The Giants tight end position has been a revolving door for years. Big Blue hasn't had a stable player at the position since Kevin Boss manned the spot from 2008-10. Since 2010, the Giants have fielded four different starting tight ends: Boss (2010), Jake Ballard (2011), Martellus Bennett (2012) and Brandon Myers (2013).
This year will be no different since Myers left via free agency. However, there is one player vying for the starting role who is poised to be a breakout star for the Giants this year and put an end to this trend—Adrien Robinson.
Robinson was selected in the fourth round of the 2012 NFL draft out of the University of Cincinnati. Robinson was a bit of an enigma coming out of college since Cincinnati was primarily a run-first offense; he only recorded 12 catches for 183 yards his senior year. The biggest allure about him was his outstanding physical attributes.
Robinson (6'4", 270 lbs) wasn't invited to the combine, but if he had been, he would have been one of the top performers. At his pro day, Robinson ran a 4.51-second 40-yard dash (only James Hanna was faster at 4.49). He also recorded a 39.5-inch vertical jump and a 11'3" broad jump, which would have placed him at the top of the charts in each category.
Despite his athleticism, he dropped down boards because he was extremely raw and wouldn't be an immediate starter. When the Giants picked him in the fourth round, general manager Jerry Reese was excited about what he could become:
We really think this guy has a huge upside. He is a big, big man [with] long arms. He didn't catch a lot of balls for them. But he is kind of a late bloomer who has really come on. And we think this guy is kind of a JPP of tight ends. We like these kind of people.
The start to Robinson's career has been a bit rocky due to injuries, including foot and knee issues last year. With all the issues at tight end this year for the Giants, Robinson admitted to NJ.com's Jordan Raanan that "it's now or never."
He has had two years to sit and learn the playbook and the nuances of the position, and it is now time for it all to pay off. The odds are in his favor now more than ever to be the starter for New York.
Adrien Robinson is a workout, study, focused guy right now that knows this is it. New coach, New system, New attitude is just what he needed— LPG - Joe (@LicensePlateGuy) May 20, 2014
When watching the video above, it's clear what kind of potential he has as a receiver. He has good hands to snag catches and bring them into his body. He is athletic enough to pick up good yards after the catch as well as use his big frame to either box players out or gain yards after contact.
He has all the physical tools you want in a tight end, and he has had the time to sit and learn the position. If he can live up to his potential and avoid the injury bug, Robinson could take NFC East, and maybe even the league, by storm this year.