There was a sense of excitement when the New York Giants selected tight end Adrien Robinson with in the fourth-round of the 2012 NFL draft. His size, strength, and athleticism gave his coaches, teammates, and fans reason to believe that he can one day become a starting tight end for the Giants in the near future. General manager Jerry Reese even went as far to say he was the "JPP of tight ends."
However, many fans forget that Robinson missed OTA's this offseason in order to finish up his degree. After playing in the wide open, spread offense employed by the Cincinnati Bearcats, Robinson is going to have to learn how to transition into a block-first tight end if he wants to see the field for Big Blue. Today, tight end coach Mike Pope commented on how Robinson is going to be a project, not an instant star.
"Robinson has really been disadvantaged because number one, his class didn’t graduate until so late in June. He missed almost all of our spring work except for the mini-camp and that set him back quite a bit. Like a lot of players who are coming out at this position now he played in that college offense that is so wide open he wasn’t even in a three-point stance. He didn’t even line up beside the tackle and he didn’t conjunct blocks with the line at all because their offense was just so wide open." Pope said.
The New York Giants have normally excelled with tight ends whose first priority is to block either on rushing plays or in pass protection schemes. Players like Kevin Boss and Jake Ballard were both exceptional blockers, while still remaining a threat that had to be accounted for in the passing game. Pope is hoping that Robinson can morph into that kind of player in the future.
"This has been a whole new thing for him so he’s been a little bit slower to move into that role. Here at our place you have to be a blocker first and then you grow into the passing game. If you think back to all the players that we’ve had here that have done well, that’s been the way we have developed them so he has to do that." Pope said.
With the acquisition of Martellus Bennett and the newfound depth at tight end, Robinson is going to have the benefit of learning the offense thoroughly before he has to see any significant playing time. Although he does not have any experience as a block-first tight end, he certainly has the athletic ability to be effective in that phase of the game. Hopefully, we see some production sooner rather than later from the young rookie.
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