Oh how times change. It seemed that it was just yesterday that Penn State fans everywhere were shaking in their boots over the thought of having a player with three career catches as the number one option from the wide receiver spot. Well, 177 catches, 2,379 yards, and 17 touchdowns later, we say goodbye to one of the greatest wide receivers to ever wear the Penn State uniform. From providing stability for his quarterback, to supplying fans with eternal joy, Allen Robinson was truly one of the most memorable players to wear the blue and white.
Now that's all fine and dandy (and true), but sometimes it can be hard to fully analyze a player through a veil of adoration. So in this piece we will really try to get to the core of who Allen Robinson is as a player, and what he is going to offer your very lucky NFL team.
We'll start with the positives. Robinson brings to the table a nice big frame who can reach the ball at its highest point as well as anybody in the game. The former standout high school basketball player knows how to get up in the air on the court as well as on the field. He was never one who had trouble fighting off blockers on the line, and runs his routes well to create separation. He has a sometimes inexplicably impressive ability to make plays after the catch, as he does a fantastic job of setting up his blockers and using subtle but effective juke moves in space. He very rarely gets taken down for a short loss. His leaping abilities should lead him to be a reliable red zone target in the NFL.
His testing results at the combine weren't great, as many who doubt his straight line speed surely came away unimpressed by his 4.6 40 time. However, at the Penn State Pro Day he was able to run a much nicer looking 4.47, which led some draft pundits to move him back into the late first round.
There aren't many downsides to Robinson's game. The obvious one that is immediately pointed out by his detractors is the fact that he is not a burner. Which is true. Robinson will never be one who simply bursts down the sidelines or outruns any cornerback foolish enough to cover him. He simply doesn't have that kind of speed. However as I mentioned earlier, that is not his game. While the term "game speed" can sometimes be overblown, Robinson embodies the idea pretty well. He won't run straight past faster corners and safeties, but he will allow his blockers to do their jobs and find open space for himself.
In the end, if he is put in the right situation, Allen Robinson will become a very productive number two receiver in the NFL, with the ability to be the main guy should be he put in that situation at some point down the line. NFL coaches and coordinators surely took notice of what he was able to do with short passes and screens during his Penn State career, so it would not be surprising to see his future team use these types of plays to get Allen's feet wet as a professional. There is an abundance of talent at the wide receiver spot in this year's draft, but Robinson's impressive showing at his pro day paired with the fact that he will be a 21 year old rookie should mean he is drafted in the bottom of the first round or the top of the second. Anything lower than that, and whichever team is lucky enough to grab him will be getting quite the steal.
Finally, it feels wrong to have written this many words about Allen Robinson without including any of his many gifs. So in response to that...
Also be sure to check out So Your Team Drafted John Urschel...