Heading into the 2014 NFL Draft last week, many expected the New York Giants to target a tight end with one of their picks. Instead, the Giants added Odell Beckham Jr. at wide receiver, and no tight end was selected. They did add one as an undrafted free agent in Xavier Grimble from USC. He has some things to work on before making an impact on the field, so the Giants will have to rely on someone on the roster, and that person will be Adrien Robinson.
Robinson has yet to see the field much in his two seasons with the team, dealing with numerous injuries that have kept him from playing. Even with the lack of playing time, he received high praises from GM Jerry Reese when he was drafted in 2012, referring to him as the ‘Jason Pierre-Paul of tight ends’.
That was high praise to heap on a player who caught only 29 passes in four seasons at Cincinnati. The reason for the comparison was the athleticism that Robinson showed during his time with the Bearcats. His combination of size, top-end speed and hands he showed in limited action made for what many people thought would be a steal in the draft.
Also stated in the draft profile for Robinson is that he would need time to develop not only as an in-line blocker, but also in technique and route running. With the athletic ability he possessed, it would make for a great weapon to give Eli Manning.
Robinson has now been with the Giants for two seasons, and it is time for Robinson to show on the field what the Giants liked enough to draft him in the fourth round of the 2012 NFL Draft. He is on the same page as everyone else now, learning a new offense under new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo, so there is no better time than now for Robinson to make an impact on this team.
Currently, Robinson is penciled in at the top of the depth chart for the Giants. If he has grown as a blocker, he will receive a chunk of the playing time right off the bat. He is the most athletically gifted of the group of Kellen Davis, Larry Donnell and Daniel Fells, and will receive the first chance as the pass catching tight end from the position as well. Davis was signed to help block, but if Robinson is going well Davis should help replace Bear Pascoe.
The Giants showed confidence in Robinson and the group of tight ends they have on the roster by not drafting one to replace them, or signing a boom or bust option such as Dustin Keller or Jermichael Finley. In return, they need to step up and play well to show the Giants made the right decision in giving them a chance to succeed.