Well, in the absence of any new and breaking stadium developments to talk about (although our stadium stuff is still getting bumped to the top of the page), it's time to continue our look at the newest members of the Minnesota Vikings, and we've made it to our third-round pick, cornerback Josh Robinson out of the University of Central Florida.
Robinson was the fastest player at the 2012 NFL Combine, clocking in with an official time of 4.33 seconds in the 40-yard dash. He also impressed in a number of other combine drills, particularly the ones that measure agility and explosiveness. He clocked a time of 6.55 seconds in the three-cone drill, and measured a 38 1/2" vertical leap. Lest anyone think of him as a "combine warrior," Robinson was a very productive player at Central Florida.
Robinson turned down scholarship offers from Michigan, Clemson, Auburn, and South Florida to play for the Golden Knights. Even though he was a wide receiver in high school, Robinson started 11 games at corner for the Golden Knights in his freshman year of 2009, garnering second-team All-Conference USA honors and being named to the conference All-Freshman team. In that season, he intercepted six passes, the second-highest total for a single season in UCF history, and also had eight other pass break-ups. He racked up 69 tackles that season as well, 59 of which were of the solo variety.
As a sophomore in 2010, Robinson was named a first-team All-Conference USA cornerback, as well as getting an honorable mention as a special teamer. His interception total dropped from six to two that season, but he had thirteen pass break-ups, and his average of 1.15 passes defended per game (a combination of interceptions and break-ups) placed him 12th in the nation in that category. He returned 20 punts for a total of 304 yards, and his 15.2 yard average on punt returns was good for ninth nationally. He had 59 tackles as a sophomore.
Robinson continued to improve as a junior this past season, as he was fourth in the nation with an average of 1.42 passes defended per game (two more interceptions and a whopping 15 pass break-ups in 12 games). One of his two interceptions went back for a touchdown as well. His punt return duties decreased in 2011, as he was only called upon to do so seven times, and his number of tackles decreased to 48. For his efforts, Robinson was once again named to the All-Conference USA first team.
We've already gotten a rather lengthy post comparing Robinson to his fellow UCF alum, Asante Samuel. While it appears that Robinson is a much better. . .or, at least, a much more willing. . .tackler than Samuel, if his cover skills are comparable, it would appear that the Vikings have gotten themselves a steal. Because of his size, at this point it appears he's a better fit in a zone-style of pass defense than he would be in man coverage, but the potential is there for him to improve in that area as well. He's already making a positive impression at Vikings camp. . .hopefully that's a good sign for things to come.