slip past the third round. Oh, and the team's two sack leaders (Jonathan Allen, with 12.0, and Tim Williams, with 9.5) opted to return to Alabama next season, even though both might've been first-rounders themselves. So yes, Robinson had a pretty good supporting cast in college.
But he also held his own on the field, and he helped some of those other players thrive. Watch some Alabama games from 2015, especially late in the year, and you'll see teams avoid the interior of the line like the center has the plague. That's in no small part due to the fearsome presence of Robinson and Reed, who sometimes commanded four offensive linemen between them.
Where He Can Hurt The Redskins
A'Shawn Robinson is a curious case. He slid somewhat in the draft, down to the 15th pick of the second round after being projected as a top-20 pick, but it's unclear if there was ever really a legitimate reason for the mini slide. After all, it was a very deep draft for defensive linemen. He did have problems with consistency, he benefited from arguably the best supporting cast in the country and his sack production didn't impress many scouts, but he was still a first-round talent in the average draft.
It's therefore no surprise that he has a shot to start Week 1 for the Lions. A month ago, ESPN's Michael Rothstein projected Robinson to beat out Tyrunn Walker Caraun Reid for the starting gig, and he received some first-team reps during the early portions of OTAs. Our colleagues at Pride of Detroit think the most realistic expectation for the Nick Saban product is a season chock full of rookie mistakes and flashes of brilliance — basically a standard rookie season.
Robinson could definitely be playing a significant role for the Lions come Week 7, even if he doesn't earn a starting job right off the bat. That will also be late enough in the season that it's more than likely the Redskins will have suffered an injury or two along the offensive line, which could pit Robinson against a reserve — a scenario that Robinson would have to be favored in.