For the third year in a row, a Michigan State defensive back will be taken in the NFL Draft -- and don't expect that trend to end any time soon.
Following in the footsteps of Jeremy Ware (Oakland, Round 7, 2010) and Chris L. Rucker (Indianapolis, Round 6, 2011), safety Trenton Robinson is primed to hear his name called in the upcoming NFL Draft.
The two-time captain took a similar trajectory to Kirk Cousins, as he improved his stock at each step of the draft process starting with the Senior Bowl.
In Mobile, Robinson left analysts impressed by his technique, balance and footwork.
"Michigan State safety Trenton Robinson performing well here. Not a big guy but good balance, instincts, doesn't take many false steps," Tom Pelissero of ESPN Twin Cities said.
Robinson also continued the trend started by Cousins and Keshawn Martin, as he made the list of NFL Combine risers according to Sports Illustrated's Tony Pauline.
**More after the jump**
"Robinson was one of the top safeties to perform on (February 28)," Pauline said. "His 40 time clocked in the low 4.5-second range, his broad jump measured 12 feet, 5 inches and Robinson showed cornerback-type skills during drills. He was quick-footed in every direction and showed a terrific burst to the ball in every direction."
Michigan State All-Access put together a video of analysts talking about the All-Big Ten safety, hear what they had to say here. Robinson's 4.52 40-yard dash time ranked second among safeties at the Combine, but he wasn't done yet.
At the MSU Pro Day, Robinson cut his 40 time by a almost tenth of a second, down to 4.43. The lower time brought a collective "wow" from the NFL scouts on hand, according to MLive.com.
"I like what I see of Robinson," ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. said. "He's one of those guys who is just a playmaker. He tested out extremely well. He's a guy that you look at as a football player, you don't look at him and say anything else. I know he's only 5-10, 195, but he's the kind of guy on day three I think will be an interesting pick."
The Pittsburgh Steelers reportedly spent a lot of time with Robinson at the MSU Pro Day, as Pauline said "(general manager) Kevin Colbert & (head coach) Mike Tomlin (were) all over safety Trent Robinson at Michigan State pro-day."
The Detroit Lions and New Orleans Saints showed interest in Robinson at the Senior Bowl. Prior to the NFL Combine, the Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings sent representatives to meet with Robinson, according to MLive.com. MLive.com's report indicated the St. Louis Rams and Carolina Panthers also expressed interest in some capacity.
The Philadelphia Eagles might have interest in Robinson as well, as he tweeted "Just landed in the D now on my way to Philly I gotta eat a real cheesesteak when I get there" on April 2. Sports Illustrated addressed Robinson as a potential target for the Eagles.
Here is some insight into the former MSU safety heading into the NFL Draft on April 26-28:
Strengths: Plays well in tight coverage and comes up well to make hits. Reads plays in front of him very well.
Weaknesses: Loses his man when he has to turn his back and run, it seemed like Robinson was a part of blown coverage at MSU quite a bit.
Best Fit: As a nickelback-type defensive back (the third corner) or as a spot starter at safety. He has the cover skills to stick with some wide receivers, and also can cover a tight end. He also will be a special teams player on whatever team he is drafted by.
Here is a career highlight tape put together by an MSU grad. Check out his YouTube channel and all his videos.