Former Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson is hard at work. Since finishing his career at the University of Michigan, he has been busy working out and preparing himself for the next step in his life…playing in the NFL.
Robinson has been working out in Mobile, Alabama getting himself ready for the Senior Bowl this coming Saturday. There will be many NFL scouts and coaches watching the game and taking careful notes on how these potential prospects perform. Robinson will be playing wide receiver in the game and hopes to show potential NFL suitors what he can offer them by playing that position.
I've watched Robinson play on Saturdays for the past four years and have written many times on this blog about how badly I wanted Robinson’s tenure at Michigan to be over because I didn't like him as a quarterback. He is a phenomenal athlete and no doubt has the skill set to play in the NFL…it’s just a matter of finding the right team / system to put him in.
If I were a General Manager (and after all of the NFL drafts that I have watched on television, I should be), I would be wary of spending a draft pick on Robinson. Yes, he has astonishing athletic prowess, but he has shown to be fragile as well. He endured a lot of hits the past couple of years due to the amount of times he ran the football. Once he came back off of his most recent injury (elbow), he did play some wide receiver and running back for Michigan and did quite well in my opinion.
Unfortunately, my opinion doesn't matter to the NFL. The NFL might not even think that Robinson is worthy of spending a draft pick on. There have been more successful college quarterbacks in the past that did not get drafted at all. Take Charlie Ward for instance. Ward played for Florida State from 1990 – 1994. He won the Heisman Trophy in 1993 (Florida State won the National Championship that season). I would go so far as to say that Ward was an even better athlete than Robinson as well. In addition to playing football for the Seminoles, he also played for their basketball team (he was a 1st round draft pick of the New York Knicks). He never played baseball at FSU, but was still drafted as a pitcher by the Milwaukee Brewers (1993) and then the New York Yankees (1994).
Still not convinced that Ward was a better athlete than Robinson is? Let’s look at the tale of the tape from their senior seasons in college…
With all of that being said, if you look throughout the entire 1994 NFL draft list, Charlie Ward’s name will not come up. Not one team took a chance on him. Granted, he did state publicly that he would consider playing professional basketball if he wasn't drafted in the 1st round. But that shouldn't ave been cause for him to be completely shut out of the NFL draft. There are many people who get drafted each year that don’t even make the team. If I were a General Manager, I would have gladly spent a later round (8 – 10) draft pick on him.
The point that I’m making is that nothing is guaranteed. Sure, Denard Robinson was the most exciting player in college football the past couple of years and we were lucky here in Michigan to be able to watch him on Saturday’s. But he’s got a lot of work to do if he wants to make it to the next level…and a lot of luck to wish for.