Gimme da Damn Ball — but don’t make me run

Allen Robinson
Allen Robinson remains focused on the sideline while Christian Hackenberg tells him some shit.

The knock on former Penn State wideout Allen Robinson has involved two areas: speed and hands. The NFL scouting report on him stated that he didn’t have separation speed and he catches the ball against his body instead of with his hands. His performance at the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine this weekend validated some of  the NFL scouts’ concerns.

The NFL Scouting Combine doesn’t test catching ability, but they certainly test speed in a number of ways. The most bandied about stat is the 40 yard dash, something we all can relate to. Robinson flat-0ut sucked in that drill, running a 4.60. Hell, some defensive linemen can run 4.60; they make excellent edge rushers. (The great Jadeveon Clowney of South Carolina ran a 4.47; Jackson Jeffcoat of Texas ran a 4.60; and Chris Smith of Arkansas ran a 4.54.)

Where did Robinson excel? The long jump. He leaped 127 inches over the sawdust.

Getting back to speed comparisons, the NFL’s assessment of GTDB seems to be true. By way of comparison to other WRs we know and love, here’s where that 4.60 fits in:

Jared Abbrederis, Wisconsin: 4.50
Kelvin Benjamin, FSU: 4.61
Corey Brown, tOSU: 4.51
Martavis Bryant, Clemson: 4.42
Brandin Cooks, Oregon St.: 4.33
Bennie Fowler, Moo U.: 4.52
Jeremy Gallon, Michigan: 4.49
Sammy Watkins, Clemson: 4.43

If you want to know about real speed, our friend (because he sat out our game) Dri Archer of Kent State recorded a 4.26. My recollection is that former Penn State wideout Eddie Drummond beat that mark with a 4.22 a dozen years ago.

So, what we can conclude here is that GTDB doesn’t have whatchacall “elite speed”. They talk about separation speed after the catch and the oft referred to film clip showing a DB chasing down Robinson from behind. That does not bespeak first-round speed.

Hands, now that’s a subjective area. NFL scouts will see what they see, and thus far they’ve seen Robinson catching the ball against his body, which he sometimes has to do twice to haul it in.

Only one of the WR contestants beat Robinson in the long jump, although a  couple tied him. This means that he has a certain spring in his step.

My assessment for now is that Robinson won’t go in the first round. There are just too many talented wide receivers in this pool, many of whom have the requisite speed. The best things Robinson has going for him are NFL size and leaping ability. Furthermore, I don’t see Robinson as a first-option WR in the NFL. Perhaps third, maybe, possibly, but not the main go-to guy.



  1. Joe says

    I guess I’m really not surprised at his 40 time and always felt he was maybe a mid-2nd, to 3rd round draft pick especially with the WR talent in this draft. Yes he has tremendous leaping ability and my understanding is he does run a precise route. That will get you a basketful of catches in the B1G, but won’t do squat for you against the big boys in the NFL if you can’t get separation. I also seem to remember a bunch of dropped balls that should have been catches last season (as well as the catches that could have been incompletions.)

    Seems from some of the things I read over the past few days, he might have stayed if OB didn’t jet for the NFL.

    I’m convinced he should have stayed for his senior year. Another year to work on technique with a QB that has a significant upside going in to his second season and then go in to a draft class that doesn’t have the depth at WR (at least today) next year might have been the ticket, but you get injured or don’t have the stats and all of a sudden you go from a 2nd-3rd round pick to a 5th or 6th round pick and you ask yourself why did you stay.

    Some one will take a shot on him in the early rounds, but I never felt he was as high a pick as everyone was making him out to be. But what the hell do I know!

    • says

      Looks like you talked yourself out of being convinced that he should have stayed for his senior year.

      He was a legend in his own mind, and with a new coach coming in, he didn’t want to have to persevere through “training” another mentor. He probably thinks he’s better than Brandon Cooks, too.

      He’ll get another chance at the PSU NFL Day thingie. Maybe he’ll be able to improve on his Combine performance. Maybe not. In any case, I think we can agree that Robinson is anything but “elite”.


      • K. John says

        Always thought he was a third. Given that every good receiver that was eligible for the draft left early, he could have slipped into the first had he stayed. Next year’s draft not only looks far thinner at his position but a lot of others as well partly due to the mass influx of juniors leaving early.

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