Due to a new DoD policy, student athletes attending a military academy are now allowed to serve in the reserves rather than active duty through their required duty term, once they sign an NFL contract. That’s good news for Jalen Robinette.
Despite playing in a triple-option scheme, Robinette opened up a new element to Air Force’s offense. He proved to be a reliable weapon you could just heave the ball to, knowing he’ll come down with it. His size caused fits for opposing defenses as he led the nation with an outstanding 27.4 yards per catch – leading the nation. Abilities reminiscent to Demaryius Thomas during his time at Georgia Tech.
While he dazzled in the MWC, Robinette’s draft train didn’t quite get rolling until he impressed at the Senior Bowl as his mismatch size and ability to use it effectively in the air proved to live up to the brand.
It’s slim pickens when you count the amount of wide receivers in the NFL who have come out of a triple-option system. Is Robinette good enough to prove that trend wrong?
Name: Jalen Robinette
Size: 6’3” / 220 lbs / 32 3/8” Arm Length / 10 7/8” Hands
School: Air Force
Comparison: Eric Decker (New York Jets)
Draft Grade: 4th Round
Combine: 40 Time: 4.62 / Bench Press: 13 Reps / Vertical Jump: 31.5” / Broad Jump: 120” / 3-Cone: 6.77 / 20-Yard Shuttle: 4.46
Positives: Your prototypical “go up and get it” receiver. Climbs the ladder. Big, NFL body in which he uses to “body” smaller defenders. Known presence on long throws. Makes the contested catches. Excels over the middle of the field. Doesn’t get cold feet when sensing contact. Reels in low passes. Runs a clean post route. Adequate route runner for size. Understands needed nuance in routes. Sells the head fake. Air Force’s triple-option molded him into an excellent blocker. Sticks hands into opponent’s midsection with leverage and gets push. Shows awareness on turnaround – knows when to time his spin as the defender approaches. Massive hand size.
Negatives: Doesn’t show an ascending leap which may impact his bread and butter at the next level. Despite hand size, doesn’t show consistency catching the ball. Frequently allows the ball to slip between his fingertips. Too many double-catches. Struggles to track balls over his shoulder. Won’t predict the drop point. Keeps his eyes cemented overhead which slows him down. Speed doesn’t pose a threat. Displays sloppy feet on cuts in route at times. Would like to see him more physical after the catch. Allows defender to bring him down too easy.
Outlook: Robinette’s size and rare hand size standout the most. He played against smaller, unskilled defensive backs in college; so seeing if he can make a successful transition will be intriguing to monitor. He’s a big body which you can utilize downfield. However, his game is a bit one-dimensional. Robinette’s athleticism may limit him in the NFL, along with inconsistencies catching the football. I think he can be a fine depth receiver. Someone you can toss the ball down to early in drives to establish quick momentum. His game is similar to Eric Decker, but I don’t think he can develop into a starting caliber receiver. Still, he’ll be solid contributor off the bench and you know what to do with him.