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.
The Texans hopefully will cash in on the deep wide receiver class coming into this year's draft. In this profile we look at 6'3" 227 lbs. wide receiver Gerell Robinson out of Arizona State University. The Senior Bowl invite is a big target but could be over looked because of his lack of speed. Robinson has a big frame and ended up being the Sun Devils #1 target in the passing game. He could be a third day pick that could latch on with a team for years to come.
Can you give us some background on Robinson?
Throughout the first three seasons of his Sun Devil career, Robinson was tabbed with the troublesome “potential” tag, but it never managed to manifest itself into on-field production. Up until his senior year, he never topped 30 receptions or 400 yards in a season. Even the start of his senior year was slow, being held under five catches in each of the first five games. But over the final eight games, Robinson finally tapped into that potential and became one of the nation’s elite receivers. He topped 100 yards six times, capped off by a dominant 11-catch, 241-yard performance against Boise State in the Maaco Bowl.
What did Robinson mean to the Sun Devils offense in 2011?
Robinson operated mostly out of the slot in ASU’s spread offense, something very unusual for a wide receiver of his size. He really began to develop during the midway point of the season, and became the unquestioned number one target for quarterback Brock Osweiler. As the Sun Devils’ season slide out of control in November and December, he continued to elevate his game, and at times seemed to be carrying the entire offense on his back.
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What are his strengths and weaknesses?
Robinson’s greatest asset is his ability to make touch catches in traffic and over the middle. He struggled with drops earlier in his career, but as a senior, he displayed tremendous hands, and with his 6’3”, 227-pound frame, he is skilled at boxing out defenders and presenting his quarterback with an inviting target. Robinson is also a very hard worker, something that shows up in his excellent run-blocking.
On the other hand, Robinson lacks top-end speed. His official time at the Combine was a pedestrian 4.62. At the NFL level, that lack of speed could prove very problematic, especially as the league continues its evolution into a pass-happy league.
Is the term possession wide receiver a good description of Robinson?
Yes. Robinson is a very sure-handed target that has no fear of crossing into the middle of the field. He also showed an ability to find and exploit soft spots in a defense. Over the season’s final eight games, he dominated the area of the field between the hashes, and made clutch catch after clutch catch, often in the midst of heavy coverage.
How do you see Robinson at the NFL level?
A best case NFL comparison for Robinson is Marques Colston. Both are big-bodied targets that compensate for their lack of speed with sure hands and an ability to box out defenders over the middle of the field. His run blocking ability will be a very appealing asset, and his work ethic means he will continue to improve. If he can improve his 40 time in the lead up to the draft, he could be a possible 5th or 6th round pick, and become a reliable third wide receiver, with possible upside to develop into a good number two.
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