(WKBW) - With the NFL Free Agency period now coming to a crawl, teams are starting to enter the next phase of the offseason: The 2017 NFL Draft.
Just a little over one month away from the event, teams are beginning to conduct their annual pre-draft visits with prospects. In total, teams are allowed to conduct 30 official visits leading up to the actual draft.
The Buffalo Bills are on the board with their first reported pre-draft visit having happened last week.
#Bama LT Cam Robinson, one of the draft’s top tackles, is on a visit with #Panthers today. Was in Buffalo last week, has #Jaguars coming up
Robinson checked in at the NFL Combine at 6-foot-6 and 322 pounds. He was a three-year starter at left tackle for Alabama and has a good chance at being one of the first offensive tackles taken this year.
Joe B's Take
The fit for the Bills with Cam Robinson is fairly obvious. They have a gaping hole at right tackle at the moment and that's really the only weakness along an offensive line that seems like it will feature the run prominently once again in 2017.
Based on the way he plays, Robinson's best fit in the NFL would likely be right tackle. He certainly is built the way NFL talent evaluators want an offensive tackle to look, with long arms and a good amount of strength. When Robinson zeroes in on a target in the running game, he has solid balance and strength to maintain the block and even push the defender backward.
Even in pass blocking against some bigger edge rushers, Robinson shows the type of patience that you want.
The trouble with Robinson, though, is what happens when he has to move off his spot, or redirect his body weight quickly. That can become an issue in specific areas: against quicker edge rushers that can change directions, blocking into the second level on run plays where targets are smaller and quicker, and when he has to get out in space on screen plays.
Due to that part of his game being a bit limited it drives his overall value down in my mind.
He's thought to be a fringe first-round pick at this point in time, and for the Bills, using the 10th overall pick on him seems a bit too rich of a price to pay. At 10th overall, in such a talented draft, not using that selection on a more talented player at a different position of need doesn't make a great deal of sense to me.
Now, I can see them bringing Robinson in if one of two things happen.
They could trade down from 10th overall to a little later in the first round, select Robinson, all the while with the knowledge that they can fill a different need with the pick(s) they just acquired to move down. Or, they stand pat, and Robinson is available at 44th overall -- which I don't think is necessarily out of the question.
The fit is an intriguing one, but if it comes later in the draft.