This post continues our series on USC's draft prospects. We've previously discussed Stephon Gilmore, Alshon Jeffery, Melvin Ingram, and Antonio Allen. Today we're looking at Travian Robertson. Another popular player among USC fans, I've expended a great deal of verbiage claiming that Robertson has been a key part of our rise to prominence over the past two years. For many years, one of the key factors holding Carolina back was the lack of quality play on the interior defensive line, which is one of the positions that tends to separate the wheat from the chaff in the SEC. Along with Ladi Ajiboye, Robertson changed that; Kelcy Quarles looks to be next in line as an elite DT at USC. Now, it's Robertson's turn to try his fortunes in the NFL. Let's see what he has to offer.
Extremely strong, Robertson is very good at overpowering and shedding opposing guards. He also plays with good technique, knowing how to get under his opponent and to use his hands to his advantage. He understands his role and is effective in plugging holes and opening up gaps for linebackers. When he gets at the ball carrier, he is an effective tackler.
Robertson is a few steps slow, even for an interior lineman. He doesn't get off the line quickly and thus doesn't make a lot of plays in the backfield. He's good at playing within a system that takes advantage of his skills, but he's not someone who's going to register tons of plays you notice.
Robertson is not going to be a Ndamukong Suh. While possessing all the power one could desire in a DT, he lacks the speed and agility to be a playmaker at the position. That's why he's not going to go very high. However, he has clear strengths as a run stopper and a guy who can push guards around in order to open gaps. That will make him attractive as a rotational guy in the NFL. If he lands at a place that knows how to make good use of his talents, I could see him carving out a solid career for himself, even if he's never a household name.