If you’ve been casually watching college football this Saturday afternoon, that maize and blue blur that’s been flashing across your screen was Denard Robinson, the ridiculously fast quarterback at Michigan.
We don’t write a lot about college football around here, leaving that to our friends at CFT, but as I watched Robinson in the first half of Michigan’s game against San Diego State, I became fascinated by the thought of what kind of prospect Robinson is going to be in the NFL draft, which he’ll be eligible to enter in 2012 but will probably not enter until 2013.
For starters, let’s make clear that Robinson is simply not an NFL quarterback. As of the moment I’m writing this, in the third quarter, Robinson has completed seven of 13 passes for 84 yards and two interceptions against San Diego State. That’s pretty much par for the course for Robinson: He’s not even close to a pro passer.
But Robinson is as gifted a runner as college football has ever seen at the quarterback position. At the moment, he has 19 carries for 167 yards and three touchdowns on the ground, and that’s pretty much par for the course, too: He’s stunning with the ball in his hands, and last year he led the Big Ten with 1,702 yards rushing.
And that raises some interesting questions: What kind of pro will Robinson be? Will he get drafted? What round? What position?
Robinson is such an incredible runner that you’d think there have to be some NFL coaches who would be interested in trying to convert him into a running back. But Robinson, who’s listed at 6-foot-1 and 193 pounds, looks like he’d be about the skinniest running back in the NFL. It’s tough to see him withstanding the pounding of running between the tackles in the NFL.
His speed would make him tempting as a receiver, although we don’t know what kind of hands he has, or what kind of route runner he would become. Could Robinson return punts? Maybe. When I see Robinson in the open field, the NFL player he reminds me of most is Devin Hester.
Whenever he’s ready to turn pro, Robinson will likely light it up at the scouting combine and have some NFL personnel people fall in love with him. And then they’ll have to decide what position he can play in the NFL.