Monday, April 30, 2012

New York Giants Select TE Adrien Robinson in 4th Round

With the 127th pick, 32nd pick of the 4th round in the 2012 NFL Draft, the New York Giants selected Tight End, Adrian Robinson out of Cincinnati University.  This pick helps fill a need that the Giants have while adding another weapon to an already impressive passing attack.  With starting tight end Jake Ballard and backup Travis Beckum both getting hurt in the Super Bowl adding a tight end was a good move even with the addition of Martellus Bennett in free agency.

Robinson is 6’4” tall and weighs 267 pounds.  Robinson, unlike the last three picks made by the Giants, does not have much of a track record in his four years at Cincinnati.  He had 12 receptions for 183 yards and three touchdowns last season, and totaled only 29 catches in hi four seasons.  What really has intrigued the Giants is athleticism and “untapped” potential.  Robinson is being likened as the “JPP of tight ends.”  There is no better team that Robinson could have ended up on, as the Giants and Tight End coach Mike Pope are some of the best in the business at developing tight ends.  The track record of Pope has been good, developing undrafted free agents Jake Ballard and Bear Pascoe into starters recently. 

Marc Ross, director of college scouting for the Giants, said that Robinson is a former high school basketball player.  That is the new thing for teams to look for in tight ends, as Antonio Gates, Tony Gonzalez and Jimmy Graham to name a few all had basketball backgrounds before picking football. 

One scouts take on Robinson is, “Above-average athlete but needs polish with routes.  Possesses the top-end speed to run away from defenders with flag, seam and crossing routes.  Has the experience and is effective lining up flexed out.  Possesses long arms and a big frame that provides him with a wide catching radius.”

Another scout says, “Soft hands and catch the ball naturally away from his body.  Underrated athlete that has above-average body control to adjust to throws outside of strike zone.  Possesses the initial burst and top-end speed to stretch the middle of the field and factor in down the deep seams.  Flashes a competitive edge and not afraid to mix it up.  Could do a better job of sustaining blocks but effort is not the issue.”

This was a great addition for the Giants.  It gives them another healthy body at tight end, which they needed, and a potential problem for other teams.  Robinson will have an opportunity to show what he is made of with Beckum possibly not being ready to start the season and Ballard not returning until maybe half-way through the season if he returns at all. 

Pope is the best in the business in developing tight ends and should have a blast working with someone dripping with potential such as Robinson.  Ballard is obviously less gifted athletically than Robinson and Pope along with Eli Manning and the coaching staff made it work.  At the very least, Robinson adds depth for this season with potential to have an impact the more work he has. 

“We really think this guy has a huge upside,” GM Jerry Reese said.  “He is a big, big man [with] long arms.  He didn’t catch a lot of balls for them.  But he is kind of a late bloomer who has really come on.  And we think this guy is kind of a ‘JPP’ of tight ends.  We like these kind of people.”
 “He is just a big, gigantic man with long arms,” Reese explained in comparing Robinson to JPP (Jason Pierre-Paul).  “He has got those freakish athletic numbers.  When we got Jason [Pierre-Paul] we said, ‘This guy hasn’t scratched the surface.’  And Jason still has a lot of learning to do [and] continuing to grow.  This kid [Robinson] hasn’t scratched the surface yet.  He has a chance to be really something, we think.”

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