Allen Robinson is More Athlete Than Receiver at this Point

It’s clear when you watch Penn State that the objective for the offense is to get Allen Robinson the mall as often as possible. How do they go about this? Screens. You get a chance to see his natural athletic ability when he has the ball in his hands. The downside to this is, it hasn’t really helped him develop as a route runner, at least to what it’ll take at the next level. Still, Robinson has plenty of upside and because of that I wouldn’t be surprised to see him go in the top 40 picks with his frame and skill set.

What Makes Him Good

  • Athleticism
  • Making Plays in Traffic
  • Good initial acceleration

Robinson has several things going for him. Mainly, it’s his athleticism. For a guy 6’3 210 pounds he’s a very fluid, easy mover. When you see him catch these screens, he instantly turns into a running back. With the ball in his hands you see that he is a natural runner with good strength and vision. He has a good initial burst that helps him turn the short passes into long plays, as well as create separation out of his breaks.

His athleticism also allows him to win down the field. Look no further than the end of the game at Michigan, or the deep ball he caught against the Illini. There are plenty more examples, but these are the best where he high pointed the ball and simply out jumped the defender. Robinson shows very good body control and that helps him adjust to passes while he’s in the air. He’s a very impressive athlete. He also does a good job of making contested catches, whether over the middle or on the sidelines on an out breaking route. These are all traits that are important to be a successful receiver at the next level.

Where He Needs Work

  • Running Crisper Routes
  • Lacks explosive speed
  • Catching the ball in with his pads

The biggest pet peeve with Robinson starts at the line, where he often takes a massive false step off the line of scrimmage. From there, once he gets into his route, it’s pretty clear to tell where he’s headed. He starts to lean the direction he’s headed, or takes way too many steps to get in and out of his breaks. I think it speaks to his burst, because he’s not a very polished route runner on tape. While he’ll need to clean that up, I’ll give him credit for being the best “double move” route runner in the class.

He was able to make plays downfield or have these big gains after the catch, but his lack of top end speed is evident. I don’t think these plays translate to the NFL. If he was a cleaner route runner, I wouldn’t have any issues, but he won’t be able to out athlete the opposition at the next level.

Final problem with Robinson is the drops. I don’t think it’s a focus thing. It appears to be a technique issue. Robinson lets the ball get too deep and will drop passes. When he catches the ball away from his body, he’s excellent. The issue is this doesn’t happen enough and I’ve seen him make far too many body catches.

Grade/Final Thought

Multiple Pro Bowl Player, Top 10   8.5 – 9.0
Highly Productive Starter, 1st Round   8.0 – 8.4
Very Good Starter, Early 2nd Round   7.8 – 7.9
Reliable Starter, 2nd Round   7.5 – 7.7
Potential Starter in Year 2, 3rd Round   7.0 – 7.4
Backup/Spot Starter, 4th Round   6.5 – 6.9
Productive Backup, 5th Round   6.0 – 6.4
Very Good Backup/STs, 6th Round   5.5 – 5.9
Quality Backup/Good STs, 7th Round   5.0 – 5.4
Backup/STs/Project Player, 7th Round   4.5 – 4.9
Priority Free Agent w/ Limitations   4.0 – 4.4
Non-Draftable     < 4.0

 

Trait Weight Grade
Route Running 4 3.4
Speed 2.5 2
Hands 3 2.5
Ball Skills 3 2.8
YAC Ability 2 2
Effort 2 1.8
Blocking 2 1.8
Separation Skills 2 1.7
Awareness 2.5 2.3
Athleticism 2 1.9

Robinson grades out to a 7.99, which makes him a top 40 talent, just outside the 1st round. You can see the upside there, you can see the skill set. Robinson just needs to develop as a more polished route runner and consistently catch the ball away from his frame. I believe he can develop these skills and can be a very reliable target at the next level.