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Giants’ rookie WR Wan’Dale Robinson likely to have big role

Surprising second-round selection appears to fit what Giants want to do on offense

NFL: New York Giants Rookie Minicamp
Wan’Dale Robinson
John Jones-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants surprised many when, after trading back twice in Round 2 of the 2022 NFL Draft, they used the 43rd overall pick on Wan’Dale Robinson, a diminutive wide receiver out of Kentucky.

GM Joe Schoen said at the time that the Giants had a “very clear vision” for how Robinson would fit into their offense. We saw hints of that throughout the spring as the Giants showed a spread, quick-throw, often horizontal attack. Robinson’s catch-and-run ability fits that style.

“(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.”

Let’s talk more about Robinson as we continue rolling through our player-by-player profiles of the Giants’ 90-man roster.

By the numbers

Height: 5-foot-8
Weight: 185
Age: 21
Position: Wide receiver
Experience: Rookie
Contract: Not yet signed | 2022 cap hit: $1.791 million

Career to date

Robinson was miscast as a running back during two seasons at Nebraska, although his productivity with the Cornhuskers did show the many ways the 5-foot-8, 185-pounder can be utilized.

In 18 games at Nebraska, Robinson ran 134 times for 580 yards (4.3 yards per carry). He also caught 91 passes for 914 yards (10.0 per catch).

Robinson transferred to Kentucky, his home state, for his junior season. Playing exclusively at wide receiver, Robinson caught 104 passes for 1,334 yards (13.4 per catch) with seven touchdowns. He ran the ball just seven times for 111 yards, 15.9 per attempt.

2022 outlook

Robinson got a lot of attention from the coaching staff, and had a lot of balls thrown his way, during spring practices. It is true that Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney and Sterling Shepard were not practicing, so perhaps Robinson saw more action that he otherwise might have. Still, it was apparent from the first day of rookie minicamp that Robinson is a player the Giants do expect to have a big role for them as a rookie.

Vince Marrow, associate head coach and recruiting coordinator at Kentucky, believes Robinson will end up making the Giants look smart for selecting him when they did.

“When I heard people say he was drafted too high, have you seen the league we play in? Have you seen the football league we play in? Did you see what this kid did week in and week out against Georgia, against LSU, against South Carolina? I mean if he was 6-1 and doing that your fans would have been like ‘oh, yeah, he shoulda been a first-round pick,” Marrow said.

“What is the No. 1 conference in college football? The SEC. Every NFL scout will tell you that, every NFL GM. It’s the closest league to the NFL, and he dominated that league … He’s already naturally a good football player. He has speed, he has vision, he understands route running, he understands the way you make a guy miss. Last time I checked there were a lot of dudes from the SEC going in the first or second round.

“I don’t think y’all know what you got. I think y’all gonna be very surprised what y’all get.”

Rondale Moore was drafted in roughly the same spot in 2021, No. 49 overall by the Arizona Cardinals. At 5-7, 180 pounds, Moore and Robinson have similarities. Moore had 54 catches for 435 yards (8.1 yards per catch) in 2021.

For the sake of argument, would you take the over or the under on those numbers for Robinson in 2022?