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Giants Rookie WR Wan’Dale Robinson Ready to Quiet Critics About His Size

Giants receiver Wan'Dale Robinson is more than ready to put any doubts people have about him to rest.

On Day 1 of the 2022 NFL Draft, the Giants did what many thought they would do given their selections of edge Kayvon Thibodeaux and offensive tackle Evan Neal, two blue-chip players who fill big needs on the roster.

The start of Day 2 was quite a different story. With the No. 36 pick--a pick largely anticipated to be one of a cornerback, safety, or linebacker--the Giants traded down two spots with the Jets to No. 38th while picking up an additional fifth-round pick.

Not long after, the Giants traded down again, this time with the Falcons, to acquire the 43rd and 114th overall picks, the former of which became Kentucky wide receiver Wan’Dale Robinson.

The selection of Robinson was a curious one given the Giants perceived needs and the timing of that pick. Projected to go in the fourth or fifth round by's Chad Reuter, many people immediately opined that the selection was a reach by new general manager Joe Schoen.

The Giants feel otherwise about the 5-foot-8, 178-pound Robinson.

"Versatile, got quickness, explosiveness--he's tough, even for a smaller guy. Been a very productive player really going back to high school when he played there in Kentucky," said head coach Brian Daboll.

"A guy we're anxious to get our hands-on and work with and implement into our scheme."

Being frowned upon as an athlete is nothing new to Robinson. From his earliest days playing high school ball in Kentucky, Robinson has always been the misunderstood and overlooked player amongst the masses.

As a young player at Western Hills High School in Frankfort, he earned “Mr. Football” honors for his incredible contributions out of the backfield–nearly 7,000 yards and 97 touchdowns–despite feeling that his greatest impact on the game came as a slot receiver.

Then, when Nebraska recruited him, Robinson wanted to turn his slot catching abilities into his ticket to the NFL, but his head coach Scott Frost viewed his size and build as a fit for the backfield and had him run more carries throughout his brief Cornhusker tenure than receptions.

Luckily for Robinson, that all changed when he jumped ship to Kentucky to join a new offensive system where he found his niche and future NFL calling.

“I always felt like I was talented enough to be picked this early,” Robinson said during his first news conference as a new Giants incoming draft class member. “I just felt like somebody just had to believe in me and not believe in the hype thing and just believe in the football player.”

While some still question what kind of future Robinson has in the NFL, the receiver is not one of them, nor has he ever been. He kept his head up and trusted in his talent and work ethic to lead him to the NFL franchise he was destined to join.

“I always felt like I was talented enough to be picked this early,” Robinson said during a call with reporters following his selection.

“I just felt like somebody just had to believe in me and not believe in the hype thing and just believe in the football player.”

The Giants were not dissuaded by outside noise when it came to evaluating and placing Robinson on their big board before selecting.

According to Robinson, the Giants made contact with him on three different occasions–once at the NFL combine, again through various zoom meetings afterward, and a meeting with Schoen and assistant general manager Brandon Brown a few weeks before the draft.

Describing himself as a “tough, elusive, exciting playmaker,” Robinson conjures up thoughts of playing a role similar to Isaiah McKenzie's in Buffalo.

But Daboll believes that he can line up both inside and outside despite Robinson's diminutive stature.

"Yeah, I think he can do both," Daboll said. "You know, I think he can play inside, and I think he's strong enough and fast enough, even though he's a smaller, shorter guy, that he can contribute outside, too."

In Robinson, the Giants are getting a hyper-quick route runner who makes his living off explosiveness and who can create pockets of separation out of his breaks and after the catch.

With the ball in his hands, he boasts great field awareness, and his athletic, catch-and-go receiving abilities are second to none.

Robinson thrives in the deep passing game, where he has an uncanny ability to get behind defenses and turn on the separation jets en route to huge plays on deep passing schemes.


“I mean, that's what I pride myself on,” Robinson said of his versatile skill set. “I like being a guy that can do all the things equally well.

“Just being able to do everything on the field, so the defense doesn't know what I'm going to do whenever I'm in the game.”

If there is one glaring concern about Robinson, it's how he might match up against taller cornerbacks. But don't count Robinson among those concerned by any potential size mismatches.

“I've heard that my entire career, so it’s nothing new to me," he said. "At the end of the day, (it’s) just another obstacle you've got to overcome just with what people think.”

Robinson's only expectation of himself is to live up to his new team's expectations of him.

“Just come in and be a versatile piece and do a lot of different things for the offense. At the end of the day, I want to come in and help the team win.”

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