Over the last week, the Jets have made a series of roster moves as they fine-tune their roster for tomorrow's season opener. We've been looking at the new additions and we conclude here with a look at linebacker Edmond Robinson.
The 25-year old Robinson is 6'3" and 245 pounds and was a seventh round pick out of Newberry in 2015. He spent his first two seasons with the Vikings, recording 12 tackles and making two starts.
Robinson was a productive player at Newberry, racking up over 200 tackles in four seasons, as he started 29 of 41 games. He was an all-South Atlantic Conference selection in 2013 after recording a career-best 69 tackles, then added another 68 in his senior year.
Despite playing in division two, Robinson received a combine invitation and was drafted by the Vikings in the seventh round of the 2015 draft.
He's been primarily a special teamer over his first two seasons, but did see some action on defense down the stretch in his rookie year, including two starts. He didn't play any defensive snaps last year though.
Let's move onto some more in-depth analysis of what Robinson brings to the table, based on in-depth research and film study.
Robinson had an interesting combine workout, with excellent speed and explosiveness numbers but poor agility and strength numbers for his position.
One of his better assets is his length and scouts have remarked that he has a long leggy frame that could perhaps bear more weight.
Robinson is a versatile player who has been used in a variety of roles in the linebacking corps. He has also been matched up against slot receivers and dropped back to safety when at Newberry.
He is not really an edge rusher-type and mostly played as a weakside outside linebacker in the Vikings' 4-3 scheme. The Jets have listed him as an outside linebacker.
The way Robinson was used in college speaks to his potential as a coverage linebacker. He produced well in coverage in his senior year with five pass break-ups, although he only had one career interception.
When he saw playing time with the Vikings, they actually took him out of the game in passing situations, suggesting he perhaps wasn't ready to contribute in those situations as a rookie. He did have one pass break-up though, closing on a short pass to the back underneath to wrench the ball away as he wrapped him up from behind.
Scouts believe he needs to work on his footwork and perhaps his awareness too.
In preseason, Robinson (wearing #51) gave up a long touchdown by taking a bad angle in space. This was on a 3rd-and-23 so he could have afforded to play that much more conservatively:
Robinson occasionally has issues with run fit in the running game. Here you'll see he lines up on the right but follows the fullback to the left side, getting sealed off and leaving a big lane for the running back to cut into:
In coverage, Robinson also shows some signs that he'll react late on some plays. He gave up a first down in zone coverage as he allowed himself to get picked by his own teammate, forcing him to drop too far off the receiver.
Despite the fact Robinson came out of the game in passing situations, five of his six tackles on defense with the Vikings came downfield on completed passes, including four on consecutive plays as the Vikings were playing prevent on a garbage time touchdown drive. However he did stop David Johnson for a two-yard game in his first career start.
He's had more success in preseason action with approximately half of his 39 tackles in 12 games coming against the run, including plenty of stops near the line. His initial quickness and lateral range in pursuit are assets here.
His biggest issue initially was that he struggles to get off blocks and sometimes gets caught up in traffic. That happens on this play:
At the senior bowl, Robinson (wearing #30) showed some ability to set the edge and use his length to disengage from a block:
Robinson has made some good contributions on special teams with the Vikings, including six special teams tackles and another four in preseason action. He's also contributed as a blocker and a wedge-buster.
However, he's also been flagged three times, including twice for an illegal block in the back.
While Robinson hasn't been a particularly productive tackler at the NFL level, he has flashed some ability to wrap up and bring down his man, using those long arms of his.
He's been an efficient tackler so far too, with no missed tackles in regular season action and only a handful in the preseason.
Robinson doesn't rush the passer very often. He had just 2.5 sacks in his college career.
Here, Robinson (wearing #40) records a pressure showing good burst up the middle, but doesn't get there in time to prevent the touchdown pass:
Robinson has needed to fill out his frame since entering the NFL and may see improvements in his ability to get off blocks after a couple of years in an NFL weights program.
On special teams and also at times on defense, he's shown a willingness to take out a blocker aggressively.
He hasn't had any defensive penalties in regular season or preseason action (or in his one postseason appearance).
Robinson played in a 4-3 system with the Vikings but his versatile role while at college should prepare him well to fill in at inside linebacker in Darron Lee's role or even at strongside linebacker (Jordan Jenkins' role) in certain packages.
Robinson has received credit for his hard work and perseverance in making it to the NFL after attending a division 2 school, but the learning hasn't stopped there.
Robinson has said the game started to slow down for him after his rookie year as he had a better understanding of where he needed to be and this enabled him to "fly around" a lot more. He also said he had made improvements in terms of hand placement when trying to get past a blocker.
Robinson doesn't appear to have dealt with any serious injuries in college or the pros. He missed time in December with a hamstring injury, though.
Looking back at recent reports on Robinson's progress with the Vikings, it's surprising he didn't make their team. He was right in the mix for a starting role in preseason and seemed to be in the lead early on in camp, even starting the preseason opener.
Mike Zimmer had previously predicted he'd be a really good linebacker one day and perhaps that may yet come true with the Jets. As with Neal Sterling, he's a former late round pick from a small school just about to enter the part of his career where he'd have been hoped to make some kind of a leap.
However, in the short term, the Jets probably just brought Robinson in for special teams cover. When the Jets released Bruce Carter, only to re-sign him the next day, it seemed likely that the ultimate goal may have been to release Robinson to the practice squad sooner or later. However, that hasn't happened yet, so perhaps he's shown enough in practice to warrant being active in a special teams role tomorrow.