2013 NFL Draft: Denard Robinson to play cornerback?
There’s no denying that Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson is the epitome of athleticism. With phenomenal speed, elusiveness and playmaking abilities, the former Wolverine deserves a shot in the NFL.
The only question heading into April’s draft is what position he will play at the next level. Robinson tried wide receiver during the Senior Bowl and struggled. Others have mentioned running back as a potential position for the dynamic athlete. The latest suggestion to crop up is cornerback, which carries an exciting amount of intrigue.
“Denard Robinson told me that some teams inquired about his willingness to play CB. He said he was open to playing any position,” Daniel Jeremiah said via Twitter.
While Robinson is obviously limited in the way of experience on the defensive side of the ball, athletes of his elite talent always have the option to make drastic position changes. Robinson clearly has the quickness, agility and straight-line speed to play cornerback. During the 2013 NFL Combine, Robinson raised his stock with a 4.43 40-yard-dash, 36.5-inch vertical jump and 10’3’’ broad jump. I don’t know about you, but those sound like measurable that translate to successful cornerback play.
Obviously, playing the cornerback position involves much more than sprinter speed and jumping ability, though. It would take some time – at least one or two years – for Robinson to learn the position enough to see the field in an NFL game, but the natural athleticism is definitely present. His experience as a quarterback could also help him understand how to counteract the actions of opposing wide receivers and passers.
Unless Robinson opts to play running back in 2013, he’s going to be a project for the first couple of seasons at the professional level. Still, his potential as an explosive playmaker leaves room for the former quarterback to hear his name called on Day 2 of the draft.
Quarterback might not be an option moving forward, but elite athletes adapt to their surroundings. One way or another, you will see Robinson making plays in the NFL sooner or later.