Draft Day Decision: Is Allen Robinson Really A Borderline First Round Pick?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

According to Allen Robinson’s current average ADP he is a borderline first round selection, with an average ADP of 15.5. Last year’s numbers do justify the selection:

80 receptions, 1,400 yards, 14 TD

The question is, is there really room for improvement? In fact, can we expect him to come reasonably close to that line in 2016?

First of all you have to wonder if he is going to get as many opportunities as he did a year ago. Remember last season their running game was poor, led by T.J. Yeldon’s 740 yards. Not only could the sophomore take a step forward in his development, but he will now be joined by free agent signee Chris Ivory in the backfield. Considering the money that Jacksonville handed the ex-New York Jet (5 years and $32 million), you know he’s going to play a fairly significant role.

An improved running game will help to open the field for Robinson and the passing attack. At the same time increased carries will mean fewer passing attempts. Robinson’s 153 targets ranked him eighth in the league last season, and any drop there will obviously have a negative effect on his production.

Then you have the touchdowns. Can we really expect anyone to replicate 14 TD? If Julius Thomas can stay healthy he should be an important part of the red zone offense and we’d also expect the revamped rushing attack to deliver more than 5 TD on the season.

Fewer opportunities? Fewer TD? That’s not going to be a good combination.

The 80 receptions isn’t an unreasonable mark, even if he were to receive a few less targets.  It’s the other numbers that he may be unlikely to maintain.

Yards - He’s simply not going to maintain 17.5 yards/reception pace.  Even if he were to match the 15.1 yards/reception pace set by Odell Beckham Jr. and A.J. Green last season (which isn’t a given), we’d be talking roughly 1,200 yards.  If he fell into the 14 yards/reception range you are talking about 1,120 yards.

Touchdowns - The return to health of Julius Thomas, as well as an improved running game, will certainly eat into his TD opportunities.  While 14 isn’t an outlandish mark, expecting 8-10 is far more likely.

In other words we are looking at a projection of:

80 receptions, 1,175 yards, 9 TD

Maybe those are “modest” numbers, but they are certainly fair expectations. They look a lot like Brandin Cooks’ from last season (84 receptions, 1,138 yards, 9 TD), which placed him right around the #10 WR in the league.  That alone should tell us that Robinson is a better fit in the mid-to-late 2nd round.  There’s a lot of potential appeal, but that doesn’t mean we should overpay for it.

Sources – ESPN, NFL.com

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