Denard #10 in SN's top 25 CFB players

Submitted by umichjenks on April 23rd, 2012 at 9:53 AM

Not too shabby...…



10. QB Denard Robinson, Sr., Michigan

2011: 3,349 total yards (1,176 rush); 36 TD (16 rush), 15 INT.

The breakdown: His throwing ability is suspect (hello, jump balls), but you can’t argue his impact on a game. A formidable, dangerous player.

NFL scout says: “He won’t have a problem finding a place to play. He could develop into a third receiver, and a big-time returner.”



April 23rd, 2012 at 10:01 AM ^

Aside from the Kansas State guy, I have no problem with that list. Seriously how do they put him at the No. 3 position? It can't be on production, so what is it? Just "being an athlete that can control the game?"


April 23rd, 2012 at 10:31 AM ^

161/281 57.3% 1918YDS 6.8YPA 13TD 6INT
317ATT 1141YDS 3.6YPC 27TD


142/238 55% 2173YDS 8.4YPA 20TD 15INT
221ATT 1176YDS 5.3YPC 16TD

Some dude averaging 3.6YPC in the BXII is the number three player in the nation based on running ability? lolwut? Denard has more yards, more yards per attempt and more touchdowns throwing against a very slightly lower completion percentage and more interceptions. Running, Denard has more yards, higher yards per carry and less touchdowns.


April 23rd, 2012 at 10:13 AM ^

13. DT Johnathan Hankins, Jr., Ohio State

2011: 67 tackles, 11 TFL, 3 sacks.

The breakdown: Burly, bruising run stuffer; a classic 300-pounder who takes up multiple blocks.

NFL scout says: “A disruptive guy. Love his intensity and willingness to absorb and shed blocks.”


RichRod and Gerg at their best right here, great evaluation guys. Good Riddance


April 23rd, 2012 at 10:21 AM ^

I know we should have taken him given our need at DT, but let's not pretend Hankins was a can't miss prospect that everyone loved but us. He was a low 3-star to every service and didn't have too many Big Ten offers. Props to Tressell for taking a risk on him, but these things are a lot easier to say in hindsight.


April 23rd, 2012 at 10:28 AM ^

he was from a local school and clearly at a position of need.  And though he was a 3-star, he did have B1G offers from OSU, Michigan, Wisco, and Minnesota, plus offers from Florida, Bama, and Oklahoma.  So it wasn't like he was a scrub either.  But again, hindsight is 20/20. 


April 23rd, 2012 at 10:33 AM ^

Very true but c'mon, an instate space eating player at a position of need? Take a risk instead of stocking up on slot midgets. I'm not trying to kick Richrod while he's down but do you honestly see Hoke not offering if Hankins was a 2012 recruit? Imagine what Mattison would be able to do with him, instead Ohio turns him into a top 20 player . Awesome 


April 23rd, 2012 at 11:19 AM ^

Are "we" really a board that has to bitch and whine about a coach who is no longer here?  For all you know, Hankins could have had "character issues."  There is a lot of positive stuff happening at Michigan right now.  Maybe you can find a way to enjoy it instead of carping about a guy who ended up doing well at Ohio.


April 23rd, 2012 at 1:07 PM ^

He got an offer from us (not from MSU though), it just wasn't an early one.  OSU didn't offer him early either.  He came to Michigan on an official visit, we recruited him, he then went to OSU a week later and chose them (after previous visits to Florida and Virginia).

The assumption that he was always destined for Michigan and would never have considered other schools if we had offered earlier is just that, an assumption.  The odd perception that he never would have considered attending a school (the one he actually chose to attend and seems to be thriving at) that had spent the last decade dominating us and the rest of the Big Ten is kind of absurd.

Also, Coach Hoke waited much longer to offer guys like Willie Henry and Dennis Norfleet with better/comparable resumes and has turned away plenty of higher ranked guys than Hankins, so that looks like another silly assumption you are making.


April 23rd, 2012 at 10:47 AM ^

But I tend to agree with the poster that replied; RichRod had no problem going after out of state 3 star DTs... slow playing a kid in the backyard while pursuing Ash/Graves/Jones, etc., is head-scratching.


I do recall JH being out of shape at camp, I'm just saying.  This is a pretty bad miss; Detroit kid, major position of need, goes to your biggest rival, and likely to end up as a Day 1 NFL draft pick.


The real OMGSADNESS name on that list is Barkevious, a guy that the MgoCommunity wanted badly.  Purely for his name, obviously, but his play would have been a nice bonus.


April 23rd, 2012 at 10:29 AM ^

- Love his intensity.

If he had shown this on the field earlier in HS and not just at the drive thru, he would have had his offer.   His coaches talked him into being insulted that it didn't come when he was an overweight underproductive junior.  And even with the connection to EL he never got an offer there, and OSU only showed up after every other one of their options fell through and after he had finished his senior year.

So, it's time to let it go.  seriously.


April 23rd, 2012 at 11:38 AM ^

But this one is worth noting, just because of the continual pain it causes.  I didn't think Hankins had a great year last year, but what do I know.  If he is the #13 guy and we had him on our D, he'd have covered our greatest concern.  Think about that - our biggest question mark would have instead been one of our greatest strengths.  It was a huge miss.


April 23rd, 2012 at 1:29 PM ^

We went 11-2 this year.  OSU went 6-7.  We beat them for the first time in nearly a decade while scoring 40 points against that defense Hankins "starred" for.  Every preseason ranking I've seen predicts a much better season for Michigan next year as well.  I also think it is a stretch to think Hankins would have started for us last year.

It would have been nice to land him, but if his absence from the program is causing you pain then your connection to the young man seems a tad personal.

Also, our depth chart at NT reads:

5-star, 300+ pound senior

4-star, 300+ pound junior

4-star, 300+ pound sophomore

5-star, 300+ pound freshman

If that is your biggest question mark, then you don't really have any question marks.




April 24th, 2012 at 5:49 PM ^

in the country, he was definitely missed.  He could have played NT last year and allowed Martin to slide to 3T.  And as hopeful as I am for our BWC, QW, Ash, and Pipkins, nobody would rank them as the #13 player in the country (yet). 

If you don't think DL is our biggest question mark on D next year, I disagree.  We're unproven, and it's irrational to think Hankins wouldn't greatly improve that. 


April 23rd, 2012 at 10:16 AM ^

I really, really hope Denard gets drafted by a team that at least gives him a crack at QB. His passing has improved every year (and will again), and he's got the arm strength and presence of mind to be a great QB.


April 23rd, 2012 at 10:23 AM ^

In my opinion that's the one thing that is keeping him from being considered a QB in the NFL...a lack of arm strength. If Denard had exceptional (not just adequate) arm strength, the Michael Vick comparisons would be through the roof instead of these Punt Return/Wideout assessments


April 23rd, 2012 at 11:04 AM ^

Michael Vick threw 192 completions for 3,299 yards in two seasons of college ball, which works out to an average of 17.2 yards per completion. Denard Robinson has thrown 338 completions to date for 4,931 yards, which works out to 14.6 yards per completion. The difference is 2.6 yards.

As for rushing, Vick averaged 5.7 yards and rushed for 8 TDs in two years. Denard averages 5.9 yards and has, to date, made 35 rushing TDs.

Throw in the fact that they are a decade apart and have played in different conferences with different prevailing offensive philosophies, and I totally see where you were going here.


April 23rd, 2012 at 11:08 AM ^

that has never watched Vick play. Keep tracking your stats and making irrational assessments.  We're talking and hoping Denard gets drafted to play QB in the later half of the draft. Michael Vick was DRAFTED #1 in the entired NFLdraft to play QB!!!!!  Denard and Vick obviously have similarities, but Vick has always had a cannon for an arm and Denard does not

Space Coyote

April 23rd, 2012 at 10:46 AM ^

And he is a great college QB, but it really is asking too much for an NFL team to give him a shot at QB unless he gets a lot better.  He would still need a ton of coaching, as his footwork is still questionable at best, he doesn't have a great arm (he can throw a laser but stuggles throwing deep), his accuracy is marginal, and he hasn't made great decisions with the ball.

And then even with all that, you're asking an NFL team to essentially overhaul their offense to fit his skill set.  You're asking a team to do something that teams were reluctant to do with one of the greatest college QBs of all time in Tebow.  I know people like to talk up Denard as Mike Vick, and Denard's numbers may even be a bit better, but Vick was more sound fundamentally.  There was coaching that needed to be there, but he had the tools to make that jump, I'm not sure Denard does at this point.

Again, I love Denard and I love him as a college QB (where limitations are still abound), but it's just asking a lot from an NFL team to make that sort of transition for one player that may or may not work out at that position.


April 23rd, 2012 at 11:00 AM ^

Obviously my initial point wasn't as eloquent as yours, but thank you for removing the dreadlocks from your eyes for a second and being honest. Listen, nobody loves Denard more than me, but he has to improve big time for a team to take a chance.  These GM's have families to support and organizations to run. There is no way Denard would get drafted to play QB with his current body of work.  Hopefully he does make that leap and that would mean a chance at a Championship and a chance to play QB in the League

Magnum P.I.

April 23rd, 2012 at 11:31 AM ^

I'm curious to hear your opinion because I agree with this assessment. Do you think the coaching staff kind of "owes it" to Denard to feature him at WR a little bit this year, just to give him a fighting chance to showcase his ability to fill that role at the next level? I'm with you in that I think there's almost no chance at all that Denard gets to play QB in the pros. Is there any chance he and the coaches recognize this and try to show the NFL what he can do split out wide? It might just be a variation of the Devin/Denard package from last year that actually allows Denard to do something other than take an end-around. 

Space Coyote

April 23rd, 2012 at 11:43 AM ^

I don't think his draft potential really changes if he gets a few reps at WR vs just sticking at QB.  Sure, the reps would help him get practice at the position, but it would also expose flaws in his game at that position (remember, people's imaginations often make Denard's switch to WR more attractive).  As long as he continues to show leadership at the QB position, begins to understand the offense (so that when NFL scouts interview him he can break down what he needs to do at either position), he should be fine.

My guess is after the season is over he will work Coach Heck et al at the WR position a bit to be able to showcase some of that to NFL scouts without being completely raw.  I don't think his skill level will change much from taking that approach to giving him reps at WR during the season.  I think him becoming a better player, showing great work ethic, showing leadership, and helping his team win will be just as beneficial for him and much more beneficial for Michigan.


April 23rd, 2012 at 12:01 PM ^

I do believe the coaches jobs are to have foresight and see how a kid could possibly make it to the next level but it depends on a couple factors.

1) With all of the experience and assumed NFL connections our coaches have, they should honestly know by fall (if not sooner) if Denard has made the necessary leaps to play QB in the NFL. If so, then they should allow him to showcase it by playing him exclusively at QB.

2) if he hasn't made those improvements then I think the package you spoke of should be featured more.

3) Denard may have hands of stone, and if they split him out wide and he shows he can't catch a cold, then the move may backfire even further

4) Taking him out of the QB position for extended periods may mess with his psyche and make him lose confidence which could really degrade his effectiveness at any position so it's a fine line to walk.

What's best for the team outweighs all of the aforementioned factors, but I do feel they will be considered by the coaching staff


April 23rd, 2012 at 11:00 AM ^

I agree with you and I'd love to have him on the Lions next year. I'm wondering the motives for coming back for his senior year. He easily could've been drafted in the 1st 2 rounds I believe. Certainly him returning for another year is only going to improve his draft stock, but it's not like he is thinking national title or anything like that for 2012. I guess anything is possible, but the situation in South Bend almost seems like it has a negative trend.

Space Coyote

April 23rd, 2012 at 10:59 AM ^

They were young last year and looked good, that is a team on the rise.  I know people hate Kiffin because he's a weasel, and people thought he sucked because of what happened in Oakland and Tennessee, but I think he's actually a pretty good coach.  Anybody that has NFL experience as a head coach knows his stuff, and bringing his dad along doesn't hurt.  Lot's of coaches are dicks, but it doesn't mean that can't/won't be successful coaches.  I think Kiffin is going to have a lot of success at USC and may even work his way back into NFL coaching talks in half a decade or so.

Also, if Lattimore can stay healthy, I don't think there is a back in America that is even close to his skill level.  I hope his ACL injury doesn't keep him down, because he is a fun player to watch.  I feel when watching Lattimore run like Jim Schwartz feels when watching Best run on youtube, eh, or maybe not quite that much...


April 23rd, 2012 at 12:08 PM ^

Might be "the one that got away" for a long time in my book.  Still hurts.

Everytime I see my Clemson buddies it comes to mind.  This is just another jab..