Wan'Dale Robinson Draft Profile
Some players are more fun to evaluate than others, and Kentucky wide receiver, Wan’Dale Robinson, is one of those fun players. He is capable of doing anything you ask from him— he is the offensive spark that some of the top teams in the NFL are missing. He is the guy that may turn these playoff-caliber teams into Super Bowl-winning teams. Every team is looking for the next Deebo Samuel or a guy they can put anywhere on the field, Robinson is that guy. While I’m not going to say that he is Deebo Samuel, I will say that play-callers can get creative with him and get him the ball like Kyle Shanahan does with Samuel. Call it what you want: wide receiver, running back, wide back; all I know is that he is going to be an offensive weapon.
There isn’t a YAC receiver quite like Wan’Dale Robinson in this year’s draft profile. He is vicious with the ball in his hands despite being a smidge under 5’9 180 lbs. Once he catches the ball he turns upfield and gets as many yards as possible. He doesn’t play around— he is the attacker, the striker, the enforcer. While he is aggressive with the ball in his hands, he is also faster than everybody. While Robinson only ran a 4.44 40-yard dash, I couldn’t find a defender that could run with him when he was at Kentucky. He can get behind a defense with routes downfield, but he can also just run by defenders on short routes. At the top of his routes, he is quick and decisive. Robinson does a phenomenal job at stacking his defender and using leverage to put that defender in a bad position. While Robinson is a smaller player, he is still tough— he’ll block if he has to, take reverses, and run through defenders. I believe teams will be able to put him in the backfield and give him outside zone runs as well. As a route runner, Robinson’s stop-start acceleration is electric. Flat-footed defensive backs stand no chance and defenders need to get their hands on him at the line. Every team is looking for a player that can set them over the top, I believe Robinson will be that guy for one lucky team.
My big knock on Robinson is his physicality while running routes. He gets pushed off his route easily and needs to play through contact when the ball is still in the air. Robinson has good hands he just doesn’t have the biggest catch radius. He has a really small wingspan which may limit him from ever being a prototypical outside receiver. His petite size results in him taking some mighty hits from bigger defenders. For teams wanting to use him like Deebo Samuel, they’ll have to understand that the two have very different body types. I also would have liked to see him return punts and have a role on special teams, but he didn’t in college. While Robinson offers similar versatility to Samuel, he isn’t quite on his level yet.
I believe whatever team drafts Robinson is going to get a steal of a player. I see him going late in the third round, but if I was an NFL general manager I’d take him towards the end of the second round or early in the third. I believe Robinson will be what Tavon Austin could have been. Austin was just too ahead of his time coming out of West Virginia but would be perfect in today’s NFL. I believe Robinson would be a perfect fit alongside Deebo Samuel in Kyle Shanahan’s system with the 49ers. The Rams and Titans would also be great landing spots for him. Wan’Dale Robinson is a star in the making, I just hope he doesn’t end up in a system that lacks creativity.
Ability to Separate: 8.5/10
Release/Top of Routes: 7/8
Route Running: 7/8
Contested Catch: 5.25/8
Hands + Catch Radius: 5.5/8
Speed + Control: 6.75/7
Natural Talent: 4/5
Final Rating: 84
Pro Comparison: Tavon Austin
Team Fits: 49ers, Titans, Rams
Draft Grade: Late Second - Early Third Round Pick
Draft Projection: Mid - Late Third Round Pick