CB Patrick Robinson could be most underrated player on Eagles defense

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When the Philadelphia Eagles announced the signing of 8-year veteran Patrick Robinson, it wasn’t exactly considered front page news in the NFL world. A Former first round draft pick (2010), of the New Orleans Saints, Robinson’s career up until now has been a rollercoaster of a ride. Considered a “can’t miss” prospect by many analysts coming out of Florida State University, the Saints looked to have gotten themselves a future star, yet what they got was underwhelming at best.

The obvious answer here is that you never know what you’re getting when it comes to the NFL Draft. The transition from college to the pro’s, isn’t as easy as most would think. Despite his rough career the thing that sticks out about Robinson is that he seems to have all the tools to be a problem for opposing Quarterbacks.

Talent has never been the question when talking about the Miami, Florida native. When you watch the tape, it doesn’t take long to see his ability to stick his man. Blessed with great feet, Robinson has the skill set to play outside on an island, or inside against quicker, shiftier wide-outs. At 5’11, 195 lbs, he has the size to play one-on-one with taller receivers…something he’s been able to flash on countless occasions. Despite the shaky career, Robinson has never shied away from the challenge of taking on number 1 talents.

In 81 games played (49 started), he has 255 tackles, 1 sack, 59 passes defensed, 10 interceptions, and 3 forced fumbles. When studying tape on Robinson, you see a player that was steadily improving from his rookie year on, until a serious patellar injury cut his season short (2 games) in 2013. Needless to say that the combination of a slower start to his career, the completion of talent the Saints housed at the CB position, and then his injury, put Robinson in a bad spot. Even after beating out future Hall-of-Famer Champ Bailey to start opposite CB Keenan Allen in 2014, it was obvious that the patellar injury suffered in 2013, had slowed his progression.

In 2015, Robinson hit free agency and after serious interest by a handful of teams, and a rumored signing to the Dallas Cowboys, Patrick found himself talking his talents to San Diego on a one year (prove it) deal. It was with the Chargers, that he had arguably played his best season of his career, with 49 combined tackles, an interception, a FF, and 8 passes defensed. His numbers weren’t amazing, but a 55.9% completion rate allowed absolutely was. In his lone year there, Robinson showed the potential he had flashed at times playing for the Saints.

Far from a shut down corner, he would shine at times, playing in the nickel against shifty players and would show a true veteran presence while adjusting to offensive schemes. Able to diagnose plays, Robinson, seemed to be a quiet leader on and off the field, and a player that always helped getting the defense lined up.

After choosing to move on from the Chargers, Robinson, headed over to Indianapolis on a 3-year deal, where he was expected to be one of the starting corners, and help boost a poor defensive backfield. Once again he would disappoint as he only suited up for 7 games, starting six of them. But it wasn’t his play on the field that held him back, it was once again the injury curse that would derail his time with the Colts, as he finished his time there on injured-reserve, and would later be released.

This all leads us to now, where he has signed another prove it deal with the Philadelphia Eagles. The storyline in Philly’ has been that the birds need corner help badly and despite his up and down career, Robinson could be a solid answer at a position that lacks veteran presence. Once again it isn’t his skill set that should be questioned, as he posses all the tools to be a solid starter for the Eagles both inside and out. It is his health that could once again stop his progression.

Up until now, the story of the Birds’ Defensive back end has been about Rookie Rasul Douglas and second year starter Jalen Mills. But it isn’t farfetched to consider the veteran, their best CB, with his good size, great footwork, knowledge of the game and his leadership by example. His career up until now, serves as a weapon in his arsenal, as Robinson has probably been through and seen it all. When you combine that with his play on the field when healthy, the Eagles could have a legitimate upgrade at the corner position this season.

Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

 

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