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Draft deep at offensive tackle position

Posted May 5, 2014

The tackle position is deep in this year's draft, with Auburn's Greg Robinson, Michigan's Taylor Lewan and Texas A&M's Jake Matthews all possible top-10 picks.

The following is the fifth of eight position previews in advance of the May 8-10 NFL Draft:

The offensive tackle position is deep and talented in this year's draft, with Auburn's Greg Robinson, Michigan's Taylor Lewan and Texas A&M's Jake Matthews all possible top-10 picks.

Greg Robinson
Robinson is a third-year sophomore who started the past two seasons at Auburn. The 6-5, 332-pounder is an outstanding run blocker who possesses excellent size and athleticism.

In his 2014 NFL Draft Preview, Nolan Nawrocki describes Robinson as a "big, strong, athletic, overpowering left tackle with the raw potential to become a premiere, franchise left tackle."

Lewan started all 39 games at left tackle the past three seasons at Michigan, where he was named Big Ten offensive lineman of the year the past two seasons. The 6-7, 309-pounder has had some off-the-field issues, but he performed very well at the NFL Combine, which may have raised his stock.

Nawrocki sees Lewan as "an experienced, finesse left tackle with the length, agility and temperament to hold down a starting job for a long time," but one who "is not a gritty, physical finisher" and has a "quirky personality that can be easily misunderstood."

Matthews, the son of Hall of Fame offensive tackle Bruce Matthews, was a four-year starter at Texas A&M. The 6-5½, 308-pounder started all 26 games at right tackle in 2011-12 before replacing Jaguars first-round pick Luke Joeckel at left tackle last season.

Nawrocki describes Matthews as a "smart, tough, versatile franchise left tackle capable of playing all five positions on the line" as well as a prospect who teams "can plug into a starting lineup immediately and will play a long time at a consistently high level."

ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. predicts that Robinson will be selected by the Rams with the second pick, Lewan will go to the Falcons at No. 6 and Matthews will be chosen by the Bills at No. 9.

ESPN's Todd McShay also has Robinson going to the Rams but thinks that the Falcons will select Matthews at No. 6 and the Bills will take Lewan at No. 9.

Other tackles who could be selected in the first round include Notre Dame's Zack Martin, Virginia's Morgan Moses, Alabama's Cyrus Kouandijo and Nevada's Joel Bitonio.

Moving inside, NFL.com's Mike Mayock ranks Stanford's David Yankey as the top guard in the draft, followed by UCLA's Xavier Su'a-Filo, Clemson's Brandon Thomas, LSU's Trai Turner and Mississippi State's Gabe Jackson.

Mayock ranks USC's Marcus Martin as the top center, followed by Colorado State's Weston Richburg, Arkansas' Travis Swanson, Florida State's Bryan Stork and Oklahoma's Gabe Ikard.

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