Kentucky wide receiver Wan’dale Robinson only needed one NFL team to believe in him. Friday night, he found that team in the New York Giants when they selected him at No. 43 overall ahead of any number of better-known players.
Robinson wasn’t expected to be drafted until a round or so later — the NFL Mock Draft Database listed him as its 84th-ranked prospect and Dane Brugler of The Athletic had him with a third-fourth-round grade. Robinson, though, was undaunted.
“I always felt like I was talented enough to be picked this early,” he said on Friday night. “I just felt like somebody just had to believe in me and not believe in the hype thing and just believe in the football player.”
The Giants, obviously, did.
Scouting reports compared the 5-foot-8, 185-pound Robinson’s skillset to that of Giants wide receiver Kadarius Toney.
GM Joe Schoen was adamant the Robinson pick had nothing to do with Toney’s future as a Giant.
“We’re not shopping Kadarius Toney,” the GM said.
He also isn’t concerned about the fact Robinson and Toney may possess similar skillsets.
“(Robinson is a) good football player we’ve had our eye on, generator with the ball in his hands, very good run after the catch, very good route runner, can separate,” Schoen said. “And for what we are going to do offensively, we thought he would be a very good fit for us.”
“Like Joe mentioned, he’s versatile, got quickness, explosiveness, he’s tough even for a smaller guy,” coach Brian Daboll said. “Been a very productive player really going back to high school when he playe
Robinson said he is “tough, elusive, exciting — just a playmaker.”
Schoen had said before the draft that the Giants would have a plan for how to use any player they drafted. He reiterated Friday night that the Giants know how they envision Robinson fitting into the offense they are building.
“I’ll take as many of those guys as we can on the field,” Schoen said. “Again, he’s a generator when the ball is in his hands. He can run after the catch. He can separate from DBs, he gets open. He played some running back at Nebraska. That’s a versatile piece you can use in your offense. If you look at some of the other guys, how you can use them, and if you look at Daboll’s past or you look at (offensive coordinator Mike) Kafka’s past in terms of the creativeness in their offense and the weapons they can utilize, I think you can kind of see what the vision may look like.”