Allen Robinson is part of a Jacksonville offensive renaissance – and the season is months away.
Robinson, the Penn State receiver, Southfield native and Orchard Lake St. Mary’s product, was the third offensive player taken in Jacksonville’s first three picks following quarterback Blake Bortles and receiver Marqise Lee early in the second round.
“The addition of these two (receivers) makes a statement we’re trying to get better now,” Jacksonville coach Gus Bradley said in his Jacksonville press conference after the Robinson pick.
Bradley said the Jags were looking at Lee and Robinson and trying to choose between them early in the second round when they took Lee with the 39th overall pick.
So they took Lee and hoped they could get Robinson later to help a receiving core that likely will lose its best player, Justin Blackmon, to a drug-related suspension for the season.
When he was still dangling, they traded up from their 70th pick in the third round to San Francisco’s 61st pick (tossing in a fifth-rounder) to grab Robinson as well.
“Bigger, thicker, very explosive,” Jaguars receivers coach Jerry Sullivan said in a video interview on Jaguars.com about the 6-foot-3, 210-pound Robinson. “I was there at his workout and he had a 42 inch standing vertical jump, which is really good and an almost 11-foot standing broad jump. He’s got a lot of explosion. He didn’t run great times or he would have been for sure a first round pick. I love his competitiveness, I like his style of play…. He has a great reputation as a real warrior up there.”
Sullivan said: “I thought we would be fortunate to get one of those guys, not both of them.”
“He was the guy at that spot and we didn’t want to take a chance with it,” Bradley said.
Robinson was the 11th receiver selected in the draft, which approached an NFL record in the common draft era for the first two rounds.
Though he was projected as ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr.’s 13th best player remaining entering the second round, Robinson had to wait 28 picks.
The night became longer as the second round rolled on with five more receivers, including a Big Ten receiver in Indiana’s Cody Latimer.
Robinson arrives with an impressive resume as he was a Biletnikoff Award semifinalist, won the Big Ten Richter-Howard Receiver of the Year in both 2012 and 2013 and was named a first-team All-American in 2013 by three outlets.
“He reminds me a little bit of an Anquan Boldin-type player, a guy that’s not going to beat you vertically but again you can separate with physicality,” NFL Network analyst Brian Billick said.
ESPN gave him the 11th-best draft grade among receivers entering the draft and five were selected in Thursday’s first round, including Florida State’s Kelvin Benjamin, ranked the 13th receiver.
His stats over the past two years were dominant, with 174 receptions and 2,445 receiving yards in that span to rank No. 3 in Big Ten history for consecutive seasons in both categories.
Contact Mark Snyder: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @mark__snyder.