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Scouts liken crafty and bruising Penn State receiver Allen Robinson to San Francisco 49ers star wideout Anquan Boldin, putting the underclassman in first-round play as the Niners’ potential selection in the upcoming NFL Draft and as a replacement for the man he is most often compared to.
The Niners are now eyeing the 6-foot-3, 210 pound Robinson as leverage in their ongoing free-agent negotiations with Boldin and could soon collectively settle on the third-team All-American as their target with the draft’s No. 30 overall selection, according to BleacherReport.com NFL analyst Matt Miller.
“Keep an eye on Robinson,” Miller recently told 49ers.com. “He came out as a junior this year but has the ideal size and has really good quickness for yards after the catch. Just what the Niners need right now before free agency. You have several receivers who could hit the market and not be back with the team next year, so Allen Robinson is the guy I would hitch my wagon to pre-free agency.”
But the more other teams acquaint themselves with the first wideout in nearly three decades to lead the Big 10 in receptions and receiving yards in back-to-back seasons, the more the Niners come to realize landing him so late in the first-round could prove a pipedream.
Playing with a freshman quarterback, Robinson caught 97 passes for 1,432 yards in 2013, accounting for 46 percent of the team’s aerial attack, the largest PSU percentage in more than 30-years and nearly half of it coming after he had already made the catch.
Former Nittany Lions legend O.J. McDuffie, who later made his NFL living snaring passes from Dan Marino, recently marveled to ESPN “he’s got every tool we had and every physical tool we wish we had.”
Indeed, Robinson improved his speed over the course of the year to now run the 40-yard dash in the high 4.4s and also boasts a 37-inch vertical leap, somewhat accounting for how he proved so capable of overpowering so many smaller defenders on downfield, jump-ball like passes throughout the year.
“He is a very productive player with a polished overall game,” said NFL Media draft analyst Bucky Brooks. “Although he isn’t a blazer, Robinson is a crafty route runner with a knack for getting open on double moves and subtle head fakes. He catches the ball well. Overall, Robinson is a really good player with the potential to fill a key role as a No. 2 or No. 3 receiver on a team with an established playmaker in the passing game.”
Scouts also rave about Robinson’s overall versatility, boasting that he possesses a good size/speed mix and has also proven to be a capable deep threat. CFBstats.com reports he led the nation with 10 receptions of more than 40 yards last season, two more than even more celebrated wideouts Sammy Watkins and Mike Evans.
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