Football: Linemen Robinson, Loadholt could be first Sooners taken in NFL draft
Zach Butler, The Oklahoma Daily
The 2009 NFL draft is on the horizon, with the first two rounds set for this Saturday. Offensive guard Duke Robinson and offensive tackle Phil Loadholt could be the first former Sooners drafted this year.
Many analysts rank Robinson, a three-year starter for the Sooners, as the top offensive guard in this year’s draft. Additionally, he is a versatile player who has the size to potentially play tackle at the next level. Robinson was a two-time All-American and finalist for the Outland Trophy, awarded to the top interior lineman. Many project him to be a second-round pick.
As a true freshman at OU, Robinson played in 10 games at left guard, plus saw action at left tackle at the beginning of the season. During the 2006 season, he had more snaps than any other lineman on the team. His performance in the 2007 and 2008 seasons led him to first team All-American and All-Big 12 titles.
The 6’5”, 330-pound prospect ran a 5.32 40-yard dash at the NFL combine, but did not participate in the bench-press drill because of an arm injury. At OU’s pro day, he pressed 225 pounds 20 times and had an 8-foot, 3-inch broad jump.
The 6’8”, 332-pound offensive lineman is projected to be a first- to second-round draft pick. During his senior season, he was named All-Big 12 and All-American honorable mention. He had a league-high 16 touchdown-resulting blocks.
At the NFL combine, he ran a 5.49 40, benched 225 pounds 24 times, and posted a 7-foot 11-inch broad jump and 29-inch vertical. He increased his reps to 26 and improved his broad jump to 8 feet, 9 inches at OU’s pro day.