Draft Daily: Close-up On PSU WR Allen Robinson
Chip Kelly continued his Pro Day tour this week with a visit to State College.
And the main attraction once again was a wide receiver: Allen Robinson.
Robinson (6-2 5/8) turned in a disappointing 40 time (4.60) at the combine, but he weighed 220 pounds at the February event. At his Pro Day, Robinson was reportedly down to 208 pounds, and he ran sub-4.5:
— Gil Brandt (@Gil_Brandt) April 8, 2014
Regardless of the measurables, Robinson is not considered a burner, but his production speaks for itself. Robinson averaged 8.1 catches per game last year, good enough for ninth in the country. And he averaged 119.3 yards per contest (third in the nation). An early entry, Robinson was productive as a sophomore as well, totaling 77 receptions for 1,018 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Robinson’s strength is his size. Not only does he have excellent length, but Robinson can get up. Here’s a look at how his combine numbers stacked up:
There are several reasons why Robinson likely intrigues Kelly and the Eagles. One is that he’s shown he can be prolific on screens to the perimeter, a staple of the Birds’ offense. According to Rotoworld, 27.6 percent of Robinson’s catches last year came on screens, and he averaged 14.3 YAC on those plays.
Take a look at this play from last year against Wisconsin. Robinson starts in the slot, motions to the opposite side, takes a screen, accelerates through traffic, breaks a tackle and turns a high-percentage throw into a monster gain.
By the way, if you’re wondering about the defender who caught Robinson from behind, he reportedly ran in the 4.3s at his Pro Day.
In the games I watched, Robinson rarely lined up inside, although he showed the ability to make tough catches in between the numbers.
Per Rotoworld, 48.4 percent of Robinson’s catches were on comeback routes. He was a high-volume receiver, capable of moving the chains. And Robinson only dropped about 5.4 percent of the catchable passes thrown his way.
Here’s another play from that Wisconsin game. Robinson gets the defender on his back and makes a leaping grab in the red zone.
On downfield targets, Robinson’s strength is tracking the ball through the air and using his size/vertical leap to make plays. In other words, he’s more likely to make grabs on 50/50 balls than burn past opposing cornerbacks. This is a skill Kelly values in Riley Cooper.
And Robinson’s ability to shake off defenders after the catch caught the attention of NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah:
Studying more tape on Allen Robinson… Wish he had more juice but I love the way he fights for every inch after the catch. Very physical
— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) March 10, 2014
Here’s an example of what Jeremiah’s talking about:
In terms of the run game, Robinson doesn’t show much effort as a blocker. But given his frame, there’s no reason he can’t be effective in that aspect with the right coaching in the NFL.
Projecting Robinson is difficult. His college production was outstanding, he has excellent size, and he’s young (doesn’t turn 21 until August). While the combine is only one piece of the puzzle, wide receivers who run 4.6 generally don’t get taken early. In the last three drafts, only one WR (Kendall Wright) who ran 4.6 or worse was taken in the first two rounds.
ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. recently suggested Robinson could fall to the third round (70th overall).
The guess here is that Robinson is an unlikely choice for the Eagles at No. 22, but if he’s available at No. 54 or 86, the Penn State product could be an option.