INDIANAPOLIS -- Former Michigan Wolverines quarterback Denard Robinson addressed the media on Saturday at the 2013 NFL Combine and discussed the transition he's attempting to make from college quarterback to wide receiver in the NFL and his health as he is recovering from nerve damage in his right arm that is causing numbness in his hand.
While one might think with Robinson's natural athletic ability and his familiarity with offenses from playing quarterback, that the transition to receiver wouldn't be too terribly difficult, but most analyst question Robinson's ability to play receiver at the next level, saying he's not a natural receiver.
When asked what his biggest challenge was in the transition, Robinson said it has been learning to run routes.
"Of course it's running routes," he said on Saturday. "You've got to know how to run routes, get out the breaks fast and attack the ball when the ball gets in the air. Those are things you've got to work on as a receiver."
He did say, though, that learning a new position has been fun and he's enjoyed the experience. Many questions still revolved around other positions, though, as reporters wondered whether or not teams had expressed an interest in using Robinson as a running back, a quarterback or even in the defensive backfield. While he said he had not talked to any team about playing cornerback, a few teams had asked him about his ability to run the ball as a change-of-pace back.
"They said a little running back," he said. "A little third-down back and stuff like that. Nobody really said full-time running back yet."
He also addressed his health and said due to the fact that he's dealing with a nerve issue, a time line can't really put on when he will be 100 percent healthy and he was currently unsure if he would require surgery. He did say, though, that he would have no excuses not to go full out when working out on the field in Lucas Oil Stadium.
"It's no excuses," he said. "I'm out there and I'm going 100 percent. That's me. I'm not going to have any excuse, and I'm going to try my best. That's the only thing I can do."
Many are unsure of Robinson's role on a team and they question whether he can actually play wide receiver in the NFL. While he'll almost certainly get drafted due to his speed and athleticism, some believe he'll fall into a gimmicky role for a team, used primarily for trick plays and on special teams. Either way, Robinson made it clear that he was willing to do whatever it takes to get on the field.
"My vision is to try to be the best that I can possibly be when I get to the NFL," Robinson said. "Whatever teams put me at, that's what I'm going to wok my tail off to be. Whatever they ask me to do, that what I'm going to do.
Robinson is trying to follow in the footsteps of players like Antwaan Randle El, Josh Cribbs and Julian Edelman, who all played quarterback in college and made the transition to wide receiver in the NFL. Making a move like that can be a gamble for any team to make, especially when they're using a draft pick to do it, but Robinson believes that he's worth the risk.
"A lot of people gamble don't you think?" Robinson asked, laughing. "I think I'd be a pretty sure bet. If a team takes a risk with me, I think it's not a bad risk. I go 100 percent and I'm going to do whatever it takes to be the best at it."