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The New York Giants selected Kentucky wide receiver Wan’Dale Robinson with the 43rd overall pick in the 2022 NFL draft.
“Good football player we’ve had our eye on, generator with the ball in his hands, very good run after the catch, very good route runner, can separate,” general manager Joe Schoen said of Robinson after drafting him.
“And for what we are going to do offensively, we thought he would be a very good fit for us.”
Here’s some pre-draft scouting reports on Robinson from around the draft-o-sphere.
Pro Football Network
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There’s a heightened emphasis on scheme in the modern NFL, but there’s no replacement for players who can create for themselves. There are multiple molds of WRs in this sense, but all receivers who can create — in some way or another — are coveted at the NFL level. Robinson has quickly proven that he belongs in this category.
A transfer from Nebraska, Robinson has seen his statistical output — and his stock — skyrocket in the 2021 season. Catching passes from QB Will Levis, Robinson has seen a drastic uptick in opportunities, and he’s made the most of it. Now, as the 2022 NFL Draft approaches, it’s time to ask this question: Is Robinson ready for the NFL stage?
The Draft Network
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Robinson is a quick-twitch athlete who is a natural playmaker with the ball in his hands. He’s electric to watch attack defenders and stress their discipline in space. The key to unlocking Robinson’s potential with the Wildcats was his role and usage as a primary wide receiver. Robinson was recruited as a running back and his transition into a wide receiver has steadily developed, culminating with more than 1,100 receiving yards in 2021’s regular season.
The Wildcats crafted some quick-hitting touches for Robinson with jet motion, screen passes, and attacking free access at the snap, but his role also featured vertical receiver and downfield efforts and allowed Robinson to show a pleasantly well-rounded skill set as a player despite his transformation from a backfield weapon. I don’t see the profile of a perimeter wide receiver when watching Robinson and slotting him in only one role would be missing an opportunity to maximize his potential impact on an offense—I’m hoping to see him land in a role that will continue to ask him to line up all over the middle of the field and in the backfield. He did partake in some reps as a returner as well and I think that’s a logical extension of his skill set as a quick-footed, agile ball carrier, too.
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Robinson will be tabbed as a slot receiver but that is underselling his potential. He’s sudden and slick with an ability to make plays from a variety of alignments. He has gadget potential and can function as a dump-and-run target, acting as an extension of the running game. A lack of length and play strength could be a concern until he tightens up the route-running to prevent contested catches. He’s much lighter than Deebo Samuel, but the competitiveness, acceleration and run-after-catch talent could have teams eyeing a somewhat similar usage for Robinson in the future.
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Robinson began his career at Nebraska, where he split time between running back and receiver. He transferred to Kentucky for 2021 and was the engine of the Wildcats’ passing game, catching 104 of 144 targets for 1,334 yards and seven touchdowns. Robinson is on the smaller end at 5-foot-8 and 178 pounds, but he’s a tough runner with 4.44 speed. Per PFF, Robinson forced 22 missed tackles at Kentucky.
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Robinson is hyper-quick and slippery to create pockets of separation out of his breaks and elude pursuit after the catch. He has excellent field awareness with the ball in his hands, but his routes are a little rough, and he has more career drops (11) than receiving touchdowns (10). Overall, Robinson is undersized and quicker than fast, but he is a catch-and-go creator with outstanding vision and athleticism in the open field. He has potential to be a starting NFL slot receiver and return man.