40 Time: 4.50
Overview: Since Nick Saban took over as head coach at Alabama, the pipeline from the Crimson Tide backfield to the NFL has gushed with talent with 11 backs drafted (nine with Top 100 selections) since 2009. The backs have come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and speeds but the history is pretty clear: If one is good enough to start at running back for the Tide, he's good enough to start in the NFL.
Perhaps that is why -- along with competing for national titles each year -- that Robinson, a consensus four-star recruit, opted to stay in his hometown of Tuscaloosa despite having to wait his turn behind eventual first round picks Najee Harris (2021) and Josh Jacobs (2019). He played second (or third) fiddle for four seasons, steadily raising his production each year, but entered the extra season provided to athletes following the pandemic with a yearly average of "just" 340 rushing yards and four touchdowns.
Robinson's patience paid off in 2021, however, earning the starting job and demonstrating that he is ready to continue Alabama's vaunted pipeline of backs to the NFL, rushing for 1,343 yards and 14 touchdowns while also obliterating his previous career high of 11 receptions for 124 yards (2019) with 35 grabs for 296 and the first two receiving touchdowns of his career.
Robinson won't enter the 2022 draft with as much fanfare as many of his Alabama predecessors, but the talent is there to project this Tuscaloosa protege as an even better NFL player than he was in college.
Strengths: Physically imposing player with a cut-up physique and several exciting traits that project well to the next level. Quick to the hole and gets to top speed even faster, galloping through the line of scrimmage and into the secondary with long strides and strong, decisive cuts. Has terrific feet for a back of his size, deftly tapdancing his way through traffic and dropping his pad level to deliver shots to would-be tacklers, when it is required. Like hand-eye coordination, Robinson possesses good spatial awareness with his feet, stepping out of the swipes from would-be tacklers. Has the balance to recover and re-accelerate. For a back with limited starting opportunities, he shows impressive awareness to go along with his physical traits, as well, showing awareness and effort as a pass blocker and a receiver. He has soft hands and good body control to make catches outside of his frame.
Weaknesses: His height -- while imposing -- can be a detriment as it obviously provides a larger target for defenders. A bit robotic in his running style, taking sharp angles and hard cuts with physicality, but not much spinning or shaking to elude in tight spaces. Though Robinson shows good leg drive and determination when running downhill, he needs to remember to keep his pad level low. Can be a bit passive in pass protection, dancing with pass rushers, rather than physically engaging them. Has four career fumbles, though, in fairness the one against Texas A&M was more on the QB for poor placement on the handoff.
Pro Comp: Latavius Murray, Baltimore Ravens -- Bouncing around the NFL with four different teams, the 6-3, 230-pound Murray has never become the star that his unique traits (like a 4.38 time in the 40-yard dash) suggest is possible, though he's been quietly productive over an eight-year career that began as a Combine snub and a sixth-round pick by the Raiders. Robinson projects as a similar long-time contributor with seemingly plenty of potential yet to be tapped.
|Year||Team||G||Punt Returns||Yds||Avg||TDs||Kick Returns||Yds||Avg||TDs|