Denard Robinson will reportedly play wide receiver at the Senior Bowl
Denard Robinson may have once been a Heisman Trophy candidate as a quarterback at Michigan, but the game is much different in the NFL than it is at the college level. Robinson’s legs were more of a threat that his arm during his days as a Wolverine. He set an NCAA record for career rushing yards by a quarterback with 4,495 and was used as a receiver and running back when he returned from injury for Michigan’s final two games this past season.
It’s highly unlikely that an NFL team will draft Robinson with the intention of making him a quarterback, which is why he has reportedly decided to accept an invitation to the Senior Bowl as a wide receiver. The Detroit Free Press reported on Wednesday that Robinson has committed to the Jan. 26 all-star game, where he could also see time at running back.
Last month, ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. speculated that Robinson could try to improve his draft stock by attending the Senior Bowl as a receiver, the same way Antwaan Randle El did 10 years ago after he played quarterback at Indiana.
“There’s a lot of people hoping that he goes down to Mobile, Ala., and plays in that Senior Bowl and does what Antwaan Randle El did coming out of Indiana as a quarterback, goes there and shows that he can catch the football and return punts,” Kiper said. “If Robinson does that, we know he’s got tremendous speed, a tremendous burst, we know he’s a tough kid, we know he can run with the football in his hands, you can put him in the backfield. He could be a situational back, you could put him in the slot, in the wing, you could put him in the return game, you can get him the ball in space.
“I think as long as he shows he can catch the ball effectively, he’s got a chance to be a second-round draft choice. I really believe that’s where he could potentially go.”
The second round sounds like it could be a bit high for a player who is being drafted to play a position other than the one that made him famous in college, but it’s not out of the question. Robinson has a rare combination of speed and athletic ability. NFL coaches can usually find somewhere to put guys like that.