Robert Herron has been proving people wrong for most of his football career. As an undersized, but speedy high school prospect in Los Angeles, he was lightly recruited and ended up taking a last-minute scholarship offer at Wyoming, where he piled up the fourth-most receiving yards in school history during his four-year career. Even now, though, as Herron prepares for the NFL Draft in May, the doubts continue to persist.
That suits Herron just fine. He says he's used to overcoming adversity and plans to keep right on doing so. That process began at the Senior Bowl, where he wowed NFL scouts with his explosiveness and separation abilities. He'll have another opportunity at the NFL Combine, which he hopes can propel him higher up draft boards.
CBS Sports has you rated as the No. 13 wide receiver prospect and projects you as a second or third-round pick. Do you think that's fair, or should you be higher?
Obviously you put yourself in the first just because you know the things you can do, but I feel like that's a fair judgement. I feel like I have some upside, ya know, some stuff to learn. But I also feel like the things I do bring to the table [make me] a Day 2 guy. But I'm not really looking at all that. I'm just ready to work and get on a team.
You worked a lot in the slot in college. Do you see yourself playing a similar role at the next level?
I can definitely see myself as a slot guy, getting separation, inside working off linebackers and trying to take advantage of some mismatches. But also feel like I can play outside because I played a couple games on the outside and know my routes. But I'll play in the slot or outside, wherever they need me.
What's the biggest adjustment you think you'll have to make going from college ball to the pros?
The plays. I was in a spread offense and we just did signals, so I'm going to have to get used to the huddle and the play calling. But at the Senior Bowl I picked up the Atlanta Falcons playbook quicker than I thought, so that shouldn't be much of a problem. It wasn't difficult. At night, before I went to sleep, I would go over and over it in my head, so it wasn't tough at all.
You played in the Mountain West. What do you say to those that would argue that you haven't faced elite competition?
We had some good teams in the Mountain West -- Boise, Fresno State had great records. I feel like I also played great against big competition. Every time we played good competition I feel like I stepped up and showed that I can compete. We played against Texas and I kind of showcased my skills there. We played Nebraska, same thing. I can see how you can say that about the Mountain West, but I feel like after you go to the Senior Bowl, all that flies out because it's the top seniors in the country. That's some of the best competition you can get.
As an L.A. guy, how'd you end up at Wyoming?
I had to make up some classes real late so school fell back. I only got the scholarship a couple days before camp.
What was it like going from Los Angeles to Laramie?
Very different. A big culture change. Not just with the people but the city. It's isolated, not busy. It was something I had to get adjusted to. It's pretty chill, not a lot happening. I would say it's very low key.
You played in the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala. What did you think of Alabama?
Different. I'd never been to Alabama, and it was a little bit different but I enjoyed it. Good people there. People are very polite.
Is there a particular NFL city you would like to land in?
I wouldn't say there's anywhere I prefer to go.
What about a favorite team? Did you grow up a fan of one of the California teams?
No, I actually grew up a Denver Broncos fan just because the first Super Bowl I ever saw was with John Elway. I was real little and I don't remember it that well, but I do remember that they won and it just stuck with me. I also grew up liking the 49ers a bit.
The Broncos could be losing Wes Welker next year and might need another slot guy. What would you think about being drafted by Denver?
That would be a great opportunity, I would love that. You'd have no complaints from me catching passes from Peyton.
How are you preparing for the NFL Combine?
I'm out here in Arizona. It's called Exos -- it was formally called Athletes' Performance. I'm out here working, getting my strength and explosiveness up. I have a mindset that I'm going to compete at the combine, I'm going to do my best. You have to be yourself, you can't fake anything.
We go through visualizations and visualize exactly how it's going to be set up. We watch videos from the past years. We have a mock combine. They prepare us very well because they've been doing this for years.
Do you feel as though you're coming into the NFL with a chip on your shoulder? Do you have something to prove?
Definitely, definitely. Playing at Wyoming, you have to deal with people not thinking you had enough talent to go to the Pac-12 or SEC. I feel like it's overrated, what school you go to. I feel like I have to prove myself, coming from the school I come from. But I just want to go out and compete with everyone else.
What are you looking forward to the most about playing in the NFL?
I'm just looking forward to going to the NFL make it my profession, my job. NFL players, that's their job. They don't have other jobs. It's just that.