WR, DB, QB—WHATEVER
This is an article from the March 11, 2013 issue
Despite catching just three passes during his four-year career at Michigan, the former quarterback auditioned as a receiver at the combine and impressed NFL scouts with a 4.43 40
DAN PATRICK:Did you get any strange questions at the combine?
DENARD ROBINSON: They didn't ask me too many crazy questions. They told me to get on the [whiteboard] and asked questions about football.
DP:Did they ask if you have a girlfriend?
DR: I'm not going to lie, they do ask you that. Do you have a girlfriend, are you married, are you engaged?
DP:Did they ask you if you like girls?
DR: No, they just asked if I was engaged or married.
DP:That's not permissible in a job interview. Was it clear this was a job interview?
DR: You could tell that it's a job interview.
DP:Did teams ask what position you want to play?
DR: Yeah, they always ask me that. They were like, Are you sure you want to play receiver, and are you sure you don't want to play quarterback anymore? I'm like, yeah, I'm sure I want to be a receiver.
DP:Deep down, do you still want to play quarterback?
DR: It's not something I think about. If a coach asked me to do it, I'd probably do it. But right now I'm focused on being a receiver.
DP:But you might be an interesting player in a read-option system.
DR: If a team dream-drafts me and wants me to play quarterback, that's what I'll do.
DP:What about defensive back?
DR: Any coach who gives me a chance to get on the field, that's what I'm doing. If they draft me as a cornerback, let's go play corner.
DP:Were you nervous about the 40?
DR: Not really. I knew I could run fast. It was just a matter of getting out of the start. I got called back three times.
DP:Who are you like in the NFL right now?
DR: Probably [Packers receiver Randall] Cobb. I want to be like [Antwaan] Randle El because he had a great career [and won] a Super Bowl ring.
DP:Explain why you weren't playing quarterback by the end of the season at Michigan.
DR: I had nerve damage [in my right elbow]. It wasn't going to heal. I was having a hard time holding on to the ball. After that, I talked to [offensive coordinator Al] Borges, who said, "We're going to find ways to get you on the field." I played running back and receiver.
DP:Did you bench at the combine?
DR: No, because of the elbow injury.
DP:How many reps of 225 could you do?
DR: Fifteen to 18.
DP:Can you describe South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney's hit on your teammate Vincent Smith in the Outback Bowl?
DR: I don't really want to talk about it. He came unblocked and got a good lick on Vincent. I don't think it was too bad. Vince popped back up.
DP:Why don't you want to talk about it?
DR: I'm not hating on anybody, but the hype around the hit.... It was a big deal.
Chris Paul could only name one celebrity he has seen at a Clippers game this season. "I'm so locked in when the game is going on, I don't pay attention to it," Paul said. "The only person I talk to is Billy Crystal. We talk just about every game." ... Texas A&M wide receiver Ryan Swope told me about the reaction to his impressive 40 time. "I think a lot of people were pretty shocked," Swope said. "You don't see that every day, a white guy running a 4.34." ... NBC NHL analyst Jeremy Roenick is miffed the Blackhawks aren't getting more attention. "Everybody is talking about football because of the draft," he said. "Baseball's starting up. Chicago is only seven games away from the alltime record for nonlosses. That's insane. I wish everybody would wake up." ... Vikings punter and gay rights advocate Chris Kluwe said the NFL needs to address reports of teams asking prospects at the combine about their sexuality. "I don't think they should be allowed to ask that," Kluwe told me. "Players are very vulnerable because they need the team for a job."