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Jalen Robinette: Big, Productive, and Under the Radar

Air Force wide receiver Jalen Robinette recorded just 2 receptions for 11 yards in his most recent showing at the East-West Shrine Game last Saturday. Despite this uninspiring stat line, Robinette has earned an invite to the upcoming Senior Bowl, giving him another chance to display his abilities.

Robinette is in the mold of other big-bodied WRs with impressive market share metrics coming from colleges favoring run-heavy offensive philosophies. Could he become a sneaky dynasty value?

COMPARISONS TO PAST PROSPECTS

Anytime a big WR with big market share metrics coming from a school that heavily favors the run emerges, comparisons to past WRs with these attributes – Calvin Johnson, Demaryius Thomas, Stephen Hill, etc. – are sure to come up. Here’s how Robinette’s last college season stacks up against the final seasons for the above mentioned WRs:

PlayerSchoolYearHt. Wt.AgemsRECmsRECYDSmsRECTDSDOM
Jalen RobinetteAir Force20166.03220NA0.510.550.430.49
Calvin JohnsonGeorgia Tech20066.0523921.30.440.510.60.56
Demaryius ThomasGeorgia Tech20096.03224220.590.650.730.69
Stephen HillGeorgia Tech20116.0421520.70.340.440.450.45

In terms of Dominator Rating – a metric created by Shawn Siegele that shows a WR’s share of his team’s receiving yards and TDs – Robinette falls behind both Johnson and Thomas. However, his 0.49 Dominator comes in just shy of Shawn’s 0.50 threshold for predicting future NFL success, signaling “an NFL superstar or top 10 overall pick value.”

The major difference between Robinette and Johnson/Thomas is the availability (and quality) of athletic measureables. While Robinette could very easily impress should he get a combine invite, it will take a monumental effort to match JohnsonThomas, or Hill.

We know that production is key when it comes to evaluating WR prospects. Robinette emphatically checks that box. Combine that production with a strong workout profile? That’s an explosive mix.

At this point it makes sense to acknowledge the elephant in the room. Just because both Johnson and Thomas were/are quality NFL WRs and fantasy assets, Hill’s presence here signals that athleticism, size, and positive market share do not necessitate success at the NFL level. But I’d much rather bet on a prospect with these qualities than without.

COMPARED TO 2017 PROSPECTS

The arbitrary comparison of Jalen Robinette to Calvin Johnson, Demaryius Thomas, and Stephen Hill is worthwhile because of the shared characteristics between them. How Robinette fits into the 2017 WR class, however, likely matters more.

PlayerSchoolHt. Wt.AgemsRECmsRECYDSmsRECTDSDOM
Jalen RobinetteAir Force6.03220NA0.510.550.430.49
Corey DavisWestern Michigan6.02205220.370.420.580.50
Mike WilliamsClemson6.0322522.30.230.270.240.26
John RossWashington5.1119021.10.320.320.360.34
JuJu Smith-SchusterUSC6.0222020.10.230.250.30.28

Robinette shines when compared to the top four WRs from the latest edition of the Rotoviz Scouting Index.

Age-adjusted production is another key component in predicting future NFL success. Despite my best efforts, however, I’ve been unable to acquire Robinette’s age. This is another unknown – along with his yet-to-be-determined athleticism – that gives some pause to the potential hype.

OUTLOOK

There are reasons to be skeptical of Jalen Robinette as a prospect:

  • Lack of tested athleticism
  • Lack of pedigree
  • Unknown age

On the other hand, Robinette commanded 55 percent of his team’s receiving yards in his final college season. That ranks seventh among all WR prospects since 2005.

I’m excited about Robinette with the information we currently have available. If he turns out not to be 24 years old, that’s even better. If he goes to the combine and performs well – especially in the 3-cone drill – then I will be making a concerted effort to acquire Robinette in all dynasty formats.

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