Denard/ Senior Bowl 1/22 - Video - Updated

Submitted by JeepinBen on January 22nd, 2013 at 10:38 AM

From Kyle Meinke

He caught punts and did other drills, but is not yet cleared for contact. (thus the yellow Jersey)

And, a mid-day unfortunate update from the Det News:

Apparently Denard has the Dropsies (who wrote that headline? Are they 5 years old?). Apparently that means he had 2 drops in a row. And while Menkie reports that he went 11-for-11 on catching punts before practice, the news says he only caught 2 of 4 after.


Mr. Yost

January 22nd, 2013 at 10:47 AM ^

Makes me wonder why we didn't use him in the passing (receiving) game during the bowl. He's a threat when he's on the field.

Best of luck to him. He'll find his way in the NFL...I'm sure multiple teams have a plan in place and an idea in mind.


January 22nd, 2013 at 10:57 AM ^

He looks like such a natural in these other aspects of the game it frustrates me that he and Devin didn't switch roles from day one. Can't really blame the coaches though, they might have risked losing some of the player loyalty if they didnt start Denard. I guess if it wasn't broke then don't fix it but it would have been interesting to see...still gonna miss the guy.


January 22nd, 2013 at 11:05 AM ^

Devin wasn't ready in 2011 and are you really going to make your All-American QB switch to WR for his senior year?  Especially after leading the team to an 11 win season (7th in school history) and a BCS bowl win the year before?


We all see it now but imagine the freakout this board would have had if the coaches had done that.  The mgofreakout would have been even worse if the coaches moved him when they came in in 2011.  If Tate hadn't been such a headcase and was still on the team the past two years maybe Denard could have gotten more playing time at WR/RB.


January 22nd, 2013 at 10:59 AM ^

The article said he only caught 3 of 8 punts.  He will have to improve this if he wants to get drafted in the 2nd round.  Denard has tremendous talent and upside but NFL coaches don't want to waste time teaching fundamentals. 


That being said, I can't wait to see him play in the Senior Bowl.


January 22nd, 2013 at 11:13 AM ^

I think that catching punts and kicks will really boost his draft stock. I'm not saying he's Devin Hester, because Hester was a great returner in college, but when my Bears drafted Hester they had no idea where to play him besides at returner. If Denard shows that he can field punts and kicks, all he needs is 1 team saying "He'll be good at that, and anything else is a bonus" just like the Bears did with Hester.

Duval Wolverine

January 22nd, 2013 at 11:00 AM ^

His speed and natural ability to run can make him a very dangerous reciever either as a deep threat like deshawn jackson or torrey smith or in the slot like Victor cruz or wes welker


January 22nd, 2013 at 11:23 AM ^

is Denard really struggled at WR.  It is forgiven considering that he have never played WR in his life.  His route running leaves a lot to be desired and fought the ball when he's about to catch it.  The main things the scouts want to see from him is day to day improvement from yesterday to last day of practice which is far more important to see if he can learn new position quickly and take in coaching as well.


January 22nd, 2013 at 11:28 AM ^

I think the day-to-day improvement is going to be the biggest thing for Denard. In addition to showing that he has the basic skills (catching, mostly) Denard is going to have to learn (improve) at 1 of 2 things: Route Running and/or Blocking.

If he can't really run routes well he can't be a WR at all. If he can't block, he won't be a RB. Ideally, he can do both, as WRs have to block too. We'll see. Like Tebow, it only takes 1 team to love you for you to get drafted really high.


January 22nd, 2013 at 3:41 PM ^

they are very impressed with his improvement in route running.  He consistently showed that he can separate from DBs and burned one of the CB with a killer double moves.  However, his hands still needs a lot of work because he is not a natural WR and doesn't feel comfortable catching it.  However, they think that Denard will become a better pro than Armanti Edwards who is in a similar mold as Denard, but Armanti has really struggled with the QB to WR transition.  Denard showed improvement which is good news for Denard.

Ultimately, I think RB will be his position because of his ability to find holes and cut back lanes.  He knows how to run between the tackles and doesn't always bounce it outside.


January 22nd, 2013 at 12:00 PM ^

My fear is that Denard ends up failing to make it in the NFL because he has no true position. Sure, he is fast as hell, but there are a good number of guys coming out who have elite speed. What made Denard unique is that he was a qb with that speed. If he aid going to play rb or WR, sure, he will be one of the faster guys at the position bit his speed is not so unique as to make up for other deficiencies.

Ultimately, keeping Denard at qb - while what he wanted and while probably necessary bc of our roster - may have hurt him long term because it prevented him from developing at a position that he would play at the Mex level. By the end pf his junior year it was obvious that Denard could not be a qb in the NFL. Not remotely meant as an insult - jus my observation of one of my all time favorites.


January 22nd, 2013 at 2:07 PM ^

But there are a ton of fast kids out there. Many have close to Denard's speed but actually have played the position that they will end up at. If being fast were enough, then every sprinter would get drafted. The problem with Denard is that he has no experience as anything other than qb. So, he is effectively a sprinter trying out for the NFL. obviously, this is an overstatement, but the point still holds.


January 22nd, 2013 at 5:48 PM ^

He has experience as a running QB, and thus has some experience as a RB.  I'm not really sure why he's being looked at so much as a WR anyway rather than a RB.  He has pretty much the exact same measurements as Chris Johnson, and is immeasurably more committed to the team.  Even if he could be 70 percent of Chris Johnson, with the potential for trick plays he brings as a former QB (a la Randle El), and the fantastic attitude, I have no doubt he would be successful.  Even if he does go the WR route, though, he's being rated by the "experts" as a top 5 receiver on potential alone, so a poor showing in this game doesn't really affect him I would think.  I would hate for him to go to the Lions for his sake, but I would love for him to come in and fill the hole left by Best when they finally give up on him coming back.

Heinous Wagner

January 22nd, 2013 at 12:14 PM ^

Wherever he plays, Denard will be a work in progress. But I think the best solution would be to develop him as quickly as possible as a kick returner while he matures into a WR. He could be the new Devin Hester, now that the present one seems relatively uninterested in going on.


January 22nd, 2013 at 1:14 PM ^

Almost looked like he was running too fast on the routes...came out of his break before the ball was close to here.


Obviously, it's his responsibility to come out of his breaks at the right time, but looks like getting his timing right with a QB will require the QB to mentally measure time with decimals.


January 22nd, 2013 at 2:19 PM ^

Denard on the Pats would be cool too, IMO. If they could make Welker into a beast and find a spot for "Woodshed", they can probably find a way to get Denard involved.

El Jeffe

January 22nd, 2013 at 4:25 PM ^

Disclaimer: I know nothing about football, really.


Still reading?

Okay, then. It just seems hard to imagine that Denard coudn't develop into a serviceable slot receiver, especially when you throw in jet sweeps and reverses and so forth. I mean, his cuts are absurd, so why couldn't he learn to run shallow read routes where he runs down the field five yards and cuts hard right or left and catches a 10-yard pass (after a three- or five-step drop by the QB)?



January 22nd, 2013 at 4:39 PM ^

Most receivers trying out for the NFL have played receiver for at least 3 years (some up to probably 10). Denard's done it for about 3 months, and still isn't 100% healthy, seeing as he's still in a no-contact jersey.

People agree with you that he'll develop into an NFL receiver of some kind, but to expect him to perform as well as people who have been playing receiver for a long time right off the bat would be setting the bar a little high

El Jeffe

January 22nd, 2013 at 4:43 PM ^

Right, you mentioned what I neglected to emphasize--that it could happen over time or that he could develop into a good receiver. I suppose that will be the question teams have--should we use an early-round pick to use him immediately in some way or a late-round pick to develop him into something.


January 22nd, 2013 at 7:09 PM ^

I know if I was an NFL scout another thing I'd be looking at is the attitude and "coachability" of the players on my draft board.  Denard is an exceptional athlete, and even in the NFL his combination of speed, acceleration, and ability to read blocks will be above average. If he can add solid catching, route running, and blocking to that while getting coached up on the details of the rest he's going to be an offensive coordinator's dream. 

But that isn't what makes him unusual.; it's his attitude and his obvious willingness to learn. He's not the kind of guy that will take this opportunity for granted and he'll be a great player and teammate regardless of his position.  Maybe the risks will hold him out of the 2nd round but I can't see him going any later than mid-third with his personality and talents.  Denard Robinson was a great Wolverine, is a great Michigan man, and do everything in his power to be a great [incert draft team here].