Auburn Football: Who Will Replace Greg Robinson in Starting Lineup in 2014?

Justin Lee@@byjustinleeContributor IFebruary 21, 2014

Greg Robinson
Greg RobinsonKevin C. Cox/Getty Images

It wasn't any kind of shock to Auburn fans when Greg Robinson declared for the NFL draft in January.

As the left tackle shot up mock draft boards late in the season, Auburn fans and coaches alike began to brace for 2014 without the third-year sophomore anchoring the Tigers offensive line.

Sure enough, before the Tigers even returned to the Plains from Pasadena—and their gut-wrenching loss to Florida State in the BCS National Championship Game—Robinson confirmed via Twitter that he would be moving on and thanked his teammates and Auburn fans.

Since then, Robinson's stock has only continued to skyrocket, as most pundits expect him to be taken within the top 10, if not No. 2 overall by the St. Louis Rams.

Fortunately for Robinson, it appears that he made the right decision—and fortunately for Auburn fans, the Tigers have plenty of depth returning at tackle.

Jan 6, 2014; Pasadena, CA, USA; Auburn Tigers guard Alex Kozan (63) tries to hear the play call while in the huddle with tackle Greg Robinson (73) center Reese Dismukes (50) and tackle Avery Young (56) against the Florida State Seminoles during the second
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

While it will be tough for the Tigers to replace the production of a generational talent like Robinson, Auburn has several guys in line ready to give it a shot this spring and fall.

Shon Coleman was Robinson's backup at left tackle all season, and he could be the assumed heir apparent to the position going into spring camp. Coleman will be a redshirt sophomore this fall after the 2010 signee took two years off from football to beat leukemia and redshirted in 2012 to return to full strength.

Coleman was too talented to keep of the field at times this season, as he saw limited action in some of Gus Malzahn's heavy sets and unbalanced line groupings.

However, Avery Young started the last nine games of the season at right tackle in 2013, and he could move to the left side in spring camp to help protect quarterback Nick Marshall's blind side. Young also saw action as a true freshman in 2012, making three starts at right tackle before being forced to take a medical redshirt.

Jan 6, 2014; Pasadena, CA, USA; Auburn Tigers tackle Avery Young (56) in action against the Florida State Seminoles during the first half of the 2014 BCS National Championship game at the Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

But Patrick Miller has just as much on-field experience as Young, as he started at right tackle for nine games in 2012 and five games in 2013.

By all accounts, it appears to be a three-man race for just two starting spots on opposite ends of the line.

The good news for Auburn fans is that the rest of the Tigers offensive line is coming back, so there will be a strong sense of continuity as the guards pull and continue to work Malzahn's read-option ground attack.

Robinson will be difficult to replace, as he proved to be a key component in the biggest turnaround in college football history.

But what he left behind was an opportunity to help continue that success in the future.


Justin Lee is Bleacher Report's lead Auburn writer. Follow him on Twitter @byjustinlee.