Chip Kelly is big on speed, and Denard Robinson is world-class in that category.
It comes as no surprise, then, that Kelly tried to get Robinson to come to Oregon out of high school. Robinson chose Michigan instead, something Kelly reminded him of when the two sat down for a meeting this week at the Senior Bowl.
“I talked to Chip. I talked to him for a while,” said Robinson. “It was good. He told me he came down to Deerfield Beach to recruit me. He was like, ‘I wish you would have came [to Oregon].’ But it all worked out.”
Robinson became a national star and a Heisman candidate as quarterback of the Wolverines. He is now transitioning to wide receiver in an attempt to find a home on the next level.
Here is NFL.com‘s overview of the 5-11, 195-pound Robinson:
The star dual-purpose quarterback has proven to be too erratic a passer to follow Seneca Wallace’s path to the pros. However, he Robinson could work himself into a slot receiver or hybrid running back/receiver and return specialist role due to his elite straight-line speed and elusiveness in the open field –- though no one knows as of yet whether he is capable of catching an NFL ball consistently. He’s at his best with the ball in his hands, though, and most of his time at Michigan has been spent in a quasi-running back role. If he wants to make the transition, and shows strong hands in workouts, the sky is the limit on his draft stock, and he could go as early as the second round.
Robinson suffered an injury to his throwing arm this past season. To keep his talents on the field, Michigan deployed him as a running back. Robinson finished with 1,319 yards rushing (though a good chunk of that came when he was still the QB) and three catches for 31 yards.
“How many quarterbacks get the chance to go out there and play a little bit after they hurt their throwing arm? I was fortunate,” he said. “God blessed me with a talent where I can keep going, and I am going to use it.
“Everything happens for a reason. I think it was a blessing that it happened for me. I had an opportunity where I could get back and run a little bit, and I’m quick enough to play receiver so I took it and ran with it. That’s what I want to do now.”
Robinson is hoping to find a niche as a receiver/returner in the NFL. Boasting 4.3-40 speed, he is sure to draw some interest come April. Will Kelly have an eye on the former high school track star?
There are crazier theories out there.