Denard Robinson emerged as one of most exciting players college football in 2010 and that carried right through the 2011 season when he led Michigan to 11 wins and a win in the Sugar Bowl. But a right elbow injury derailed his senior season a bit in 2012, and also put to rest any chance he had to prove he could play quarterback at the NFL level.
To Robinson’s credit he embraced a position change during the pre-draft process, working as a wide receiver during the Senior Bowl and reportedly doing running back drills during Michigan’s Pro Day. Being without a defined position surely hurt his already tenuous draft stock, but the Jacksonville Jaguars used a fifth-round pick (135th overall) on Robinson in an effort to add some spark to one of the league’s worst offenses.
The Jaguars appear to have a plan to integrate Robinson into their offense immediately, with general manager David Caldwell suggesting they want to get him on the field for 10-15 snaps per game as a rusher and a receiver this season. Whether that comes to fruition is still a question, but Jacksonville has little to lose by making every effort to get Robinson on the field as much as possible. He reportedly tooks some snaps under center during OTAs last month, but it would be a major upset if he winds up unseating Blaine Gabbert or Chad Henne in the quarterback pecking order for the Jaguars.
Robinson looks best suited to being utilized as a multi-purpose weapon, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he sees time as a kickoff and punt returner as well as at running back and wide receiver. Training camp should lend some greater insight into how the Jaguars’ coaches intend to deploy him, but the new regime led by head coach Gus Bradley needs to keep an open mind when it comes to Robinson and his ultimate role.
Brad Berreman is a contributing writer at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @bradberreman24.