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Why Allen Robinson Is the Most Overlooked Prospect in the 2014 NFL Draft

Penn State wide receiver Allen Robinson (8) hauls in a 43-yard pass from Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg with Eastern Michigan defensive back Willie Creear making the tackle during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game in State College, Pa., Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Gene J. Puskar
Dan GriffinContributor IIIApril 19, 2014


This year's NFL draft has been one of the most talked-about drafts in years due to its depth. One of the deepest positions has been the wide receiver position. There are numerous prospects who are gaining most of the attention. Sammy Watkins and Mike Evans are considered surefire top-10 selections.

Other prospects like Marqise Lee, Odell Beckham, Brandin Cooks and Kelvin Benjamin have all had their names appear in the first round on nearly every mock draft out there. There is one player, however, who has yet to really gain the same level of attention as these players, but he could end up being better than a lot of them: Allen Robinson.

Robinson, out of Penn State, has set numerous school records and has been on fire over the past two seasons in the Big Ten. He thrived in the Bill O'Brien-led Nittany Lions offense, compiling 2,450 yards on 174 receptions and 17 touchdowns since the beginning of the 2012 season. After the season ended, the hype surrounding him seemed to die down, especially after the 2014 NFL Combine.

This could be attributed to the breakout performances some receivers, like Cooks, had, as well as an average combine for him highlighted by a slower-than-expected 4.60-second 40-yard dash, per NFL.com's results tracker. It is a shame because, as you can see in the video below, Robinson's on-field drills were very fluid.  

Robinson has the size you want from a receiver, coming in at nearly 6'3" and 208 pounds. One of Robinson's best traits is his run-after-the-catch ability. He is very fluid moving with the ball in his hands and either making defenders miss or breaking through tackles.

This was on display in the blowout loss to Ohio State in one of the more amazing plays you will see: 

He has great field awareness and is a threat at any level of the field. As seen above, he is good in the screen game but is also excellent going deep down the field. He has a great ability to high-point the ball, allowing him to out-jump defenders to get to balls that were just thrown up for grabs.

Robinson demonstrated that in Penn State's quadruple-overtime win against Michigan:

Robinson is starting to get some of the attention he deserves after performing extremely well at his pro day. He improved on all his numbers from the combine, most noteworthy of which was his 40-yard dash time. Per CBS Sports, he dramatically improved his previous time of 4.60 seconds to 4.47 seconds, a number that more accurately shows the speed he exhibits on tape. 

*The 40-yard dash time listed in this tweet was an unofficial time he ran.

Robinson is not the flashiest receiver in this draft, and that does attribute him being under the radar. He isn't the fastest receiver out there, nor the biggest, however, he is very good at nearly every aspect of the position. He has a good combination of size, speed and hands to excel at the next level. 

Because of these traits, he reminds me of Houston Texans All-Pro receiver Andre Johnson. They both possess a keen ability to make yards after the catch, as well as being able to high-point deep balls, as you can see below. They both possess a big frame they use to out-muscle smaller corners to fight for more yardage. 

Robinson has everything you want from a receiver in order to succeed at the next level. While he does have some room to improve, like blocking and body control, these things are coachable. He has the experience coaches like after playing in a pro-style offense. He is definitely a receiver that can be worked with and can contribute early on in his career.

He put on a show for two years at Happy Valley and is now poised to do it for the NFL. 

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