Player Capsule: Zach Robertson
Position: Offensive Lineman
Eligibility: Redshirt Freshman
Weight: 320 pounds
2015 season quick review: Robertson redshirted last season.
Offensive line coach Chris Thomsen on Robertson: "Zach's a big man. He's got a lot of the things we look for as far as just his frame and how long he is and some of the natural strength and that's why he was obviously so highly regarded (as a recruit). Now it's about just continuing to work on the craft and get more experience because he has the tools to be very successful at this level."
SunDevilSource.com analysis: It's very possible going into this season that Robertson is ASU's best NFL offensive line prospect when taking everything into account and looking long term. He has rare physical stature for the position among Sun Devils in recent decades, broad and thickly constructed. He wouldn't look out of place on potent SEC offensive line or even in the NFL as an offensive guard.
Robertson isn't someone who just looks the part, though. He has large, heavy hands and is capable of stunning defensive linemen at the point of attack and likes firing with violence in his punch. Due to his length and potency Robertson has a little more margin for error with leverage and locating his hands relative to some of his peers, but that can contribute to bad habits so it's a double-edged sword he'll have to be aware of. It's a good problem to have though. He's less susceptible to bull attacks when aligned inside and projects to being able to wear on lighter or less physical peers as he continues to physically mature.
In his first year with the program, Robertson lost a significant amount of weight, going from 350-plus pounds at arrival to the 320 pound range. He carries weight very well though and probably will be able to play north of 330 pounds effectively as his career unfolds as long as he's able to maintain conditioning to a desired level. That's exactly what you want from your linemen in an ideal situation.
ASU has tinkered with Robertson at left and right tackle and also guard. His versatility for the college game is a strong asset. Long term Robertson doesn't seem to have the foot quickness in pass pro to be considered a strong left tackle prospect in the NFL, but he can probably play the position at ASU if there's not another equivalent candidate following the departure of Evan Goodman after this season. Right tackle is a more reasonable possibility since he has very good length and strength. Ideally though, Robertson would be developed to be a body-mover and pocket integrity provider at guard.
Projected depth chart status: ASU coaches appear very content with senior Stephon McCray at right guard and sophomore Sam Jones at left guard. What remains to be determined is if junior Tyler McClure and sophomore Quinn Bailey can hold onto the first-team status at center and right tackle, respectively. If not, a potential reshuffling of the personnel along the line could lead to Robertson moving into a guard or tackle spot.