Lions take Alabama DT A'Shawn Robinson in 2nd round
ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) The draft so far for the Lions has been all about the trenches.
Detroit took Alabama defensive tackle A'Shawn Robinson in the middle of the second round and Michigan center Graham Glasgow late in the third round Friday night, one day after using their first-round pick on Ohio State offensive tackle Taylor Decker.
Clearly, the Lions are trying to bolster both lines under new general manager Bob Quinn.
''That's where I believe you win football games, you win in the trenches,'' Quinn said.
The 6-4, 307-pound Robinson is regarded as a powerful run-stuffing player and a team leader, though perhaps relatively limited as a pass-rushing lineman. He had nine sacks over his three-year career, and said the system limited the number of times he hit quarterbacks before they got rid of the ball.
''It was like our game plan to control-rush,'' Robinson said.
Robinson was such a large kid his mother had to show up at his little league games to prove his age.
''She had to bring my birth certificate every single time,'' Robinson said.
Many years later at Alabama, his mature looks and thick beard led to him getting to jabs from his teammates.
''They always joke around and call me old man,'' he said.
Robinson determined he was physically and mentally mature enough to skip his senior season to enter the NFL draft, and Detroit drafted him the No. 46 overall pick.
The Lions chose Glasgow with the No. 95 pick, a compensatory selection they were given for losing defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh last year in free agency. Center Travis Swanson will be pushed to keep his job after starting 14 games last year.
''Travis played well for the Lions last year,'' Quinn said. ''He's definitely part of the mix, and he's going to have competition now.''
The 6-foot-6, 307-pound Glasgow started 37 games for the Wolverines, and was voted their top offensive lineman last season.
Detroit addressed a pressing need by taking Decker, hoping to give more protection to quarterback Matthew Stafford and improve the league's worst rushing offense.
The Lions went into the three-day draft with 10 selections, including a pair in the fifth round and a trio of slots in the sixth round.
Detroit signed Haloti Ngata last year to attempt to replace Suh, and re-signed the 32-year-old defensive tackle early in free agency. He started last year next to Caraun Reid, a fifth-round in 2015. Robinson should have a shot to start, possibly replacing Reid and playing with Ngata.
''It's amazing, honestly, to play with a guy (Ngata) that has that much experience in the NFL,'' Robinson said. ''To play that many years and dominate that many years in the league, it's amazing to be able to play beside him, or behind him.''
Quinn expected to mesh drafting the best player available with addressing needs. With his first two picks, he took players who can be plugged in to significant roles as rookies for a team coming off its 13th losing season in 15 years.
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