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2022 NFL Draft: Wan’Dale Robinson selection is a confusing one

Joe Schoen delivers a head-scratcher in the second round

NCAA Football: Citrus Bowl-Kentucky at Iowa Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

It’s a trade bonanza for the New York Giants, as they first executed a trade with the New York Jets, proof positive that we’re in a new era of outsiders at the helm of the Giants. They then another executed another trade with the Atlanta Falcons.

With the 43rd pick of the 2022 NFL Draft, the Giants selected wide receiver Wan’Dale Robinson out of Kentucky.

I have to admit, I’m confused by this pick. Robinson is an under-sized (5-foot-8, 178 pounds) RB/WR hybrid turned receiver who was primarily a slot receiver and target in the screen game by Kentucky.

Courtesy RAS.Football
Kent Lee Platte (@mathbomb)

Robinson has good-enough speed and quickness, which he uses to exploit poor tackle attempts for yards after the catch.

This pick could suggest that the Giants are envisioning a short-range passing offense that relies on schemed separation and run-after-catch opportunities.

Robinson’s game is similar — and he was used in similar ways as — Kadarius Toney. There have been rumors that the Giants are looking to trade WR Darius Slayton and are listening to offers on Toney. It’s possible that there might be some substance to those rumors and the Giants envision Robinson as more than a WR 3 or 4 with special teams upside.

It’s intensely curious that by trading down the Giants passed on receivers like George Pickens, Skyy Moore, Alec Pierce, and Kyle Philips, as well as DBs Jalen Pitre, Jaquan Brisker, Kyler Gordon, and Andrew Booth Jr. — Not to mention LB Nakobe Dean.

Personally, I didn’t have Robinson as a Top-100 player.

Impact of the trades

The Giants didn’t get much to move back two spots, getting 146 overall in the fifth round to drop from 36 to 38. But then they dropped back another five picks in a trade with the Falcons.

The Giants now have two picks in the fourth round (112 and 114) and three picks in the fifth round (146, 147, and 173).

The Giants could use the fourth- and fifth-round picks could be used to add a tight end, running back, or will be prime picks to build the Giants’ depth chart and special teams. Speaking of special teams, the Giants could certainly use Punt God, aka Matt Araiza out of San Diego State. It’s possible that Araiza could go much earlier than somewhere fifth round, but that could be a prime position to a player like Araiza.