Scouting Report: Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State
All the skills and all the production too
Allen Robinson of Penn State is one of the best receivers in this year’s draft class. We see him as a first round talent on a typical year. Only in a deep draft like this year’s, would he be on the fringe as a lot of experts seem to think. Regardless of what round he’s selected in, Robinson is a player we’ll be betting on as a pro.
There’s a lot to like about the former Nittany Lion, but perhaps more importantly, there’s very limited downside as we see it. From an on-field perspective, Robinson has a lot to hang his hat on. The most common knock you hear on him is a lack of elite speed, but at six foot three, and with top shelf athleticism, he doesn’t need to be a speed burner.
Robinson will forgo his senior year at Penn State to enter this year’s draft. A look at his three-year career shows nice growth year-to-year. In 2013, Robinson was the heart of Penn State’s offense. And, even though opposing defenses knew he was the first option on most passing downs, they still couldn’t stop him. This is a positive in terms of projecting him as a lead receiver at the next level, and we think he can be that kind of player if he continues to develop.
Here are Robinson’s strengths as we see them.
- Size - At 6’3” and at about 210 pounds, Robinson is a prototypical NFL outside receiving threat. He uses his size effectively and he’s definitely a red zone weapon.
- Cutting ability - Perhaps the thing that jumps out most on film with Robinson, is his ability to gain separation, both before and after the catch, with his sharp and sudden cuts. It’s impressive for a big receiver.
- Open field running - Robinson combines his cutting ability with nice burst and vision in the open field. He is a dangerous man after the catch.
- Ball skills - Robinson is a very fluid athlete and he’s very good when the ball is in the air. He can elevate like a small forward and he tends to get the ball at its high point, which allows him to out-joust defensive backs in contested situations.
- Routes - He played in a pro-style offense and ran all the routes we want to see -- both inside and outside, and did so effectively. He can continue to refine his routes as a pro, particularly the intermediate routes. Robinson ran a lot of screens, slants and vertical routes at Penn State.
- Hands - He does have a tendency to body catch some balls, but overall, he possesses dependable hands and shows the ability to make catches away from his frame. He should continue to get better and better.
- Production - As I mentioned earlier, the fact that he got better every year while becoming a bigger and bigger focus of opposing defenses is impressive.
- Speed and quickness - We’ll see what he runs at the Combine next week, but we doubt he’ll run slow enough to scare us off. On film, Robinson has more than enough functional speed and uses his quickness to get behind and around defenders.
For those looking to do some of their own scouting on Robinson, you will find plenty of good film. Draft Breakdown has done excellent work breaking down some of Robinson's games. What we have posted here is a highlight reel.
So what are the concerns with Robinson? I’ve already addressed the speed issue which, we think, is overblown. The other issues are his half game suspension for the season opener against Syracuse and inconsistent effort when he was asked to block. The reason for the suspension is not known, but this quote from former PSU HC Bill O’Brien provides a bit of comfort.
"The decision not to play Allen the first half is between me and Allen," O'Brien said. "Allen's a great player. He's got a fantastic future. I love coaching the kid... It was important to make that decision for him. And when he came back in the second half, obviously we tried to get him the ball."
Even more comforting is the way Robinson lit up Syracuse in the second half of that game.
As for the blocking, this is definitely a concern. If anything causes Robinson to slip into the second round, this could be it. It’s possible that teams like New England, San Francisco and Philadelphia could shy away from Robinson for this reason. There’s no doubt that he has the athletic ability to be a good blocker, so this is more of an attitude adjustment issue.
In the end, Robinson is a player that should succeed at the next level. We think he has a high ceiling because he is dangerous after the catch and he can rack up receptions due to a strong skill set. He’s also a solid red zone weapon due to his size. The two-time Big Ten Receiver of the Year could develop into a number one option.
For fantasy owners, we’ll be placing a value on him once he has his new digs and we know more about who’ll be throwing him the ball, and in what offense. He’ll have Dynasty value right away and he could be a factor in redraft leagues if he lands with a team like the Jets, who would likely start him from day one.
This scouting report will be updated after the Combine.
Other 2014 Scouting Reports:
- Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
- Dustin Vaughan, QB, West Texas A & M
- Odell Beckham, Jr., WR, LSU
- Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State
- Carlos Hyde, RB, Ohio State
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