Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson is a playmaker in need of a new position. Heading into the 2013 NFL Draft, Denard Robinson is going to attempt to transition to wide receiver in the NFL, lacking some of the necessary size and throwing ability to be a quarterback at the next level. His quickness makes him a great candidate to play on the outside, and he should be excellent at creating after the catch. The team that has shown the most interest so far is the New York Jets.
As is the case with most of the very talented tweener player, the 2013 NFL Draft projections for Denard Robinson are all over the board. Some have slotted him as a fifth or sixth round selection, while Mel Kiper has him going no later than the second round. It's a tough projection with the obvious talent but the concerns about his ability to adapt to a new position.
While wide receiver is the most popular spot most have envisioned for Denard Robinson, running back and cornerback have also been floated out as possibilities. Most expect him to also contribute in the return game. His injury issues at Michigan are a concern for any team thinking of him as a full-time running back. He could be a Danny Woodhead-type of running back: smaller, shifty, able to split out. Even if he is viewed as a full-time wide receiver when drafted, Denard Robinson will probably be more of a utility player on offense. Cornerback has been mentioned, but he's too dangerous with the ball in his hands to give up the opportunity to use him on offense.
Denard Robinson was productive throughout his collegiate career but also proved that he's not a professional quarterback. He has too much talent to slide very far in the 2013 NFL Draft, and has the pure athletic ability to make an impact for whatever team drafts him. As a mid-round selection, he's a great value. It's tough to justify an early selection on a player that will have a learning curve with a new position, but the risk-reward balance is a favorable one.
The Jets have shown real interest in Denard Robinson, as the team had a long meeting with the Michigan quarterback at the Senior Bowl – the longest of any meeting Robinson had with an NFL team. With Marty Mornhinweg coming over from the Philadelphia Eagles, who feature wide receivers like Desean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin, he might see Denard Robinson as a good fit on the outside for the right price.