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Fan draft choice: Cam Robinson

Posted Feb 13, 2017

Who should the Panthers select with the eighth overall pick in the 2017 draft? We examine the fan responses.

Who should the Panthers select with the eighth overall pick in the 2017 draft? We examine the fan responses on Twitter. First up is Alabama offensive tackle Cam Robinson.

Why it makes sense: Keeping the quarterback clean is a top priority for every team, and the Panthers want to ensure Cam Newton is protected so the offense can return to the form it showed in 2015, when Carolina led the league in scoring and Newton was named MVP.

Left tackle Michael Oher’s status is uncertain, as he continues to work his way back from a concussion that ended his 2016 season after three games. Right tackle Mike Remmers, who shifted over to left tackle in Oher’s absence, is set to become an unrestricted free agent.  

The only other tackle with any experience on the roster is Daryl Williams, the team’s fourth-round pick in 2015. All that said, it’s clear Carolina could use some reinforcements up front.

Robinson, 6-foot-6 and 330 pounds, started all 43 games at left tackle for the Crimson Tide during his college career. He’s got the size and strength to help a team control the line of scrimmage.

My two cents: Many believe Robinson is the top tackle prospect, but is he a top-10 talent? That’s a question Robinson will try to answer throughout the pre-draft period. Scouts and evaluators have expressed some concern about his athleticism and technique in pass protection. Some off-field trouble also factors into his evaluation.

But it’s extremely rare for an offensive tackle to enter the draft as a "finished product." With how difficult it is to find starting-caliber tackles, teams have to be prepared for the developmental process, even if they invest a first-round pick. Robinson’s power and experience at Alabama are terrific starting points.