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2017 Detroit Lions roster review: Trading for Greg Robinson was a mistake

This wasn’t one of Bob Quinn’s better offseason moves.

NFL: Detroit Lions at Buffalo Bills Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Our 2017 roster review will reexamine the Lions’ roster and how it played out last season. We’ll take a look at expectations, performance and potential role in the future.

Today, we continue our discussion with Detroit Lions offensive tackle Greg Robinson.

Greg Robinson

Expectations before 2017

Robinson wasn’t on the team during OTAs, as there was little need for him. However, a significant shoulder injury to Taylor Decker sent the Lions scrambling for a replacement. Robinson was on his way to being finally outcast from the Rams, when the Lions came calling with a sixth-round draft pick.

Led by some optimism from former NFL offensive linemen Geoff Schwartz, many Lions fans bought into the theory that Robinson could turn his career around in Detroit. The former second overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft had all the physical tools to be an elite left tackle, but it was unclear if he could ever be coached up to meet that potential.

Robinson wasn’t expected to play at Decker’s level for the first couple months of the season, but the general consensus was that he could be an average player with good coaching.

Actual role in 2017

2017 stats: 6 games (6 starts)
PFF Grade: 36.6 (80th of 83)

Any hope that Robinson would turn around his career in Detroit quickly dissipated once he took the field. He was poor in pass protection, and he graded out as literally the worst run blocker among all NFL tackles, per Pro Football Focus. In his Week 2 game against the Giants, he had three penalties and gave up five pressures. That’s kind of performance became the norm for Robinson.

After six weeks, Robinson suffered an ankle injury. Former defensive end-turned-offensive tackle Brian Mihalik replaced Robinson and was much more consistent at the position until Decker returned from injury.

Robinson continued to deal with his own injury for a few weeks until he was waived-injured. After going unclaimed on waivers, he reverted to the Lions’ injured reserve list for the final two months of the season.

Outlook for 2018

Contract status: Unrestricted free agent

The Lions will have a new offensive line coach in 2018, but unless he’s extremely confident in his abilities, it’s hard to see Greg Robinson coming back to the Lions next season. He was given every chance to turn around his troubled career in Detroit, and just could not prove the doubters wrong.

The Lions were in a desperate situation when Decker went down. Bob Quinn rolled the dice with Greg Robinson and they came up snake-eyes. In retrospect, the Lions may have been better served to stick with Cyrus Kouandjio or wait until a guy like Mihalik was waived in the final round of offseason cuts. However, those choices come with their own serious risks.

Still, the Lions could certainly use the extra ammo in the 2018 NFL Draft, and that sixth-round pick would have been certainly put to better use than it was used by acquiring Robinson.

Previously: DE Dwight Freeney, LB Tahir Whitehead , DE Ezekiel Ansah, S Tavon Wilson, CB Nevin Lawson, LS Don Muhlbach, LB Paul Worrilow, WR TJ Jones, TE Darren Fells


Should the Lions re-sign Greg Robinson?

This poll is closed

  • 8%
    Yes, give him one more chance
    (120 votes)
  • 91%
    (1303 votes)
1423 votes total Vote Now

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After winning their first NFC North title in 30 years, the Lions have unfinished business this offseason. Stay updated with Jeremy Reisman through Pride of Detroit Direct, our newsletter offering up exclusive analysis. Sign up with NFCNORTH30 to get 30% off after your free trial.