Penn State Football: If Allen Robinson Leaves, Who Drafts Him?
Penn State receiver Allen Robinson said a few weeks ago that he would take the holiday break off to talk to his family and coaches about his future and if he would return for his senior season at Penn State.
There is little doubt that Penn State head coach Bill O'Brien would be happy to have Robinson back in Happy Valley for another season, but Penn State's second year head coach has always been upfront and honest with players. If O'Brien thinks Robinson can go high in the NFL draft, he won't tell him otherwise.
"I remember we went out on the practice field the first time I was here, and he was a big guy," O'Brien said of Robinson earlier this year. "He was a fast guy; he was a bright eyed guy. He was a competitive guy, and he was raw. He was raw. He was a young guy that hadn't played a lot before we got here because he was a freshman."
"But you could tell right away that he was going to be a really, really explosive, good player. He's worked at it. Give him a lot of credit. He's been coached well. I think he's in a good system for what we do. But, give him a lot of credit. He's done a great job and gone up and made some fantastic plays for us over the last two years."
Robinson won't be the only player testing the NFL waters and O'Brien's background makes him a perfect mentor and adviser for players weighing their stock moving forward. It might seem backwards, but O'Brien won't be the one to hold Robinson back from his dreams.
"As far as the NFL, I always have an open‑door policy," O'Brien said. "We've had a lot of NFL scouts in here this year. I have an open‑door policy with the players, and every once in a while I say “look, towards the end of the year, if you're thinking about that, come see me. Sit down, let's talk about it. I'll tell you how the process works. If you're an underclassman, you can submit your name to the advisory board. If you're a guy whose eligibility is over, here's what I think. Here's how I see you.Here are the positions I see you being able to play. Here's probably how they view you right now.”
"I just try to talk to them. I always encourage them, if they think they can do it, to do it. I'd never be one to sit there and say if you can't do it, don't do it. Get on with your life. I don't think that's my position to do that. If they have their heart set on doing it, I'll tell them my honest opinion and encourage them to pursue it. So that's kind of how I do it."
There is little doubt that Robinson has a career at the next level in some capacity if not an eventual starting role.
While Robinson hasn't announced his intentions, it seems likely that he will enter his name in the draft to see how his stock and evaluations look. Robinson can remove his name from the draft prior to the mid-January deadline without impacting his eligibility. If scouts think he has a few things to work on or think he will go in the first round, Robinson can make a decision based on their feedback and either declare for the draft officially or withdrawal his name.
But if Robinson were to enter the NFL draft for good, where might he end up?
DraftTek.com: (2nd Round) Pick No. 50 to the Green Bay Packers
DraftSite.com: (1st Round) Pick No. 27 to the Carolina Panthers
CBSsports.com Rob Rang: (1st Round) Pick No. 23 to the Cleveland Browns
CBSsports.com Dane Brugler: (1st Round) Pick No. 27 to the Carolina Panthers
Mock drafts are anything but official word and for each of these four that have Robinson going high there may be two others having him in the third or fourth rounds. But following an outstanding season for Penn State there is little doubt that those in the NFL have noticed.
For now Penn State fans will just have to wait and see.