Since 2007, the New England Patriots have been known for the offensive juggernauts they have produced on the field with the likes of Randy Moss, Wes Welker, Aaron Hernandez, Brandon Lloyd and Rob Gronkowski.
As the Patriot’s 2013 season has started to unfold, the noticeable absence of talent has affected the offense that all Patriots fans have been accustomed to seeing. The recent return of Gronkowski will help Tom Brady and the entire New England offense tremendously, but it won’t be enough. It is time to take a look at a prospect from the 2014 NFL Draft that could give the team a boost: Allen Robinson, wide receiver of the Penn State Nittany Lions.
Robinson is a monster. The junior is 6-foot-3, weighing in at 210 pounds. He is the Nittany Lions’ leading offensive playmaker. The Penn State receiver, if not single-handily responsible, was the major reason the team pulled off its enormous upset over the Michigan Wolverines in four overtimes.
However, the physical intangibles are not the only reasons why I’m suggesting the Patriots take a look at this stud wide receiver prospect. Penn State’s head coach Bill O’Brien, who was formally the Patriot’s offensive coordinator from 2008-2011, would be that reason. When Penn State was in search of a new head coach for the 2012 season, the university chose the fiery O’Brien. He took the Patriots’ playbook with him.
Robinson, an unknown at the time, flourished under the system, quickly becoming the favorite target for then Penn State quarterback Matt McGloin. His 2012 season had him catching 77 passes for 1,018 yards and 11 touchdowns, helping lead the Nittany Lions to an 8-4 record in the wake of a major controversy hovering over the university.
The All-Big Ten receiver is currently building off last year’s breakout season, having already caught 50-plus passes and having 800-plus receiving yards. Not only will Robinson’s physique and proven ability help Brady and the Patriots, but his current knowledge of the offense will be the determining factor in why the Patriots should consider drafting him.
The Patriots offense is predicated on precise route running and receivers knowing where to be. Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins, while being capable weapons, don’t know the ins and outs of the Patriots’ system just yet. This had led to inconsistency in the New England offense.
It’s not to say these young receivers won’t be really good playmakers down the line, but Robinson has been entrenched in the system for two years. He knows how to operate the system at an extremely high level.
Over the next few months, Robinson will have to make the choice of staying at Penn State for one more year, but chances are he will follow the money. Regardless of his looming decision, don’t be surprised if all of these factors lead to Robinson’s name being called early by the Patriots in the 2014 NFL Draft.