Denard Robinson shows what kind of NFL player he’ll be

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It’s not often that you can say an injury will help a college football player’s NFL draft stock, but that might be the case with Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson.

Robinson suffered an injury to his throwing elbow that prevents him from passing, so in his final game in Ann Arbor today, Michigan is using him as a running back/slot receiver/wildcat quarterback, and that may give NFL teams a better sense of what he can do in the NFL: Robinson has never been a good enough passer to play quarterback in the NFL, but he is a good enough athlete to play somewhere in the NFL.

The results have been encouraging. As I’m writing this late in the second quarter of Michigan’s home finale against Iowa, Robinson has carried seven times for 72 yards and caught one pass for four yards. Making plays as a running back and slot receiver is what NFL scouts will want to see Robinson do.

Listed at six feet tall and 197 pounds, Robinson is a little small to be an every down running back in the NFL, but I see a lot of Danny Woodhead in him, a player who can play on third downs and take handoffs on draw plays or line up as a slot receiver and create matchup advantages with his speed over the middle. I’d also love to see Robinson return kicks: The NFL player Robinson most reminds me of when he’s running in the open field is Devin Hester.

Where ever Robinson ends up in April, he’ll be a project. But he’ll be a fascinating project to watch.

39 responses to “Denard Robinson shows what kind of NFL player he’ll be

  1. I would draft the guy in the 2nd or 3rd round. Picking a guy without a certain position is always risky, but he is a rare, rare athlete. This isn’t Pat White we are talking about- I like the Hester comparison.

  2. i loved pat white in college but i am a michigan fan so i see denard every week.. they are very different qbs really, and pat white tried being a quarterback in the nfl but denard wont be doing that.

  3. Robinson has a number of skills that translate to the NFL. He certainly could be a Percy Harvin/Reggie Cobb type of a player who could take a few handoffs, certainly play slot receiver, return kicks, etc. Worth a 2nd or 3rd, I would think.

  4. I saw him run out of bounds when he could have picked up another 5 yards if he would have been willing to take a hit. Just another diva….

  5. I wish the best for Mr. Robinson….. I enjoy watching athletes that are freaks of nature, and that can do things that I can’t. If you’re hating or him, it’s only because he can do things that you can’t.

    GO BLUE!!!

  6. He will do great in the CFL and make a living there, or the Pats could nab him and use his talents very effectively.

    Otherwise hard to see him making much of a living in the NFL longer term. It would take the right team and situation. While he could go to the CFL play a decade and do quite well.

  7. I’m a Michigan fan and love to watch him play. He also has shown to have a frail body and gets hurt a lot.
    I see him getting hurt a lot and not being tough enough to play in the NFL.
    Don’t know if he could be another Wes Welker since he didn’t play receiver, but he will not be another Mike Vick and will not be drafted for a QB position.

  8. huh? how’s he different from chris johnson, who is 6’0 200 lbs., and is an every down back in the nfl?

  9. Chris6523 says “Robinson has a number of skills that translate to the NFL. He certainly could be a Percy Harvin/Reggie Cobb”

    Reggie Cobb? The Tampa Bay running back who I only remember because he was in Tecmo Super Bowl? Yeah, I guess he could be like him.

  10. I never thought of it, but as a Bears fan and a fan of big ten football, I can see where he’s coming from with the Hester comparison. Both players have the ability to see a lane, then accelerate and explode quickly before anybody gets a hand on them. I don’t think he quite has the ability as Hester, not many people do, but I do think Robinson has a role in the NFL and can be a successful player. Just needs the right coach that knows how to utilize him correctly.

  11. If Denard proves he can catch the ball (not saying he cant), then he could be used very similarly to Randall Cobb.

  12. I’m watching the game now…as I do all U of M games…um…Detroit…looking for a replacement for jahvid and your own personal percy harvin? Get your corner or safety in the first and pick up D-Rob in the second please.

    That is all.

  13. Robinson has a number of skills that translate to the NFL. He certainly could be a Percy Harvin/Reggie Cobb type of a player who could take a few handoffs, certainly play slot receiver, return kicks, etc. Worth a 2nd or 3rd, I would think.

    You must be Troy Aikman, he can’t say Randall Cobb either

  14. Depends on who wants to take a chance in the kid. Pats, Saints, or Steelers could make this kid a worthwhile player at a RB or WR position. If the Los Angeles Bills, London Jaguars, or Portland Rams draft him, we’ll never hear from him again.

  15. chris johnson, jamal charles, cj spiller, reggie bush, jahvid best… are all the same size as denard, and he has same speed if not faster than all of them, so I see him being that type of speedy back with the potential for >1500 yards/season without any injuries, but just like those other backs, staying healthy all the time will be difficult.

  16. Michigan Fan Opinion
    Robinson would have SHATTERED Whites all time rushing record if not for injury. NOT A NFL QB OR 1ST RD PICK
    BUT….freak of an athlete…will have a great career RETURN/WR/HB…whoever doubts this is jealous,envious , and simply HATING.

  17. I’d like to see him in Houston as the home-runner hitter coming out of the backfield when both Andre and Dwayne Bowe are double covered next year.

  18. He should go to the cfl play qb and win some grey cups. The cfl will best utilize his skills as a qb and leader. The nfl will never get it unless urban meter or chip kelly go there!!!

  19. Just because 2 people weigh the same does not mean they are the same size or have the same frame or physique. Reggie Bush is jacked, squats over 400 lbs and can rep out at 225 on the bench all day. Denard isn’t in Bush’s area code, he’d get killed as an every down back. He “could” however be a decent luxury pick for a good team in the late rounds as a slot receiver type. MAYBE. He’ll need a lot of work learning the position before the combine..

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