Camp Spotlight: Defensive tackle A'Shawn Robinson

Posted Aug 10, 2016

Tim Twentyman tracks the performance of defensive tackle A'Shawn Robinson during Day 11 of training camp practice.


Position: Defensive tackle

Ht./Wt.: 6-4, 310

College: Alabama

Experience: Rookie

Outlook: Robinson was part of a very deep defensive tackle class, and the Lions were able to pick him up in the second round of this year’s draft.

He is a big, physical presence in the middle of the line, but he’s a rookie. Rookies have a lot of things to learn.

Right now, Robinson is usually among the third rotation of defensive tackles in team drills, which isn’t uncommon for rookies under this coaching staff. Let’s not forget that Laken Tomlinson ran with the third-team offensive line to begin camp last season, and he was a first-round pick a year ago.

The good thing for Robinson is that he has all the physical tools and veterans in front of him like Haloti Ngata and Tyrunn Walker showing him the ropes.

The preseason is going to tell us a lot more about what kind of role Robinson can carve out as a rookie, but right now, he’s expected to be among the rotation of players behind starters Ngata and Walker.

Practice report: Robinson is a very powerful man, but his pass-rushing skills are still being developed. He did a lot of two-gapping in college, and is now being asked to attack more up the field in this scheme. His go-to move is the bull rush, which is effective, but he’s going to have to develop more than that.

He was able to push back center/guard Cody Wallace and center/guard B.J. Finney in one-on-one drills using the bull rush.

He made a nice play in an early team portion of practice when he stood up guard Cole Manhart and wrapped up running back Cameron Stingily at the line of scrimmage.

Robinson is powerful, no doubt, but he’s still a work in progress when it comes to being a dual-threat run stopper and pass rusher in the middle.

Quotable: “Learning. Developing,” head coach Jim Caldwell said of Robinson the pass rusher. “Kris (Kocurek) will get him there, but he’s coming along.”