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2017 NFL Draft: Could Cam Robinson Bolster Colts' O-Line?

Intro: In his first mock draft of the year, ESPN’s Todd McShay projects the Indianapolis Colts will pick Alabama tackle Cam Robinson in the first round. What does Robinson bring to the table?


INDIANAPOLIS — Last year, the Indianapolis Colts used four of their eight total draft picks on offensive linemen, including at No. 18 overall.

Could the Colts use their very first pick on a big man up front once again?

That's what ESPN's Todd McShay believes, as he has projected Indianapolis will take Alabama offensive tackle Cam Robinson if he's available midway through the first round.

McShay's entire first mock draft can be found by clicking here, but you to be subscribed to ESPN Insider to access the whole piece.

First, here's what McShay had to say about why he believes Robinson — a junior who is yet to formally declare for the draft — is an ideal fit for the Colts:

"Andrew Luck has been constantly under siege behind an offensive line that is still searching for answers. So whether it's in the first round or in free agency, the Colts need to devote resources to protect Luck and improve the running game. Robinson isn't an elite pass-blocker, but he's a plug-and-play right tackle who can develop at the next level."

As mentioned, the Colts used four of their eight picks on offensive linemen last year, taking center Ryan Kelly in the first round (18th overall), tackle Le'Raven Clark in the third round (82nd overall), tackle Joe Haeg in the fifth round (166th overall) and center Austin Blythe in the seventh round (248th overall).

All four would end up starting at least one game for Indianapolis in their rookie seasons, while Kelly (who started all 16 games) and Haeg (who started the final 14 games) were constants up front, and Clark earned starts in the final three games of the season at the right tackle position.

So while the future looks bright for the Colts when it comes to their offensive line, it totally wouldn't be out of the question to wonder whether they could continue to build that unit by taking a guy like Robinson early in the 2017 NFL Draft.

Robinson, who is ranked as the top tackle in his class, comes in at an imposing 6 foot 6 and 327 pounds, and was a a team captain and unanimous All-American for the Crimson Tide in 2016.

The Outland Trophy winner — given annually to the nation's top interior linemen on offense or defense — Robinson, who played left tackle, helped his team rank 13th nationally (and first in the Southeastern Conference) in scoring offense (40.5 points per game), 14th nationally (and second in the SEC) in rushing offense (245 rushing yards per game) and 26th in the nation and (and second in the SEC) in total offense (471.3 yards per game).

A teammate of Kelly's in 2014 and 2015, Robinson this season registered a team-best 33 knockdown blocks in 13 games.

His sophomore season, Robinson was named first-team All-SEC and had 46 knockdown blocks; the year before that, he was named a freshman All-American and had 32 knockdown blocks while surrounding just three sacks in 861 total snaps.

Robinson is also a winner, having played a major part in the Crimson Tide's national title in 2015, and helping them advance to the National Championship game on Monday against eventual champion Clemson.

When looking at the Colts' roster this offseason, the team has one unrestricted free agent to be on its offensive line in guard Hugh Thornton, while center/guard Jonathan Harrison is set to be a restricted free agent.

Thornton missed the entire 2016 season with an ankle injury, while Harrison started four games for the Colts in 2016 and has started 23 games overall since being signed as an undrafted free agent in 2014.

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