After considering Josh Morgan and Leonard Hankerson, I settled on Aldrick Robinson. Why Robinson?
For starters, I was very intrigued when the Redskins took Robinson out of Southern Methodist University (SMU) in the sixth round of the 2011 draft. #11 only stands at 5’10, but he runs a 4.35 40 yard dash. The speed has long been the reason for optimism around Aldrick, as seen in his three long touchdowns a year ago, but his improved hands and route running have him poised for a breakout 2013 campaign.
But the reason why I’m most optimistic is that I feel like he’s “turned the corner”. For the first two years in the offense, Robinson was nothing more than a deep threat. Realizing the need to improve, the young Wide Receiver has honed his game and had a productive preseason.
The knock on the speedy wide receiver has always been consistency and the being able to bring more to the offense. So what has he done to warrant greater optimism?
Let’s take a look at his preseason:
In three preseason games, Robinson produced three well rounded games. Despite one clear drop, #11 ran a variety of crisp routes that led to a team high 7 receptions and 112 yards. One play that the stood out to me was a slant pattern he ran at the end of the first half against Pittsburgh. The speedy receiver did well to get across the corner backs face-mask and made a difficult catch in traffic. The catch came in two minute drill and led to a Kai Forbath field goal.
If Robinson can learn to concentrate and make the easy catch, he could be a nice replacement for Santana Moss in the coming years.
With a new arsenal of routes to run, teams can no longer sit a safety deep and take Robinson out of the play. The slot receiver routinely is asked to catch the ball in the middle of the field and gain yards after the catch (YAC). That’s why the catch in the Steelers game stood out. Moss is aging (sadly) and will not be around much longer. The SMU product has the tools and opportunity to become the heir apparent.
So what should we expect in 2013?
After posting a mere 11 receptions in 2012, I would like to see Robinson reach 30 receptions and to eclipse 500 yards receiving. If he can continue to improve and become a formidable slot receiver, the ‘Skins offense will take the next step to becoming elite.