Perhaps no other player stands to see his draft stock rise or fall as much as Denard Robinson during 2013 Senior Bowl practices this week. The uber-athletic former Michigan quarterback is transitioning to wide receiver for the 2013 NFL Draft, and he hopes to use the Senior Bowl to showcase his ability to catch the ball and run. So far, reviews have been mixed.
First the good: Several observers have noticed Robinson's ability to separate from defenders downfield. He was known for his breakaway speed at Michigan, and it appears that he hasn't lost anything off his top gear since finishing his career at the Outback Bowl on Jan. 1.
Denard Robinson does get consistent separation from defenders. He just torched CB Will Davis on an out and up.— Tim Twentyman (@ttwentyman) January 22, 2013
Denard Robinson just slipped while cutting on a wheel route, then recovered and still separated up the sideline. #SeniorBowl— Michael Tanier (@MikeTanier) January 22, 2013
Robinson's fundamental skills still leave a lot to be desired, however, as one might expect from a player who has only been devoting his full-time attention to a new position for a few weeks. Oakland Raiders wide receivers coach Ted Gilmore told the National Football Post that NFL teams will be anxious to see Robinson's ball skills. So far, it appears he has some work to do.
Denard Robinson: Footwork & technique at the top of the route stem need to be developed in his transition to WR.— Matt Bowen (@MattBowen41) January 22, 2013
Robinson is also getting work in as a punt returner, where he should be a natural fit. Again, however, his lack of experience shows.
Robinson has time to get more comfortable, with four days to go until the Senior Bowl. For now, however, his potential remains extremely high but yet unrealized.