Prior to 2012, not many people had heard of Penn State‘s Allen Robinson. The Lions entered that year with a substandard QB, a new coach, and no proven offensive weapons to speak of. Turns out, they had one of the best receivers in the country who was set to explode. Robinson finished that season with 77 receptions and over a 1,000 yards en route to winning Big Ten Receiver of the Year honors. All of that was accomplished despite defenses keying on him, knowing he was the only legitimate playmaker the Lions had on offense.
Robinson entered 2013 with enormous expectations, and thus far he hasn’t failed to deliver. It’s not a given he’ll leave school a year early and declare for the 2014 NFL Draft, but considering the fact that he’s on pace to graduate early and that he could go as high as round one, it might behoove of him to “take the money and run” as Steve Miller bluntly puts it.
- Good size to play outside receiver at the next level. Excellent leaper (37-inch vert).
- Strong hands snagging the ball out of the air. Doesn’t usually use his chest.
- Displays good in-flight awareness of the ball.
- Rare body control while leaping. Fantastic at high-pointing the ball and keeping feet in bounds.
- Could be a tight-rope walker considering how well he manages his feet along the sideline. Cris Carter-esque.
- Excellent red zone threat. Six of his 16 career TDs have come in red zone.
- Tough runner to bring down after the catch. Always fights for extra yardage.
- Has natural flair for acrobatic catches.
- Good at playing off the line of scrimmage. Is a viable threat on bubble screens, displaying good patience to let blocks develop.
- Willing and able receiver across the middle. Doesn’t appear to have gator-arm issue.
- Has a lot of experience playing both outside and inside in the slot. Has played all receiver positions for Lions in 2013.
- Overall a strong route-runner.
- Very high football IQ and clearly a team leader.
- Doesn’t always sell the run very well.
- Needs to get physically stronger in all facets, can be overpowered.
- Needs to work on breaking jams at line of scrimmage, using better hands shedding.
- Doesn’t have elite timed-speed. Won’t necessarily be able to take the top off a defense by himself.
- Could struggle with deep separation at next level.
- Needs to work on better ball-security. Has lost several crucial fumbles in big moments, most recently against Michigan (2013).
- Sometimes slows too much going into breaks. Needs to be more explosive.
- Does not have good initial quickness. Takes time for him to build to top speed.
2013 Season Outlook
Robinson entered the season with All-American and Biletnikoff Award aspirations. Through six games, Robinson has hauled in 43 receptions for 705 yards and five touchdowns. Not too shabby when you consider he’s playing with a true freshman QB and few other offensive threats to prevent defenses from keying on Robinson. He’ll have the biggest one-on-one test of the season, and perhaps of his collegiate career this Saturday against Ohio State. OSU has arguably best cover corner in the country in Bradley Roby, and a strong performance could seriously boost Robinson’s already high draft stock.
In terms of pro outlook, I really like Robinson. He’s got good size, good hands, is a strong route-runner, and is a terrific leaper. He’s good at everything but isn’t particularly great at anything and has very few negatives. Overall he’s just a rock solid receiving prospect. He probably won’t move ahead of Sammy Watkins (Clemson), Mike Evans (Texas A&M) or Marqise Lee (USC) on the receiving big boards, but he, along with Donte Moncrief (Ole Miss) and Jordan Matthews (Vanderbilt), are right around the late first/early second round consideration.
Draft Projection: Late 1st/ early 2nd round. If he can shave a tenth off his 40 by next May, he’ll be gone by day 2.
Film Watched: UCF (2013), Michigan (2013), Iowa (2012), Indiana (2012, 2013), Ohio St. (2012).