Draft in-depth: CB Josh Robison

The Vikings' third-round draft pick, CB Josh Robison, has speed to burn – the fastest time at the Combine – and a solid vertical jump. Find out all about the newest acquisition in the Vikings secondary.

Cornerback/Punt Returner
University of Central Florida Knights
Sunrise, Florida
Plantation High School


The three-year starter basically "flew under the radar" where scouts were concerned, as no one anticipated that the three-year starter would leave school a year early for the National Football League. After his sensational performance at the 2012 NFL Scouting Combine, even Mr. Magoo could see that the Knights cornerback is rapidly rising up draft boards and could hear his name called very early in late April.

Robinson's body of work is very impressive, as he is not only an excellent boundary cornerback with outstanding timing, leaping ability and natural hands going up for the thrown ball, but adds to his resume as an elite punt returner. He has a lean, yet athletic frame with room to add at least another ten pounds of bulk without it affecting his blazing quickness.

The junior is a superb playmaker with the ball in his hands on both interception and punt returns, as he has that explosive second gear and good forward body lean to hit the seams and gain long yardage. With his speed, when he gets in the open field, he will generally win most foot races. He ranks fifth in school history with ten interceptions and eighth by gaining 147 yards on those runbacks, making a name for himself as a fresh-man, when he picked off six passes, tying for second on the UCF season-record chart.

Robinson shows ease of movement agility working in space and has the balance and flexibility to redirect without having to gather. He has quick plant-&-drive agility to come out of his breaks cleanly and shows good urgency to close once he locates the ball, especially in the air, as his 46 passes defended rank eleventh in the NCAA.

The boundary cornerback has good press coverage technique, and uses his speed well to mirror the receiver throughout the route. He is equally effective in trail technique and in press, as he has the valid feet and loose hips to turn and run without breaking stride. He does a nice job of staying square in his backpedal, as long as he does not revert to a shuffle-&-bail technique (when he does this, he is slow turning on the ball).

With 36 passes deflected and ten interceptions to his credit, Robinson certainly knows how to get vertical, flashing explosion and range with excellent catch-up quickness, showing improved feel for jumping on the cut. He has the leaping ability and timing to get to the ball at its high point and does a good job of tracking the ball in flight, demonstrating and explosive vertical leap to win most jump ball battles.

Robinson displays the natural hands to extend for the ball outside the frame and is very conscious of ball security before heading up field. He did lose his punt return job after three costly fumbles early in the 2011 schedule, though, the first time he ever mishandled the pigskin at UCF. He also shows that he has the "sand in his pants" to stack and control in run support, as he is willing to throw his body around, making 45 plays in run support the last two seasons.

Robinson is more of a grab, drag down tackler, but when he keeps his pads down, he can generate some pop on contact. He has the second gear to elude in the open field on returns, reminding some of Buffalo's Leodis McKelvin for his ability to put on the after-burners and simply explode with the ball in his hands, averaging 13.15 yards per punt return during his career while also showing patience letting his blocks develop before picking a seam to gain big yardage on his runbacks.

At Plantation High School, the Florida native competed as a wide receiver for Colonels head coach Steve Davis. As a junior, he had fifteen catches for 286 yards and two touch-downs, while also rushing for 136 yards and amassing three touchdowns on kick returns. During an injury-filled senior season, he managed eighteen receptions for 364 yards, as the four-star recruit (Rivals.com) but was selected to play in the Dade-Broward All-Star Game.

Robinson enrolled at the University of Central Florida for the 2009 campaign, as he turned down other scholarship offers from Michigan, Auburn, Clemson and South Florida, immediately being thrust into game action. Even though he was a receiver in the prep ranks, he started the Knights' final eleven games at left cornerback, totaling 69 tackles (59 solos) with eight pass deflections while tying for second on the school season-record list with six interceptions, returning one for a touchdown to earn All-Conference USA second-team honors.

Robinson garnered All-Conference USA first-team accolades on defense and honorable mention on special teams in 2010. He sat out the North Carolina State clash with a leg contusion, but started twelve times at boundary cornerback, delivering 59 tackles with a fumble recovery that he returned 56 yards for a score. He broke up thirteen passes and intercepted two others. He ran back 20 punts, ranking second in the league and ninth in the nation with a 15.2-yard average. His fifteen passes defended tied for 12th in the major college ranks.

Robinson received All-American mention as the All-Conference USA first-team choice led the league and ranked fourth in the nation with seventeen passes defended, including fifteen break-ups, in 2011. He was fourth on the team with 48 tackles and while he concentrated mostly on defense, he did average 23.5 yards on kickoff returns and 7.29 yards on punt returns.

After the season, Robinson announced that he was leaving the university to play in the National Football League in 2012. "I've been in discussions with the Robinson family over the holidays, and after I met with them Saturday regarding the pros and cons of entering the draft as well as staying in school, the family decided that he wanted to declare for the draft," said head coach George O'Leary. "I wish him well in his future endeavors in the NFL and I hope everything works out for Josh and his family."

Robinson started 35-of-38 games at Central Florida, recording 176 tackles (138 solos) with 1.5 stops for loss, returning a fumble recovery 56 yards for a touchdown vs. Alabama-Birmingham in 2010…Deflected 36 passes and intercepted ten others for 147 yards in returns that included a pair of touchdowns…Added 355 yards on 27 punt returns (13.15 avg) and 94 yards on four kickoff returns (23.5 avg)…His 46 passes defended tied Perrish Cox of Oklahoma State (2006-09) for eleventh on the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision career-record list, as his average of 1.21 passes defended per game is second-best in Conference USA annals behind Greg Brooks of Southern Mississippi (1.30 per game; 2000-03), as Robinson's average also placed eighth on the NCAA all-time record chart…
His ten interceptions rank fifth and 147 yards returned on those pass thefts rank eighth on the UCF career-record list…His six interceptions in 2009 set the school freshman season-record and tied Joe Burnett (2007) and Johnell Neal (2007) for second on the school's overall season-record chart…Ranks second in school annals with 36 pass deflections, surpassed by Asante Samuel (38; 1999-2002)…His thirteen pass break-ups in 2010 was good for fifth on the Knights season-record list, while his fifteen deflections in 2011 tied Asante Samuel (2002) for second on the USF annual record chart, ranking behind Greg Atterberry (22 in 1983)….Ranks seventh all-time with 27 punt returns, sixth with 355 punt return yards and fourth with a 13.15-yard punt return average at UCF…His punt return average of 15.2 yards in 2010 is second in school annals behind Joe Burnett's 16.5-yard average in 2005 (463/28).

Robinson earned second-team All-American honors from The NFL Draft Report and was named All-Conference USA first-team by the league's coaches, as the junior started twelve games, beginning the season at "field" cornerback before shifting to the boundary side in November…Led the league and ranked fourth in the nation with an average of 1.42 passes defended per game, as his total of seventeen came from fifteen break-ups and a pair of interceptions that he returned for 49 yards and a touchdown…Lost his punt return duties after three early season fumbles, gaining 51 yards on seven attempts (7.29 avg) with four kickoff returns for 94 yards (23.5 avg)…Finished fourth on the team with 48 tackles (34 solos), as he helped the Knights rank ninth in the nation in total defense (303.33 ypg) and scoring defense (18.33 ppg).

Robinson started the season off in explosive fashion, returning an interception 32 yards for a touchdown vs. Charleston Southern…Deflected two passes in back-to-back games vs. Florida International and Brigham Young, adding a 17-yard interception return in the BYU clash…Posted six hits and a pass deflection vs. Southern Methodist and totaled eight stops (6 solos) while batting away a pass vs. Tulsa…Recorded eight tackles (5 solos) with two pass break-ups vs. East Carolina and closed out his career with three pass break-ups and seven tackles vs. Texas-El Paso.

Robinson received All-Conference USA first-team accolades on defense and honorable mention on special teams from the league's coaches…Started twelve games at left cornerback, sitting out the North Carolina State clash with a leg contusion…Recorded 59 tackles (45 solos)…Returned a fumble recovery 56 yards for a touchdown in the Alabama-Birmingham contest…Tied for second in the league and 12th in the nation with an average of 1.15 passes defended per game, as his thirteen pass deflections rank fifth on the school season-record chart…Gained 14 yards on two interceptions and 304 yards on 20 punt returns, as his average of 15.2 yards rank second in Conference USA and ninth nationally. Broke up three passes in each of the Buffalo and Kansas State games…Had a 13-yard interception return vs. Southern Mississippi and picked off another pass while deflecting two others and delivering seven tackles (6 solos) vs. Southern Methodist.

Robinson was a second-team All-Conference USA choice and the league's coaches selected him to their All-Freshman squad, as he started the final eleven games, recording a career-high 69 tackles (59 solos) with a stop for a 2-yard loss…Set the school freshman record and finished tied for second on the overall annual record chart with six pass thefts for 84 yards in returns, including a 24-yard touchdown vs. Rice…Also deflected eight passes.

2010 Season…Sat out the North Carolina State game with a leg contusion.

4.29 in the 40-yard dash…1.48 10-yard dash…2.44 20-yard dash…3.97 20-yard shuttle…
11.65 60-yard shuttle…6.55 three-cone drill…38 ½-inch vertical jump…11'1" broad jump… Bench pressed 225 pounds 17 times…31 ¼-inch arm length…9 ¼-inch hands…74-inch wingspan.

Robinson attended Plantation (Fla.) High School, where he lettered mostly as a receiver for Colonels head coach Steve Davis, also seeing action at cornerback in addition to returning kicks…Received a four-star recruit grade from Rivals.com…As a junior, he had fifteen catches for 286 yards and two touchdowns, while also rushing for 136 yards and amassing three touchdowns on kick returns…During an injury-filled senior season, he managed eighteen receptions for 364 yards, as he was selected to play in the Dade-Broward All-Star Game.

Criminal Justice major…Son of Shirley and Johnny Robinson…Born 1/08/91 in Sunrise, Florida…Resides in Plantation, Florida.

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