Senior Bowl Scouting Report: Brian Robinson
Brian Robinson took full advantage of his extra season as the 2021 Alabama Crimson Tide's bell-cow running back. The Hillcrest High School alumnus rushed for 1,336 yards and 14 touchdowns on 270 carries and 296 yards and two touchdowns on 36 receptions in his fifth playing season in Tuscaloosa.
He fell just under 50 yards short of cracking the Crimson Tide's top-10 all-time rushing lists, but with four national championship appearances and two rings on his resume, Robinson heads to the NFL as quite the interesting prospect in the 2022 NFL Draft class.
Check out the scouting graphic for B-Rob and we'll follow up with some analysis of his most prominent strengths and weaknesses.
We're early in the draft process right now, but right now Robinson is considered a mid-round option. With a strong Senior Bowl and Combine though, many in the scouting community believe Robinson has a path to rise to as high as the late second round. That said, I graded Robinson with the room to grow into that space. A grade of 68.4 does place him as a high fourth-round prospect on my scale.
Draft position isn't always a perfect science in capturing a prospect's true value to the league. Regardless of what round Robinson is ultimately drafted in, he has the makings of a back who can contribute early and often to a team.
Robinson is a big, bruising back that knows his role in the offense. He's not going to bust off 60-yard touchdown runs or cross the field juking six defenders to pick up a first down, but he can bowl over nearly anyone lined up across for him for a tough four yards. Overall, he's a well-balanced back that can give a team production up the gut or in the flats.
Robinson works well in tight areas. Without a doubt, his most impressive trait is bullying would-be tacklers and fighting through the garbage to pick up the tough yards. He's learned to mix in some agility cuts to complement his powerful approach.
Robinson is a one-cut runner, which doesn't necessarily mean he has poor vision, but in his case, that's somewhat the case. More often than not, he correctly locates the hole and explodes through arm tackles for positive yardage. That said, he does struggle to create for himself if the play breaks down and will lunge into the pile to pick up what he can.
On the surface, this is better than dancing behind the line for nothing. Conversely, it also means that dead plays are dead. Cut-back lanes that aren't in his direct line of sight can be missed which kills the potential to overcome the defense snuffing out the play call.
In the passing game, Robinson is just okay in all areas. He doesn't shine as a blocker, though he's capable and willing. Though he showed improvement throughout his final season, there were still instances where he wasn't always confident in who to block and how to attack them.
As a receiver, he has hands play callers can be confident in, and while his tackle-breaking ability does come into play, his lack of dynamic burst makes it difficult to see him as anything more than a check-down option in the NFL. His route tree isn't particularly dynamic and there's no reason to expect it to diversify quickly.
Still, there are plenty of his weaknesses that can be examined and tested further at the Senior Bowl especially his blocking and receiving. His vision behind patchworked offensive lines against talented defensive linemen will also be tested. If he shows improvement and consistency in these areas in Mobile, he'll climb draft boards across the league.