New York Giants Training Camp Player Preview: WR Wan'Dale Robinson
For the second straight season, the New York Giants selected a wide receiver within the first 45 picks of the draft. These moves, combined with key acquisitions through free agency (most notably Kenny Golladay), would make you think that the Giants have their receiving corps set for the foreseeable future.
This couldn't be further from the truth. Despite having a talented group, the Giants simply have not been able to put it all together. Some of this is certainly injuries, and the players themselves don't get to walk away blame-free either.
However, poor management and even worse offensive coaching have undoubtedly played a role in the unit's less than ideal production. But hopefully, those issues with the offense are a thing of the past.
Rookie receiver Wan’Dale Robinson may be part of the solution. Coming out of college, Robinson has been described as tough, elusive, and flat-out electric. Robinson's numbers in college can speak to these claims as well.
Last season, he caught 104 balls for 1,334 yards and seven touchdowns and was rewarded with an All-SEC first-team selection. The Giants would welcome this production level with open arms.
Robinson has proven his value so far. The question is, what could the Giants realistically expect from Robinson at the next level. To answer that, let's look into what he can bring to the Giants' revamped offense.
What He Brings
Right off the bat, let’s just say what makes Wan’Dale truly special: VERSATILITY!
Robinson came out of college playing everywhere and doing everything--playing in the slot, outside, backfield, and returning kicks. This ability to be a difference-maker in so many facets of the game makes Robinson extremely difficult to prepare for.
Robinson is a good route-runner who uses his very good balance and body control to keep his route breaks tight. As a former quarterback, Robinson always knows how to make the most out of every play.
This clever positioning often allows him to catch the ball in stride and turn up field or quickly pivot and use his twitchiness to its full effect. This makes Robinson great after the catch. No matter what down or distance, Robinson is just a big play waiting to happen.
It is also important to mention that Robinson has displayed elite hands throughout his football career. Although not possessing the largest catch radius, Robinson has made tough catches both down the field and in the backfield. He is fearless about making contact at the catch point despite his lack of size, which only adds to his abilities in short-yardage situations.
Robinson's game sounds eerily similar to another player on the Giants roster: Kadarius Toney. These similarities initially turned many fans off to the pick, as they argued it was more of the same.
Whether you think that Robinson is a gadget player or much more, the idea of pairing him with Toney in a creative offensive system SHOULD excite Giants fans everywhere and will undoubtedly strike fear in opposing defenses.
Robinson is one of three draft picks (tight end Daniel Bellinger and safety Dane Belton being the others) who have not yet signed a rookie contract.
Robinson is projected to sign a 4-year contract worth about $8 million.
The rookie receiver shouldn’t have a hard time seeing the field this season, as his versatility and big-play ability will allow the Giants to use him in many different ways.
Considering Brian Daboll’s history, it’s safe to say that the Giants will pass the ball a lot more often this coming year.
We probably can expect to see more 10-personnel sets (four receivers), which would allow for Kenny Golladay, Darius Slayton, Kadarius Toney, and Robinson to get on the field at the same time, for however long Shepard is out with injury.
It's also important to mention that, unlike other players at the position, Robinson was selected by the new staff. Schoen and Daboll likely have a plan for how they will use Robinson’s skill set and will look to build their offense with him in mind.
This isn't to say that this isn't true for all talent on the roster, but because of a vested interest to have their guys succeed, Robinson may have a bigger role on the 2022 Giants that many fans expect.