The Cleveland Browns signed left tackle Greg Robinson to a new contract this week after he showed some promise in the second half of the 2018 season.
General manager John Dorsey talked about the importance of keeping the offensive line intact on Thursday at the NFL Scouting Combine, but also said that everyone may want to hold off putting Robinson’s starting spot down in ink, according to cleveland.com:
“I think we’ll look at every position in this draft and (left tackle) would definitely be one of them as well.”
That shouldn’t come as a surprise since the Browns only worked out a one-year deal with Robinson. The Browns are clearly not ready to turn the position over to a player who is on his third team since being the No. 2 overall selection of the 2014 NFL Draft.
Which is why it makes sense that the team met with at least one left tackle prospect this week at the annual NFL Scouting Combine.
Andre Dillard mentions that he’s had a formal meeting with the entire brass from the #Browns. Despite re-signing Greg Robinson to a 1-yr. deal, CLE could still be searching for a LT of the future.— Jordan Reid (@JReidNFL) February 28, 2019
Dillard, who is 6-foot-5 and 306 pounds, was a three-year starter for the Cougars. He participated in last month’s Senior Bowl and left the event as “arguably the top-rated offensive tackle prospect in the country,” according to The Spokesman Review. Dillard arrived at the Scouting Combine with a grade of 6.19 on NFL.com’s prospect grading chart, which puts him in the category as someone who “should become instant starter.”
According to The Draft Network, there is much to like about Dillard - but the team that drafts him may need to show some patience:
... his transition to the pros will be best if he’s not pressured into early play. Dillard has technical deficiencies in his hands and struggles at times with his framing of blocks vs. speed, he’ll be tested greatly in those areas if he’s not coached up and given the chance to improve his fundamentals. Dillard should be regarded as a developmental starter prospect who, if everything clicks, could be an effective ZBS left tackle.
So it may be best if Dillard does not have to play right away? And the Browns have an option at left tackle for 2019 who is only on a one-year contract? Interesting.
We’re not sure the Browns are in a position where they can afford to use a first-round pick on a player who may have to sit a year before he is ready to take the field.
But given the importance of the position, Dillard will likely not be the only left tackle the Browns have their eyes on in the coming weeks.