by Ray Kuhn
Why not just swing for the fences with Allen Robinson and speculate about him being a WR1? In 2015 he did catch 80 passes for 1,400 yards, but he quickly fell off in 2016 (73/883) with the biggest drop-off being in the TD as he went from 14 to 6. After catching just one pass for 17 yards last season he tore his ACL in Week 1, so are we really going to say that we can’t find 12 wide receivers who are better than him?
Currently, per NFFC ADP data, Robinson is the 18th wide receiver coming off the board with an ADP of 42.25. That means that depending on your draft position Robinson will cost you either a third (if you really want to reach, which I’m not sure is necessary) or a fourth round pick.
While some wide receivers are quarterback proof, at least to a point, a decent amount of Robinson’s production in 2015 and 2016 was tied to Blake Bortles, and that isn’t exactly the best fate for a wide receiver (as can be seen in his ’16 production).
When it comes to Robinson there really are a few factors at play. We know that he is capable of success as a number one receiver in the NFL and is a play maker when lined up outside. We have established that the skill set and nose for the end zone is there, so now let’s move onto the next question and that’s Mitch Trubisky.
Trubisky is entering his second season in the NFL, and the former first round pick will be opening the season as the starter. He performed to mixed reviews last season, but showed flashes of success. Appearing in 12 games he threw 7 TD along with 7 INT and racked up 2,193 yards. Obviously that isn’t going to move the needle from any perspectives, but he appears poised to next the step in 2018.
Chicago has a new coach and therefore a new offensive system in Matt Nagy, and that should also benefit Trubisky. Having gone through a full off-season should certainly benefit him and the talent is there. He is a popular sleeper option at the quarterback position, but while the new offense will benefit him there will also be a learning curve. So far this summer the early opinions from training camp is that things have been up and down.
That will have a trickle down impact to Robinson, as the first few games of the season will likely be a little slow moving for Chicago’s offense. We still have a month left until the regular season so it is possible for that to change, but time will tell.
The other issue regarding Robinson is his health. He too has to learn a new offense while rehabbing from a torn ACL. The good thing is that his injury occurred in Week 1, so he has had plenty of time to get healthy. So far the early reports appear to be good and that bodes well for his 2018 fantasy fortunes.
Robinson has clear WR2 potential, and while it also is possible he finishes the season as an WR1 it is not prudent to pay that price on draft day, especially with the risk of relying on a brand new offense and an unproven quarterback. Given the other receivers in Robinson’s tier he is worth the risk, just go in with your eyes wide open.
Make sure to check out all of our 2018 preseason rankings: