Why Denard Robinson Is Primed to Light Up NFL

Jon ShumakeContributor IIIJune 13, 2013

May 13, 2013; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars running back Denard Robinson (29) runs during organized team activities at The Florida Blue Health & Wellness Practice Fields. Mandatory Credit: Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports
Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars added some much-needed excitement to their offense by drafting former Michigan Wolverine Denard Robinson in the fifth round of April's draft.

Although he lined up at quarterback for most of his collegiate career, Robinson's amazing running abilities are what made him a superstar. He set the NCAA career rushing yards record for a quarterback last season when he ended his spectacular collegiate career with 4,495 yards on the ground.

Injuries forced Robinson to move to running back during Michigan's final three games, and his blazing speed (4.43 40-yard dash) and athleticism allowed him to thrive at the new position. He rushed for 320 yards following the position change, which proved he can make plays whenever he gets his hands on the ball. 

His playmaking abilities led to the Jaguars drafting him with their fifth-round pick. An epic photo bomb wasn't the only thing people were talking about following the draft; there was also a buzz about how Jacksonville could best utilize his unique skill set.

The Jaguars announced him as a running back when they drafted him, but he worked out at the combine as a wide receiver. 

Robinson doesn't have a true position, but that could benefit him, at least early in his career. It will give head coach Gus Bradley and offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch the opportunity to find creative ways to get the ball in the hands of the self-described offensive weapon to allow him to make plays.

Sports Illustrated's Peter King reports the Jaguars are adding wrinkles to their offense for Robinson, and they've proven that, so far, this offseason. He's lined up at several positions during camps and OTAs, including time at quarterback, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.

Robinson is a playmaker with the ball in his hands and uses his speed and elusiveness to break any run, turning it into a touchdown. The Jaguars are looking to get him the ball 10-15 times a game to give him the opportunities he needs to have explosive plays.

He may be best-suited to be a kick returner early in his career, which would let him get the ball in open space where he is extremely dangerous. It will give him the chance to immediately prove himself as a playmaker while developing the other aspects of his game.

Robinson is a raw talent who can be unleashed in a variety of ways. It will be up to the Jaguars to make sure he's used to the best of his abilities. If they do find ways to properly utilize him, Robinson has the skills to become a star in the NFL.