One of the more interesting position battles will be at the wide receiver position this training camp. It is expected that Mike Shanahan goes with fewer receivers than last year’s eight, and there is some stiff competition for the open jobs beyond the top four options (Garcon, Moss, Morgan, Hankerson). Here is why I think Robinson should be one of those who makes it:
-Now no one is going to confuse Robinson with Steve Smith, or Mike Wallace, but he has the potential to continue to develop into a solid receiver for the Redskins. I understand this preseason performance was uninspiring last year, but that is hardly representative of his potential. Robinson was a big play receiver throughout college, and he averaged over 17 yards per reception while at SMU. He has blazing speed, and if he works on his route running and hands, he has the ability to grow into a solid number 3 receiver. One who could excel in a slot role going forward. Even if there is still some question about how effective he is, and isn’t considered much of a game day option, he could be worth keeping around. Really just the top 3-4 receivers will represent any sort of option for the passing attack. Any guy after that will be primarily kept for their potential and special teams ability.
-Currently both Santana Moss and Josh Morgan are set to be free agents after 2013 season. In addition there are some legit questions about Leonard Hankerson‘s health. That means the Skins very much need another receiver to step up and show that he can be an option when Moss and Morgan leave. With Anthony Armstrong (a 30 year old impending free agent one of the other options, Robinson has the advantage. Also, unlike Brandon Banks, Robinson is a receiver first, which is what the Redskins have said they are looking for.
I know most people will cringe when thinking of Aldrick Robinson as a return man, but it might not be as far-fetched as some believe. Yes Robinson didn’t really return the ball in college, and yes he muffed some punt return options in preseason, but that isn’t reason enough to black ball him. Robinson possesses that exceptional speed, as well as great open field ability. If he can maintain holding on to the ball, this could be a niche that he takes to. Another advantage he has to Banks is that Robinson could have utility on other non-return special teams units. He could be a coverage guy for both kick-offs and punts. While it seems small, having a special team guy who can play on every unit is key.