NFL Combine 2013: Denard Robinson's 40 Time Proves Dark-Horse Status

Josh BenjaminCorrespondent IFebruary 26, 2013

Feb 23, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA;  Michigan Wolverines wide receiver Denard Robinson speaks at a press conference during the 2013 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

Former Michigan Wolverines quarterback Denard Robinson may not be running an offense in the NFL, but his excellent 40-yard dash at this year's NFL Scouting Combine makes him a name to watch as the draft draws closer.

Being scouted as a wide receiver, Robinson ran the 40-yard dash in an impressive 4.43 seconds. He may not be a first-round pick, but he's definitely going to get a lot more attention in the coming weeks.

Even if Robinson's name doesn't come up again until draft day, teams would be foolish to not consider drafting him as a receiver. Keep in mind that this is the same man who ran for 4,495 yards and 42 touchdowns in four years of college, while also passing for 6,250 yards and 49 touchdowns, so there's no doubt that he can play the game.

His experience as a receiver is limited, though he did catch three passes for 31 yards this past season, but Robinson would still be a solid option for teams seeking help at the position. He clearly has the speed for it and also the size at 6'0", 191 pounds.

Granted, that does seem a bit on the small size, but just look at Wes Welker of the New England Patriots. He is just 5'9", 185 pounds, but is one of the top men in the league at his position.

With his impressive performance in the 40-yard dash at the combine, plus his not dropping one pass in the gauntlet drill, Robinson has shown that he could be something special on the NFL level. His speed and quickness make him an ideal candidate for end-around plays, plus special teams.

All in all, unless he is drafted and proves to be an absolute bust, there really isn't anything pre-draft to suggest that Robinson could not be a sleeper pick. He has time at age 22 to learn the ins and outs of playing wide receiver and could be a solid option if he has the right coach and system in which to develop.

And it all comes back to his 40-yard dash time. The time of 4.43 seconds is an impressive number, just barely slower than Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones, who was the fastest receiver in his combine class, and teams need to take note of this former Wolverine as more than just another undersized college QB with a hit-or-miss upside on the NFL level.

The fact of the matter is that at this year's combine, Robinson proved to be something special, and teams could find themselves regretting their actions by not giving him his due attention.