What's new
Fantasy Football - Footballguys Forums

Welcome to Our Forums. Once you've registered and logged in, you're primed to talk football, among other topics, with the sharpest and most experienced fantasy players on the internet.

What position will Michael Robinson play? (1 Viewer)



This is surely a sweet spot on Michael Robinson's résumé, after his only full season as Penn State's starter ended with an 11-1 record, No. 3 national ranking and Big Ten offensive player of the year honors.

"But I'm a realist," Robinson said. "People have seen me run the ball. People have seen me catch. They figure this kid can help us with two or three roster spots. I'm more than willing to do that. I just want a shot at quarterback."

Robinson, identified in NFL-issued material as a quarterback/halfback/receiver, is one of the most intriguing players in this weekend's two-day draft because projections for him don't exactly fit neatly in a box. He is among successful college quarterbacks who creatively complicate the job-filling process because their biggest impact might come at other positions.

Missouri's Brad Smith and Virginia's Marques Hagans are others whose value as NFL passers could come primarily on gadget plays.

Don't knock it. Antwaan Randle El was a quarterback at Indiana. He used that talent when, lined up at his regular receiver spot, he fired a game-clinching, 43-yard touchdown pass to Hines Ward off an option play for the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XL. Randle El has since signed a seven-year, $31 million deal with the Washington Redskins.

Ward, the Super Bowl MVP and a four-time Pro Bowl wideout, started four games at quarterback as a sophomore at Georgia.

Before last season, Robinson was used at running back, wideout, slot back and punt returner — in addition to quarterback.

"They are very skilled athletes, and a lot of times colleges tend to put those guys where they can touch the ball all the time," Steelers coach Bill Cowher said.

"In Antwaan's case, they didn't have a quarterback who could get him the ball, so why not make him the quarterback? I think it was the same with Hines. Maybe it's the situation with their team. It's kind of fun to see what you can do with them."

'Finding a place' for talent

Last year the Jacksonville Jaguars invested a first-round pick in Matt Jones, transitioning to receiver after three seasons as Arkansas' starting quarterback. Jones' stock soared after he clocked at 4.3 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the draft combine.

A year later, the Jaguars are pleased with his progress. Five of Jones' 36 catches as a rookie went for touchdowns. He has made strides in polishing his route running. And, sure enough, he completed two short passes last season.

"You look for playmakers," said James Harris, the Jaguars' vice president of personnel.

Athleticism alone doesn't force a switch. Atlanta Falcons star Michael Vick has a 4.2 40 time and is still a quarterback — albeit one prone to turn scrambles into long-distance touchdown runs.

The University of Texas' Vince Young, who might be the first quarterback chosen Saturday, is also one of the draft's best athletes.

"Some of them are very successful in college, but they don't pass the ball well enough to do that in our league," Seattle Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren said. "But they're great athletes. So you find a place for them."

There were rumblings that Texas A&M's strong-armed Reggie McNeal might be a candidate to switch. He had the best 40-yard dash among quarterbacks at the combine, as low as 4.35. But McNeal was impressive enough as a passer at the East-West Shrine Game that talk of switching fizzled. He's a projected midround pick.

Sticking to game plan

Robinson struggled with his passing at Senior Bowl practices and blamed it on a mechanical tweak.

"Bad move," he said. "You throw it one way for 22 years, you don't mess with that."

At times in college, Robinson would run plays in practice as a starting receiver, then head straight to the second-team huddle for snaps at quarterback. Before last year, he didn't know his role for the week until Thursdays.

"My athletic ability is both a gift and curse," Robinson said.

He wonders how he would rate if he were just a quarterback.

"Having to do so much, practicing at so many different positions, probably hindered my development a little bit," he said. "If you look at the first game last season and the last game, there's a world of difference."

Said Harris: "Each team has to determine if he's an effective enough passer. He wants to play quarterback. Maybe you give him a chance, then see what happens."

Then again, Robinson, projected as a receiver by most draft analysts, embraces Randle El comparisons.

"There are too many teams telling me, 'Mike, you can help us in other ways,' " he said. "If you don't accept it, you're going to have an attitude and struggle."

Smith, a four-year option quarterback, has been much more reluctant to switch. At the combine, he bristled when asked about following Randle El and Jones.

"We're different," he said. "I'm aware of their situations. I just don't see myself in that sense. Working at something your whole life and having dreams, that's important to me. It doesn't matter what anyone else has done."

Agent Mark Bartelstein offered a different spin this week, saying Smith has been showcased as a quarterback and receiver during workouts for about a dozen teams.

"A lot of teams weren't sure what he was," Bartelstein said.

Hagans sent a clear message, immediately focusing on receiver after his college career ended. Undersized, he figures his pro quarterback potential is in the emergency, No. 3 area.

"My best chance is to be multidimensional," said Hagans, a receiver/runner/returner before starting his last two years at quarterback. "The more you can do, the better off you are. NFL rosters are a lot smaller."

Randle El hosted Hagans on a recruiting trip to Indiana University, where he was supposed to become the successor. Poor grades, though, trumped the signed letter of intent, and Hagans went to military school before landing at Virginia.

Now he's trying to follow in Randle El's path again.

"He has tremendous competitive heart," Virginia coach Al Groh said, recalling Hagans' days as a backup to Matt Schaub.

"That was his attitude three years ago. I told him, 'You know, the coach really likes to see you in the game, but he's already got a pretty good quarterback.' He said, 'I just want to play.' So he's kind of already done this once."


Users who are viewing this thread