SOTT: Draft Profile Keenan Robinson
Patrick D. Starr
The next few weeks here on State of the Texans we will be doing some draft profiles of some particular players who could possibly fit into the Texans plans. We are not going to try to piece together scouting reports, but we enlist help of bloggers who actually cover the respective player and their school.
A confirmed interview for the Houston Texans at the NFL Combine, Keenan Robinson is one of the more athletic linebackers in this year's 2012 NFL Draft. Impressing at the combine, Robinson at 6'3" and 242 lbs. looks to be a possible linebacker who could play any of the spots on the defense. The Senior Bowl invite showed some good speed for the linebacker position and is considered a leader of the Longhorn defense. Robinson has a good skill set for the next level.
We recruited the help of Vasherized from Barking Carnival on SBNation and he helped us find out more about this potential target for the Texans.
Can you give us some background on Robinson?
Robinson is a 6'3" 242 lb outside linebacker from Plano East High School, where he was a Parade All American in 2007 and had offers from more than 30 major programs before ultimately choosing the Longhorns.
He played early as a freshman, mainly on special teams, while studying under former All American LB Sergio Kindle. He broke out as a sophomore in 2009, logging 74 tackles and helping anchor a Texas defense that led the nation in INTs (25), turnovers forced (37) and rush defense (72 ypg). He had 7 tackles against Bama in the BCS title game. Robinson led Texas with 113 tackles in 2010, along with 2 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries and 2 INTs, and was named a Butkus Award semifinalist. He stepped up his game against conference rivals, tallying a career high 19 tackles (10 solo) and 2 TFLs against OU and 13 tackles against A&M.
How would you describe Robinson's overall game in 2011?
Robinson delivered another big year as a senior, posting 110 tackles and 10 TFL. He was named defensive MVP of the Holiday Bowl after logging 10 tackles and 2 sacks, holding Cal to just 7 total rushing yards.
What are Robinson's strengths and weaknesses?
Robinson is a high character guy with a very strong work ethic. His nickname is DMT - Determination Mental Toughness. Keenan took his game to another level in 2010 after spending a huge portion of the offseason after his sophomore year in the weight room. He was always one of the first guys off the bus along with fellow LB Emmanuel Acho. The two of them carried batman suit physiques and were the vocal leaders of the Texas front seven. He's an all around excellent athlete, capable of doing multiple backflips down the field. He posted very strong numbers at the Combine: 4.79 40 yd dash, 27 reps @ 225 (top 5 among LBs), and a 35 inch vertical leap.
As far as weaknesses go, he had trouble shedding blocks at times against larger interior OL and athletic TEs. He needs to use his hands better and keep his leverage. Robinson is not an adept blitzer. At times he played too high and stiff, forcing bad angles, instead of reading and reacting. Keenan really shined under Manny Diaz during his senior year and game films shows most of those bad tendencies were erased by the end of the season. Diaz employed a base 4-2-5 and moved Robinson into the middle of the field, letting him use his speed to cover the field sideline to sideline. Texas plays in the pass happy Big 12 and Robinson had to defend 450 passes compared to only 410 running plays so scouts will like his ability to drop in coverage. Whatever NFL team drafts him is getting a smart, athletic, physical and fundamentally sound football player.
How do you see him at the NFL level?
I expect Robinson to get drafted in the third or fourth round as an OLB. He has the versatility to play in a 4-3 or 3-4 but should particularly thrive in a 3-4 off the edge where he can play in space and pursue running backs. Keep him away from mammoth OTs and Sasquatch TEs and he'll rack up impressive numbers.