Robinson expectant for draft
Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 18, 2009
LORMAN — Lee Robinson has done all he can. Now all that is left is the wait.
Robinson, a senior linebacker for the Alcorn State football team, performed at the 2009 NFL Scouting Combine in February, and now he’s playing the waiting game until the NFL Draft, which will be April 25 and 26.
But rather than be nervous to find out when — or if — he’ll be drafted to a professional football team, Robinson is just looking forward to the day.
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“It’s kind of hard to explain how excited you really can be,” he said. “I’m just ready for it to happen.”
Robinson ran a 4.87-second 40-yard dash, just three-tenths of a second slower than the frontrunner.
He did 24 bench press reps, six fewer than the category leader but one more than LSU linebacker Darry Beckwith, and he had a 9-foot-5-inch broad jump.
“I am very confident about what I did (at the combine),” Robinson said. “I tried to showcase and maximize my abilities as best I could.”
Robinson received some positive feedback from scouts during the combine, and some of his pros and cons as a potential NFL player were posted on the competition’s Web site.
NFLDraftScout.com said Robinson had good height and upper-body strength, good closing speed and “takes advantage of his explosiveness.”
“(He) uses his hands to keep cut blocks off his knees…fights through trash inside to get to the ball carrier…(and is a) team leader on and off the field.”
But scouts also feel teams will be unsure where to use Robinson until they get him into training camp, and they said he needs to improve his open-field tackling and his lateral direction changing in space.
Alcorn State head coach Earnest Collins said Robinson did well at the combine. He was invited after his performance at the Texas vs. The Nation All-Star Game in January.
Robinson was third on the Texas team in tackles with five total (two solo and three assisted) and one tackle for a loss of six yards.
“In that bowl game and in people seeing film after the season, they realized the young man can play football,” Collins said. “He did himself well, and he showed himself really well at the combine.”
Robinson said coming from a smaller school meant he had a lot to prove, both at the all-star game and the pro workouts.
“They look at you like your competition level is lower so they don’t expect as much from you,” he said. “Coming from a small school, I didn’t get ranked as high as the bigger school guys, so I had to show that I was just as capable as they are.
“The combine helped though — it knocked out a little worry about the competition level, and it upped my stock some.”
Robinson was first-team All-Southwestern Athletic Conference this season with 111 tackles (10.5 for loss), 3.5 sacks, three interceptions and three forced fumbles for the Braves.
NFLDraftScout.com said NFL some defensive coordinators may see the Amite County High product as a potential starter at the rush linebacker position.
Robinson said he expects to be drafted on day two, between the third and sixth rounds.
His mother, Annie Dupree, said she has been nervous since her son started playing football at age 6, and she’s still nervous to this day.
“You have that fear on you that something could happen to him,” she said. “I know he’s going to get drafted because he’s good at what he does. And I know God’s going to take care of him. But I’m still always worried he could get hurt.”
Collins said while Braves being drafted into the NFL is nothing new, he’s still excited.
“It does wonders for us in recruiting and as a university,” he said. “We get some negative press sometimes by people who say you can’t make it to the league if you go to a small school. But that couldn’t be further from the truth.”
Collins said Robinson has what it takes to become an NFL player as long as he can adapt well.
“Lee definitely has the athletic ability to get there,” Collins said. “But it’s not about a game anymore, it’s about a business, and you have to really want to play. You’ve got to learn your plays and learn the business of being an NFL player. It’s much different than college.”