Over the course of every NFL season, plenty of players in the league finally fulfill their potential and explode on the scene to surprise all of us. Sometimes they get the recognition they deserve, and sometimes they don’t. An example of this is Josh Norman who was lauded by everyone as the best corner in football last season, but I feel like wide receiver Allen Robinson is not garnering enough talk. This guy is special, and it showed all over those hash-marks last year. Let’s dive into the work.
Physically, Robinson comes in at 6’3 and 215 lbs. He is only 22 years old and has not even sniffed the surface of the
player he can ultimately become. He was drafted right at the end of the 2nd round of the draft where the Jaguars decided to triple dip in the pot taking Marqise Lee as well and signing un-drafted free agent Allen Hurns.
Statistically he ranked pretty well all across the board. Receptions he was tied for 18th with 80 receptions on the year. Yards he came in at 6th in the league at a total of 1,400. His average yards per catch (only counting receivers with over 20 catches) he ranked 6th in the league with an absurd 17.5, showing he’s a true deep threat. Last but surely not least, he was tied for first in touchdowns in the league with 14. Robinson proved last year with all his statistics that he is an elite receiver that needs to be treated as such. From year 1 to year 2 his stats improved by 900 yards and 12 touchdowns. That’s what you call “reaching your potential”. NFL network has taken a notice and he was voted among fellow players as the 31st best football player in the NFL last year.
What makes Allen Robinson so lethal? His ability to win jump balls is second to none in the NFL. Outside of Robinson the only other receivers in his class are DeAndre Hopkins and Dez Bryant. Robinson has an uncanny ability to locate balls, track them, and high-point them, always securing the catch and getting his feet down in bounds. This is what his quarterback Blake Bortles had to say about Robinson last year at this time during OTA’s:
“He’s been unbelievable,” quarterback Blake Bortles said Thursday, via Mark Long of the Associated Press. “He’s definitely a threat now in the red zone. … He’s physical. He can run and do everything out in the open field, so he’s been fun to throw to.”
….maybe we should have listened to Bortles.
Here’s an example of Robinson’s ability to locate the jump ball and secure the catch coming down in bounds for a big play. This type of play has clearly transitioned to the NFL’s game.
(Video from www.sportingnews.com)
For the corners trapped on Robinson island, I truly feel bad for you. They’ve got next to no chance at going up and competing for the ball against Robinson.
(Video from NFL.com)
Now, his jump ball ability is not the only part of his success. Robinson also has a great release that doesn’t allow corners to jam him up at the line losing fluidity with his quarterback on the play. Robinson is quick off the line, and typically larger and stronger than most corners. Here’s Robinson shaking a corner out of his boots on the line of scrimmage:
(Video from https://gfycat.com/MeagerZestyAmurratsnake)
Lastly, here is Robinson’s ability to separate and become a viable deep threat for Blake Bortles to find. His speed is average at best, which is a testament to how good his route running, hands, football IQ, and film study are.
(Video from http://makeagif.com/QFQ0_J)
Allen Robinson is a great story that every NFL player should strive to be. I watched him in college, what a player. I watched him at the combine, average at best. He’s not the fastest, tallest, or strongest guy. But at the end of the day, he will out-work you, and clearly understands what’s important between those white lines and what isn’t. A timed 40 yard dash? Not really. The ability to catch, run, block? Hell yeah. I’d take Allen Robinson on my team any-day and twice on Sunday’s. Also, get ready for a big payday. Mr. Robinson will be cashing in soon enough.