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Dynasty Prospect Scouting Report: Wan'Dale Robinson

By Jared Smola 8:10am EDT 4/5/22

Wan’Dale Robinson, WR, Kentucky

Height: 5’8

Weight: 178

Age: 21.2

Combine Results:

40-yard dash: 4.44 seconds (76th percentile)

Vertical: 34.5” (38th)

Broad: 9’10” (32nd)

3-cone: DNP

Short shuttle: DNP

College career:

Robinson was a star RB at Western Hills High School in Frankfort, Kentucky. He totaled 6,795 rushing yards and 97 TDs on a massive 11.1 yards per carry for his career, adding 102 receptions for 1,787 yards and 21 scores. Robinson won the Paul Hornung Award as the state’s top player and was named the Gatorade Kentucky Player of the Year for a huge senior season that ended with 2,698 total yards and 41 TDs.

The consensus 4-star recruit received 19 scholarship offers, including from Alabama, Ohio State and Michigan. His choice ultimately came down to Kentucky and Nebraska. Robinson originally committed to his hometown Wildcats before changing his mind and enrolling at Nebraska.

Robinson arrived in Lincoln with plans of being a dual-threat back. But injuries and suspensions to Nebraska’s other RBs forced Robinson into a bigger ball-carrying role than expected. He played 50.5% of his snaps in the backfield, 41.3% in the slot and 7.1% outside the numbers.

The freshman finished 3rd on that 2019 squad in carries – behind QB Adrian Martinez and RB Dedrick Mills – but mustered just 3.9 yards per attempt.

He was much better in the passing game, hauling in 40 of 59 targets (67.8%) for 453 yards and 2 scores. Robinson ranked 2nd on Nebraska in catches, receiving yards and receiving TDs. His 85.9 Pro Football Focus receiving grade was good for 3rd among 108 RBs in the nation with 20+ targets.

Robinson was more WR than RB in 2020. He played just 22.5% of his snaps in the backfield. 63.9% came in the slot, with another 13.1% on the outside. He easily led a low-volume Nebraska passing game, accounting for 32.7% of the catches, 30.3% of the yards and 20% of the TDs.

Robinson saw about half as many carries in 2020 as 2019 but was much more efficient, averaging 5.2 yards per carry.

Not thrilled with how he was being used at Nebraska, Robinson entered the transfer protocol after the 2020 season and opted to return home to Kentucky. New OC Liam Coen, who worked under Sean McVay in Los Angeles from 2018 to 2020, was a big reason for Robinson’s decision.

“He literally pulled out the film of Cooper Kupp, and he was like, ‘These are the routes you’re gonna run and I promise we’ll be able to get you touches out in space,’” Robinson said of Coen. “Me being able to actually visualize and see it in an NFL game, that helped me a lot too knowing it translates to the next level. Then I was really just able to make that decision to come home and play in a pro-style system.”

Robinson had a Kupp-esque season for the Wildcats last year, finishing 3rd in the nation in receptions and 11th in receiving yards. The market shares were massive: 43.0% of Kentucky’s receptions, 45.5% of the receiving yards and 29.2% of the TDs.

Robinson ranked 5th in PFF receiving grade among 251 WRs with 50+ targets last season – behind fellow 2022 prospects Drake London, Skyy Moore and Treylon Burks, plus Ohio State stud sophomore Jaxon Smith-Njigba. Robinson also averaged a huge 3.56 yards per route run – 4th most among those 251 WRs.

Robinson played just 5 snaps in the backfield last year, finishing with 7 carries for 111 yards. He played 67.1% of his snaps in the slot and 32.2% on the outside. He was actually slightly more effective outside the numbers, averaging 3.82 yards per route run vs. 3.45 from the slot.

Film study:

Courtesy of FF Astronauts

Games watched - Missouri, Florida, LSU, Louisville, Iowa

Robinson is a fun watch.

Hes’ a nightmare to deal with in the open field. Robinson has good vision and can cut on a dime, leaving defenders grasping at air.

He has the acceleration and long speed to take it to the house after making a defender (or 2 or 3) miss.

Despite his diminutive frame, Robinson is not afraid to go over the middle and take a hit.

Robinson is also a threat going deep. He’s quick off the line to defeat press coverage and has the burst to blow by CBs.

Robinson looks fairly raw as a route runner (not surprising for a guy who’s spent a lot of time playing RB). But he does flash the change-of-direction ability and explosion out of breaks to create separation on short and intermediate routes.

Size seems to be Robinson’s only limitation. He can get beat up by physical coverage and has a small catch radius.

Fantasy potential:

Robinson boasts an impressive and intriguing college production profile: strong market shares as a freshman and sophomore at Nebraska, a huge junior season at Kentucky, plus the rushing production. He also fared well in terms of yards per route run and Pro Football Focus grades.

And the tape makes me want to buy in. Robinson has the vision and elusiveness of a RB and the toughness of a much bigger man.

But that size is a (ahem!) big concern. At 5’8 and 178 pounds, Robinson lands in a bucket that we simply don’t see very often at WR in the NFL. Since 2000, there have only been 22 seasons of 150+ PPR points from a WR 5’9 or shorter and 185 pounds or lighter. (150 PPR points generally lands between 40th and 50th at WR.)

Only 4 players meeting those size requirements have turned in multiple seasons of 150+ PPR points:

Wes Welker

Cole Beasley

Jamison Crowder

Marquise Brown

On top of that, Robinson has tiny arms. In fact, he has the shortest arm length and wingspan of all WRs in the database.

So Robinson will be an outlier if he hits. But that college production says that we shouldn’t write him off. We’ll see what kind of draft capital Robinson gets – and exactly where he lands. He’ll need a creative play caller to maximize his skill set (and minimize the impact of his size).

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