Defense has been the consistent focus for the Panthers in the 2020 NFL Draft, and that trend continued with the No. 152 overall pick. Safety Kenny Robinson has loads of untapped potential, which is the exact type of player that head coach Matt Rhule can develop in the NFL.
Robinson endured a unique journey to the league. He played two seasons in West Virginia before impressing scouts during his brief stint in the XFL. In five games with the St. Louis Battlehawks, Robinson recorded a total of 21 combined tackles, two pass deflections, two interceptions, and one sack.
Robinson may have made an off the field mistake (academic fraud) in the past, but he’s no mistake on the field. He is worth every bit of a fifth round selection. Had he played another year at West Virginia, you’re looking at him potentially going on day two of the draft.
Great work ethic, vocal leader, plays with a little bit of swagger and most importantly - can cover from sideline to sideline.
What makes Robinson really impressive is his ability to play anywhere in the secondary and still compete at a high level. West Virginia needed him to play corner his freshman year early on and towards the end of the season, settled into his role at safety. Great hands, great ball skills, and makes terrific jumps on throws over the middle. Don’t be mistaken, Robinson has some ball-hawking qualities in him, but he is a hard hitter and can even come down and be a force in stopping the run game.
It seems clear that Rhule is doubling down on his claim to building a "positionless defense" through the NFL Draft, and Robinson could definitely contribute with defensive coordinator Phil Snow's new system. He has the tools and the character that are seemingly the perfect fit for the culture that Rhule is building in Carolina.
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