Dallas Cowboys: Film and personnel support Reggie Robinson to Safety

Reggie Robinson II #9 (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Reggie Robinson II #9 (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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Dallas Cowboys
Dallas Cowboys /

Reggie Robinson II #9 (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Reggie Robinson, CB, Tulsa

40-yard dash: 4.44

3-Cone Drill: 7.09

Vertical Jump: 36″ 

Broad Jump: 132″

The former cornerback possesses good athletic ability with good foot speed, good explosiveness, and acceleration, solid agility, and body control, but only adequate foot quickness and change of direction.

He wins in Press Man coverage using his 31 1/2 inch arms to disrupt wide receivers at the line of scrimmage and uses his foot speed and play strength to mirror wide receiver throughout his route while dealing with extra contact throughout the stem. Wins in Off Man coverage using his good explosiveness, acceleration, and pattern recognition to mirror wide receivers out of breaks and minimize the target window.

A good example was this play against Gabriel Davis in Tulsa’s matchup against UCF. Robinson recognizes the slant coming and explodes out of the break to trail Davis and eventually swat the ball away for an incompletion.

The good pattern recognition is on display once again as Robinson is forced to motion inside on this play. SMU runs a slant/corner combo on the right. The senior cornerback diagnoses the play quickly, accelerates toward Proche, and causes Buechele to hesitate passing it to his favorite receiver. Eventually, this ends in an incompletion because the read was compromised.

Robinson rarely played zone defense in Tulsa and for good reason. With tall, long, and fast athletes on the defensive side, there is very little reason to resort to complex zone defenses that require paying attention to the QB and receiver entering one’s zone.

However, in the few times Robinson played zone, he did show surprisingly good pattern recognition and stopped completions from becoming long gains of 20+ yards. Often dropping into flat zones, he was asked to cover the outside receivers but was often forced to move towards the middle of the field to tackle the receiver or move deeper to undercut a Smash concept or just another corner route.

However, perhaps one of the most important things in his evaluation was that Robinson displays good ball skills. He had four interceptions and 13 pass deflections his final season of college football. Even if some interceptions come on simple catches like in the UCF game, at least he didn’t experience a concentration drop.

Lastly, Robinson is solid in run support. He displays good play strength and physical toughness to engage at the point of attack in run support and is surprisingly good at leveraging and disengaging from blockers. The technique isn’t consistent, but it is there, like on this play against SMU where he was the first line of defense.

Reviewing Robinson’s play, it did surprise me he lasted until the fourth round but not every prospect is perfect. Robinson certainly has his share of flaws. He gets beat in the fourth quarter after locking up good receivers for most of the game. He struggles to match the footwork of receivers with good foot quickness at the LOS causing him to misstep and misplace his jam. As previously mentioned, his run-stopping technique is inconsistent.

He doesn’t have much experience covering the deep 1/3rd of the field. While this can’t be attributed to him, cornerbacks need to know how to overlap routes in this area of the field with the prominence of the Cover 3 defense.

So how does a guy who predominantly played Man coverage in college all of a sudden switch to a zone heavy position in safety?