|Denard Robinson (16)|
I know many of my Ohio State readers are going to scream "sacrilege!" with my following statement, but I believe the Cleveland Browns should draft Michigan quarterback/athlete Denard Robinson with their second pick (third round) of the 2013 NFL Draft.
With the Browns losing all-pro athlete Joshua Cribbs to free agency — as well as lacking a premier athlete with the speed to turn a five-yard hitch route or a reverse into a 60-yard dash to pay dirt — picking up a player with Robinson's abilities would be an ideal selection. Especially in the third round. Nobody in that round will have the abilities and talent Robinson possesses.
Sure, there are a bunch of unknowns with Robinson, most notably learning a new position. But as Cribbs did coming out of Kent State — where he played quarterback — he transformed into a play-making, do-it-all athlete with the Browns, and earned a few trips to Hawaii in the process.
I believe D-Rob could be even better.
Robinson possesses attributes which cannot be taught. He has the build of a Victor Cruz, the speed of a Randy Moss, the quickness and elusiveness of a Gale Sayers, and can line up in a multitude of positions.
Robinson compiled nearly 11,000 yards of offense during his career at Michigan, including a total of 91 touchdowns. The Browns could definitely use that kind of weapon in their arsenal.
I don't believe that Robinson could be a line-him-up-out-wide type of receiver and have him run sophisticated routes. He just hasn't had the needed time to perfect his route-running skills.
"The only time I had played receiver was in a street football game," Robinson said, during his Pro Day in Ann Arbor this month.
However, he could be a player the Browns line up in the slot or in the backfield to create major mismatches with linebackers and safeties. He doesn't need crisp, precise route-running to shake players who are completely unable to match him step-for-step. He could change the way teams use the H-back from this point on. He could be that "street football" player.
Although the Browns have gathered more talent in recent years at the skill positions — especially with the additions last season of tailback Trent Richardson and wide receiver Josh Gordon — adding a unique, dynamic player like Robinson could give the Browns an element not seen in Cleveland since the days of Eric Metcalf in the late 80s and early 90s.
Another extremely important attribute that Robinson possesses is a great work ethic, something absolutely crucial when playing at the next level, especially in a blue-collar town like Cleveland.
D-Rob isn't a prima donna, he doesn't demand to be something he isn't. He isn't a quarterback, he's a football player, and understands what he has to do to be successful going forward.
"Once I seen what I had to work at, I was like, 'All right, seen what I have to work at, now let's get better,'" Robinson said. "That's how it was. Let's go to work. I looked at some of the film from the Senior Bowl and I was like, 'All right, do this better, do that better.'
"And I picked it up."
Now it's time for the Browns to pick him up.