Michigan Football: Denard Robinson Could Learn a Lot from RGIII

Adam JacobiBig Ten Football Lead WriterMay 2, 2012

ANN ARBOR, MI - NOVEMBER 26:  Denard Robinson #16 of the Michigan Wolverines throws a first quarter touchdown while playing the Ohio State Buckeyes at Michigan Stadium on November 26, 2011 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Denard Robinson will not be an NFL quarterback. At least, that's what Mel Kiper Jr. thinks, according to a conference call he held on Monday.

"In terms of Denard, he's going to have to be that slot receiver, return man," Kiper said. "That's going to be his role, he's not going to be a quarterback, no chance of that.

"He might be a 'wildcat' quarterback, but that's about it. He's going to have to have a position change."

This may end up being the case—Kiper likened Robinson to former Indiana great Antwaan Randle-El, who switched to WR in the Senior Bowl and parlayed it into a successful NFL career—but it doesn't have to be, and one doesn't have to look very far for proof.

In fact, just look at Robert Griffin III down at Baylor, who was just selected by the Washington Redskins with the second overall pick in the NFL draft. He earned his way there, but the "he's not a quarterback" talk didn't stop when RG3 signed with Baylor, who actually offered him a chance to play quarterback.

It was just a few months ago that Todd McShay was famously calling Griffin a "fourth-round wide receiver," something that Griffin clearly never forgot, as he went on to win the Heisman and become the Redskins' franchise quarterback.

So what changed? Griffin showed scouts he was a great passer. Granted, it helped that Baylor plays in the Big 12, where defense is illegal, but it was up to Griffin to show that he could make passes, and he did it. Scouts' opinions adjusted accordingly.

This, then, brings us back to Denard Robinson. Robinson wants to play quarterback at the next level. He's reportedly improving on his throwing and decision-making. If that translates into a big year on or close to RG3's level (at least, as close as one can get in the Big Ten), guess what? Robinson will be a QB in the NFL. 

Quarterback is the most important position in football. If you're a college quarterback, scouts are dying to see you demonstrate that you can be an NFL-caliber passer, too. Robinson clearly hasn't shown that yet, but to declare flatly that he can't and won't do exactly that in 2012 smacks of unnecessary, closed-minded bravado. There's enough of that on ESPN already.