Earlier today, the Vikings took another step forward in improving their roster and, more specifically, bolstering their lackluster secondary. After surprising a few people and choosing to stay put with their pick at the top of the third round, the Vikings selected Central Florida cornerback Josh Robinson. Robinson, although probably not an immediate starter has tons of upside and should be able to challenge some of the current starters for roster spots. Let’s take an even closer look at the pick, some of Josh Robinson’s strengths and weaknesses and how he could immediately contribute to the Minnesota Vikings.
Earlier this morning, I predicted that at some point in Day 2 of the NFL Draft, Spielman and the Vikings would participate in a trade. While it never ended up happening, there was ample opportunity for Spielman to move around. According to the Vikings General Manger, they received “plenty of calls” from other teams looking to move back into the third round and targeting them as a potential trade partner. Instead, Spielman choose to stay patient and see what type of value would be available when the team selected at the beginning of the third
“I wanted to stay patient,” Spielman said. “I don’t want to lose all the ammunition that we have for (Saturday) and we have a lot of picks. We did get a lot of calls about trading into the second round, and when you see the board develop, you sit there and you see you have three or four options still and you’re holding your breath.”
At our Live Draft Chat, we were holding our breath, too. One of those options a majority of us were hoping would still be available for the Vikings pick was LSU wide receiver Reuben Randle who strangely fell much further down than expected by most. Reuben Randle was selected by the New York Giants right before the Vikings selection. Another player the team coveted and have met with at Winter Park was cornerback Trumaine Johnson who was also selected right before the Vikings were on the clock by the St. Louis Rams. Fortunately, the Vikings were still able to nab a great talent like Josh Robinson with their pick.
Josh Robinson began to gain steam after having an incredible showing at the NFL Combine. The 5’10” cornerback had the fastest 40-yard-dash time of anyone (at any position) at the combine recording a 4.33. Robinson also had a 38.5” vertical jump and 133” broad jump. Robinson does not come off as just a workout warrior, though. On top of doing great in the physical drills, he was also very impressive in positional drills. I distinctly remember Deion Sanders being specifically impressed with Robinson throughout that day at the combine.
Robinson [obviously] has great athletic ability which allows him to move quickly to the ball. He has very fluid hips and great range which somewhat makes up for his smaller size. He is strong in run support and isn’t afraid to hit the opponent. Just as importantly, Robinson is another player selected in this draft who is an incredibly hard worker and a leader on the field. It should be mentioned that Robinson did a stellar job guarding now professional receiver A.J. Green.
While Josh Robinson has tons of talent and a very high ceiling, he does have a few shortcomings. As previously mentioned, Robinson’s small size could be something to be concerned about – especially at the next level. It could lead to him being dominated physically by larger NFL receivers. Man coverage isn’t a strong suit for Robinson, but fortunately for him, we don’t run man-to-man very often in our Tampa-2 defense.
Overall, while Robinson is unlikely to be an immediate starter at cornerback for the Vikings, he definitely provides some depth and insurance at the position and should immediately put pressure on the current starters for their role. It is worth mentioning that Robinson will very likely be a key contributor on special teams, though. His elite speed and physical talent could allow him to take over the punt return duties from the struggling Marcus Sherels immediately.
Personally, I think this is a very solid selection for the Vikings at a position that needs some help. The Vikings have the tools on staff to develop Robinson into a very strong cornerback with a little work. His elite physical talent makes for a lot of upside.
Spielman and the Vikings have done a great job so far in this draft if you ask me. What do you guys think? Do you like the Josh Robinson selection? How would you grade it? How would you grade the draft as a whole at this point heading into Day 3? Let us know in the polls below.