NFL Draft Scouting Reports

James Robinson: 2020 NFL Draft Scouting Report

Joey Ricotta | April 23rd, 2020  

James Robinson, RB, Illinois State #25

Height: 5’9”

Weight: 219 lbs

Eligibility: Senior 

Games Watched: Colorado State (2018), North Dakota State (2018), Northern Illinois (2019), South Dakota State (2019), Southeast Missouri (2019)

Make sure to check out all of our other scouting reports here.

 

Elusiveness: 7.5/10 He’s got some moves and has some highlight reel runs, which he’s certainly capable of repeating in the future, but overall, he’s more of a tackle breaker and hole finder than a shake and bake style runner. 
Vision: 10/10 Excellent vision. He sees openings and tunnels before they exist and accelerates quickly through them at the point of sight. 
Strength/Power: 9.5/10 Strong kid. His arms are the size of beach balls. He really showcased his strength at the combine with 24 bench press reps. He’s very powerful in the lower half as well, which helps him turn negative gains into positives and pick up extra yards. 
Durability: 8.5/10 He’s used to the heavy workload. You can give him the keys to the offense and not worry about him holding up. However, he’s better suited as an early-down back as of now.
Receiving Ability: 7.5/10 Not terrible, he has good hands and projects as a solid receiver, however, he wasn’t used enough as a receiving back in college. Need to see more at the pro level before being peppered with a bunch of targets. 
Football IQ: 9.5/10 Smart player. He knows where to be when he is supposed to and always seems to make the right decision. Robinson also has a good understanding of how to wait and set up blockers in front. 
Motor: 9/10 Off the field, he’s laid back and chill. On the field, I think he thrives off of being calm and laid back with almost this sense of I’m not going to say anything, I’m just going to kick your ass with my play, type of mentality. It’s all systems go with a relentless attack on the field. 
Blocking: 9/10 Consistent blocker. Handles assignments well and isn’t afraid of sticking his nose in there against big nasty bull rushers and linebackers. One of the blocks, I rewound the tape about five times because he shelled off one defender, let off while the defender was leaning forward off balance, allowing him to fall, and then, when he let off, he blocked another rusher. Two for one on the same play as a running back is impressive. 
Speed: 7/10 The top-end speed is the only area in which he knows NFL scouts are nervous about. The 40-yard dash time wasn’t very impressive, however, he seems to play faster on the field and that’s all that really matters. He doesn’t need to win a long distance foot chase, as long as he’s quick and crafty enough to consistently move the chains. 
Balance: 9.5/10 Tremendous balance, built from his great lower half strength. Also, noticeable when making cuts and changing direction. He doesn’t fall or get pushed back easily. 
Overall:

87/100 Unfortunately, Robinson’s stock isn’t as high as it should be, because of how the running back position is viewed in the NFL now. With that said, he has legit upside as a future bell cow back, given his rushing ability, blocking, and good hands. To start off, he will be a solid rotational piece and depth back, likely grinding in early down situations. Nonetheless, any running back that has the potential to be a starter down the road and is being drafted past the fifth round, is a steal.

Round Grade: Fourth/Fifth Round 

Projected Draft Position: Sixth Round 

Pro Comparison: David Montgomery 

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