From Lou Musto of Giants Rush:
The New York Giants made a surprise move when they selected tight end Adrien Robinson with one of their two fourth-round picks in the 2012 NFL draft. Many had predicted he was a late-round pick and, perhaps, even an undrafted free agent at best.
But the Giants saw value in the raw athlete from Cincinnati and it would appear that — after a season spent watching from the sidelines — Robinson is ready to break out.
The Giants are well known as a team that likes to keep young talent on the backburner until they believe that player is fit to make a positive impact on the field. Since camp has opened, Robinson has been stellar, garnering the attention of many with his performance.
Dan Salamone of Giants.com wrote recently:
Back in the spring, tight ends coach Mike Pope said Robinson has gone to the “Land of the Believers.” Now Robinson is making believers out of anyone who has seen him at camp this year. He’s as athletic as they come at his size, and now he’s putting it together mentally in practice, making a few outstanding grabs along the way. He was also on the receiving end of Steve Weatherford ’s touchdown pass off a fake field goal attempt on the second day of camp.
Robinson had very little production during his time at Cincinnati, playing in a run-heavy offense that did not cater to his abilities. He caught just 12 passes for 183 yards and three touchdowns as a senior. He is an athletic freak blessed with a similar skill set to that of many of the tight ends taking over the NFL these days.
He needed work on his route-running and other key parts of his game, but he has shown a lot of improvement already in camp. Whether or not he can block remains a question mark, but pre-draft scouting reports were positive and he was an 11-game starter for a Bearcats offense that finished 39th in the nation with 2100 rushing yards in 2011.
General manager Jerry Reese had no issue deeming him the “JPP of tight ends” a year ago and now, it appears he may finally be coming along.
His timing couldn’t be any more perfect. With Henry Hynoski out for the unforeseen future, tight end Bear Pascoe will presumably see snaps at fullback or even be the starter until the Hynocerous is able to return. That will open a void behind free-agent acquisition Brandon Myers, and should be Robinson’s for the taking.
A two tight-end set of Myers and Robinson is enticing to consider based purely on the athleticism both players boast. It may not be as lethal as a Gronkowski-Hernandez combo, but with the assortment of weapons the Giants’ offense will feature this season, they won’t need to be that good.
Louis Musto is a featured columnist for Giants Rush. You can follow him on Twitter @LouisMusto.