Greg Robinson and Aaron Donald had a pretty good idea when they would be drafted. They had no clue their paths would lead to the same place. The Rams’ two first-round draft picks, who worked out together during the offseason, found themselves sitting side-by-side on Tuesday, donning a suit and a Rams lapel pin while facing the St. Louis media for the first time.
“We never talked about it. We pushed each other and motivated each other, but we would have never thought we’d be on the same team. All the work paid off and here we are.”
The days of competition between Robinson and Donald may just be beginning now. Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher has implied the possibility of Robinson moving inside to guard during his rookie season, which would have him
“We’re going to push each other just like we did at API (Athletes’ Performance Institute),” Donald said. “We’re just going to work (and) get each other ready for the season.”
How the duo got here was the culmination of what Fisher and General Manager Les Snead have termed ‘Scenario A’ following their two first-round selections.
For the first time in Fisher’s 19 NFL drafts as a head coach, his team selected a first-round offensive lineman. In Robinson, Fisher certainly chose a worthy candidate to break the streak. Adding to what Fisher and Snead described as a ‘meat and potatoes’ draft, the Rams followed that selection with Donald just 11 picks later.
The combination of Robinson and Donald provides the Rams upgrades along both sides of the line of scrimmage, a must in the physical, ever-competitive NFC West.
At 6’5” and 332 pounds, Robinson has drawn rave reviews as the top run-blocking tackle available in this year’s draft class. Comparisons have been drawn to some of the league’s elite left tackles, though the Rams’ newest run-blocking mauler preferred to avoid placing a cap on his potential, while also deferring to his more veteran teammates.
“I control that ceiling,” Robinson said. “So, it’s just how much I want to clear. It’s just as far as going into it with a positive attitude and trusting the coaches. I believe (Offensive Line) Coach Paul Boudreau has a great plan for the O-Line. I’ve meet with a few guys. Today, they were doing a few drills and they were interacting and trying to help me understand it a little better. It’s just how much I want to learn.”
“I believe that to much is given, much is expected,” Robinson continued. “So, it’s hard to go into it with high expectations when these guys have been doing this for years and years. I feel like you’ve just got to go along with it and you fall in place wherever you land, you land. It’s just all about your work ethic and how hard you work.”
As for Donald, who was the top-ranked interior defensive lineman available in the draft, Tuesday’s press conference signaled the culmination of a four-month offseason, and the beginning of a career that benefited in part by his workout partner and new teammate.
“I’m just happy with where I’m at,” Donald said. “I feel like I can do some special things here with the players around, just to learn from those guys and from the coaches. I’m just excited about it.”