Picked before Aaron Donald, ex-Rams Greg Robinson’s struggles still

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

Former LA Rams offensive tackle Greg Robinson was chosen in the 2014 NFL Draft ahead of defensive lineman Aaron Donald (well, to be fair, so were 11 other rookies), but their NFL career paths and life since that 2014 NFL Draft have gone in far different directions.

The career path of Aaron Donald is widely known. He was selected by the LA Rams and took the NFL by storm. Donald has been a Pro Bowler in each of his eight seasons, and an All-Pro in all but one – his rookie year. However, he was the Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2014. Donald’s NFL career has been nothing short of spectacular, a  career lauded with accolades, honors, and outstanding performances that almost guarantee a spot in the NFL Hall of fame.

But for his teammate, Greg Robinson, success has been awfully difficult to come by.

Robinson’s draft profile was about as positive as they come, projecting him as a Top-10 selection, and the makings of a franchise blindside tackle. In the NFL, a blindside offensive tackle is second to a franchise quarterback.

Rams Robinson struggled in the NFL

Robinson played for the Rams for three seasons: Two in St. Louis and one in Los Angeles before the Rams traded him to the Detroit Lions for a sixth-round pick. He lasted just one season with the Lions before he was allowed to test free agency. The Cleveland Browns signed him and tried to fit him in for two years before his NFL career ended at the end of the 2019 NFL season.

For the LA Rams, veteran offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth arrived and took over the LA Rams left tackle position when head coach Sean McVay arrived.

Robinson has not had an easy life after football. He has been arrested twice and charged with possession and transportation of drugs on both occasions. In many cases, there is a presumption of the NFL Draft selection process is built upon perfect information and that teams simply make bad choices.

That is not how it happens.

Each draft comes with its own risks, and each pick carries those risks. For Robinson, the transition to the NFL was a huge change and one that he seemed to struggle with his entire career. Like winning the lottery, the opportunity to play in the NFL can be life-changing. But not everyone is prepared to handle those changes constructively.

Not all NFL players land on easy street. Some continue to fight through the school of hard knocks. Greg Robinson is a young man who had the chance to realize his dream. Instead, it appears that he is stuck in a nightmare.

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