For years, we've said it's hard to screw it up if you pick a great tackle. The perception was if he can't hack it at left tackle, you could probably move him to right. And if he's still not getting the job done at right tackle, you could always move him inside to guard. So even if you don't maximize the pick, at least you gain some assurances. It's not like you can take a struggling quarterback and make him a starter somewhere else. But at tackle, it was an option.
And yet I still think Greg Robinson, as special as he is, could be a risky pick if he's taken as high as No. 2 overall by St. Louis.
I consider Robinson a risk not because I'm convinced he'll initially struggle, but because the one area where he'll need to improve is the single greatest reason you should draft him high: pass protection. Robinson went to Auburn as a guard, and while his conversion to tackle was successful, coach Gus Malzahn's offense allowed Robinson to do what he does best, which is overwhelm opponents as a run-blocker who could bury the edge, take defenders where he wanted at the point of attack, and move down the field with his quick feet and hit would-be tacklers in space.
But where Robinson still needs work is as a pass-protector, where there are kinks to be ironed out. So if you determine he's your pick in St. Louis, Jacksonville or even Oakland, you're doing so with the belief that he'll improve your pass protection right away, because those are teams that can't afford an injured quarterback. Robinson can be special, but only if he develops in pass protection. That seems like a given, but when you consider where he could be taken, it's a big bet.
Mel Kiper Jr. has been ESPN's NFL draft expert for more than 30 seasons and has published a draft report for 35 years. He also can be found on Twitter @MelKiperESPN.