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Posted on Wed, Dec 21, 2011 : 9:18 p.m.

Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson curious about NFL standing, says he's likely to return

By Staff


Denard Robinson has passed and rushed for 73 touchdowns while at Michigan.

File photo

Michigan junior quarterback Denard Robinson told ESPN on Wednesday he has asked the NFL draft advisory board for a recommendation on whether he should turn pro.

The panel, made up of NFL executives, tells underclassmen if they have the potential to be drafted. Robinson, in an interview with Adam Rittenberg of ESPN, said he filed paperwork for the advisory board, but is planning to play his senior season at Michigan.

"Most likely, yes," Robinson told ESPN.

Robinson adjusted well to a more pro-style set this season under new coach Brady Hoke and offensive coordinator Al Borges, passing for 2,056 yards and 18 touchdowns and running for 1,163 yards and 16 TDs. For his career, he has rushed for 35 touchdowns and passed for 38.

His best pro potential at this point, though, likely would come at a position other than quarterback. His accuracy and decision making in the passing game remain concerns, particularly after he threw 14 interceptions this year.

It's not unusual for top underclassmen to ask for the NFL advisory board's recommendation. Michigan senior defensive tackle Mike Martin submitted paperwork to the panel last year, but elected to return to school after being told he likely would be a middle-round pick. Scouts now project Martin to be an early-round choice.

The panel's advice isn't a science. Former Michigan cornerback Donovan Warren was told by the advisory board in 2009 he could be a first- to third-round pick in the 2010 NFL draft. He turned pro and went undrafted.



Fri, Dec 23, 2011 : 3:35 a.m.

Two words Denard should consider before going pro early: Manny Harris.


Thu, Dec 22, 2011 : 11:05 p.m.

My prediction is that he is not going to be happy with the feedback he gets. This will likely push him even harder, which is good for UM for next season. But I agree with many others, he will never make it as a QB in the NFL. He can either spend some middling years in the NFL, trying and trying, practice squad here and there, ultimately cast out in a few years - or he can learn a position he is more suited for. Thus, he would be better served changing positions now. But that will never happen - it's too late, he is now institutionalized as our QB. For our better, his worse.


Thu, Dec 22, 2011 : 7:15 p.m.

I agree with tim. Will definitely not be a quarterback at next level simply does not have the size. Has speed and could probably goes as receiver or corner or punt returner. His senior year coming up is going to be exciting if he can stay healthy.


Thu, Dec 22, 2011 : 6:15 p.m.

....don't get "too upset" folks - the kid is only 'testing' his NFL potential and must be considering his options ( other than QB ). ...getting another opinion (as they say )


Thu, Dec 22, 2011 : 5:54 p.m.

Denard will never make it as an NFL QB. UM is not helping him by only playing him at QB. Why not give him an opportunity to return kicks on occasion or try playing wide out and learn route running while giving the other highly rated QB a chance to show his stuff. But the reality is UM will use him for their own purposes and then not care about his future after he's finished.


Fri, Dec 23, 2011 : 12:57 a.m.

@towny... all I'm saying , Michigan man aside, is that if the goal of a public university is to prepare its students for the future, then I'm not sure UM is doing right by not having Denard practice skills that can be carried over outside the big house. @riverraisin...I'm not sure the athlete is always the best judge about his position. Most kids are conditioned at a young age to the position they play. Looking ahead, I think the coaches should assert themselves or at least explain the reality a QB position will hold for Denard in the NFL and begin using him outside the QB position.


Thu, Dec 22, 2011 : 11:33 p.m.

I think if Denard wanted to play another position to increase his NFL value, he'd ask the coaching staff for a position change. Denard wants to lead the Wolverines as a QB


Thu, Dec 22, 2011 : 7:21 p.m.

Come On. This is not Michigan's M.O. regarding players after there college career's are over. Robinson should be in the running for the Heismann Trophy if he remains healthy next year. I think Michigan is not throwing him under the bus. There is pride in being a Michigan Man.


Thu, Dec 22, 2011 : 4:35 p.m.

Agree with other comments -- o Would not command a high draft selection at present time o Would not play QB in the pros o Maybe other position, but not a certainty Robinson at 6'0" already has some difficulty seeing over the linemen and downfield for passing. Earlier this past season he had several balls knocked down by defensive linemen. In the pros all that would become even more difficult. I don't see Robinson being a defensive back in the pros ... he's not big enough. In one sense he reminds me a bit of Desmond Howard going into the pros -- at 5'9" and 180 he was never going to be a dominant receiver, and in fact he never was. His value was as punt and kickoff returner. Does Robinson have that skill? I honestly don't know ... I've never heard of him playing that role. He certainly hasn't at Michigan.


Thu, Dec 22, 2011 : 4:21 p.m.

I would advise Mr. Robinson to finish his degree and head toward a non-football career. If somehow he does end up playing in the NFL, then good for him, but I wouldn't put all my eggs in that basket.

Macabre Sunset

Thu, Dec 22, 2011 : 2:45 p.m.

I have no idea what position he could play in the NFL. He doesn't have the arm or the accuracy to play quarterback. He doesn't have the durability to play anywhere else. His skill set makes him a great slot receiver prospect, but they take some big hits, too. I like the kid, but his game is a college game. He would be drafted in the 6th round, maybe.


Thu, Dec 22, 2011 : 1:48 p.m.

One only hopes that the same people who lied to Donovan Warren dont lie to Denard. Simply imagine a Denard that has a better ability to read a defensive coverage scheme and blitz packages! When this progression happens he will be much more comfortable in the pocket and throw much more accurately as well. This will simply make him unstoppable in the college game. At the next level he needs to develop a bit more strength and size to withstand hits that he takes regularly. This is the big issue with Denard. If he changes his game to a pure passer then he wont be drafted at this point ever because he is not even close to what other QB's offer. If he continues to be a run threat as well as a passer then he will not last very long because of the punishment he will take. So either way he is not a viable QB in the league yet! If his QB IQ increases over this next year and he looks more like a RGIII then he will be a top draft pick. Denard is a safeties nightmare! Do you cheat and stop the QB run or do you go deep with your receiver and stop the pass?!!! Either way Denard I think would be stupid to leave this year because of his lack of skills and would benefit drastically by learning as much as he can this next year under Borges! Of course the stupidity is in the longevity of his career not in the signing bonus! Go Blue!!!

Craig Lounsbury

Thu, Dec 22, 2011 : 1:30 p.m.

My unprofessional opinion is that Denard would likely be viewed as a return specialist and a back up receiver at best. Those guys don't get drafted very high and only make "big bucks" by proving their worth over several years.

Billy Bob Schwartz

Thu, Dec 22, 2011 : 4:12 p.m.

Lots of that going on. Remember Tom Brady? 199th in the draft, I believe. No job is static. You improve, or you stay the same, or you get worse. Denard strikes me as the kind of guy who will work hard to improve. I hope (and am pretty sure) he knows that this is easier at Michigan than in the pros, and that he can improve a ton with another year here, but his draft spot is a starting point only. Denard...I'm not going to beg. But Please, Please, Pleeeeease stay! Go Blue!


Thu, Dec 22, 2011 : 1:01 p.m.

He could go pro tomorrow, but not at quarterback.


Thu, Dec 22, 2011 : 10:12 a.m.

This reminds me of the Darius Morris situation. Circumstances are the same; strong performances during the season is the lure for these players to start thinking ahead to the por level. I like the Donovan Warren comparison. Wolverine fans who were either very critical or more supportive of Denard can agree that he is not ready for the NFL. Can't help thinking about the Andrew Luck situation where that young man remained during his senior year to help his team. Hopefully, this will come to pass with Denard. I hope Brady Hoke and Al Borgess mentors Denard to think about getting his college degree in the event that he has no NFL career because that is a real possibility.


Thu, Dec 22, 2011 : 9:54 a.m.

Good move by Denard to request the NFL advisory board evaluation. He needs that info to most effectively decide where he wants to be for the 2012 season. I hope he stays, but more importantly I want him to make a decision that he sees as best for himself. If it means his leaving UM, so be it.


Thu, Dec 22, 2011 : 7:17 a.m.

Denard isn't going to go pro. Irregardless of the evaluation he'll stay. He is just evaluating his future prospects in the NFL. What position? if he has a chance as an NFL QB? If QB what would he have to do. He's just thinking of his future and if he says I'm 100% not going pro then he'd fell like he's wasting the NFL advisory boards time. He's just getting the info. and being polite. Did anyone ever interview for a job they had no plans of taking. You just gotta see what's out there.


Fri, Dec 23, 2011 : 3:08 a.m.

Please don't use the non word of irregardless, that's not a word, the word is regardless. The WCIMFH used to say that and it drove me nuts, okay you can go on about your day now, thank you.

Terry Star21

Thu, Dec 22, 2011 : 5:52 a.m.

I think it's hard to read these situations, but Denard most certainly has the right to be evaluated by that Advisory Board. It doesn't of course seem possible or feasible for him to jump to the NFL, and being let down shouldn't (I hope) hurt his feelings/performance as strong minded as he appears. Honestly, I don't like those situations - I always believe the student/athletes should stay the term, as what they learn in school and the experiences they achieve can not be matched after the fact, anywhere. I remember when Drew Henson left and how it affected people - mostly teens/preteens that he had earlier promised he would stay.


Thu, Dec 22, 2011 : 12:51 p.m.

It's not bad financial advice if Denard can have a strong senior year and improve his draft status and, thus, increase his earning potential. Mike Martin made an extremely sound financial decision in coming back to Michigan this year. Going from a mid-round pick (as he was projected last year) to an early round pick this year will pay huge dividends in his paycheck. Martin is certainly not the only example of improving his draft status after honing his skills in his senior season. So, it is not poor financial advice to ASK them to stay in college, imo. It IS poor advice, though, to tell a player to leave early when they are not ready and will thus destroy their financial potential forever.


Thu, Dec 22, 2011 : 11:40 a.m.

Stay the term, stay in school? IF they have a chance to get drafted, they should go. No college education will ever pay what the NFL does, it's just poor financial advice to tell them to stay. If they don't make it in the NFL, then it's likely only another few months of school to finish.


Thu, Dec 22, 2011 : 5:49 a.m.

Denard would be a fool to leave. I think UM has a legit chance at a national championship next season. Would be dumb to pass up on that oppertunity. However, regardless of how well Denard does next year, he has no chance at being an NFL QB. I could see him turning into a decent slot receiver though.

Mush Room

Fri, Dec 23, 2011 : 1:29 a.m.

There's no B1G team that's going to beat Alabama. I wish them well, but the NC talk will be over at the end of this game.


Thu, Dec 22, 2011 : 4:44 a.m.

Well, I gotta say that this seems curious to me. I don't think he has a chance in hell of playing QB in the NFL, maybe numerous other positions but not QB. If he is told he could, I think that would be bad advice to him. If he wants a chance at QB, he seemed to improve greatly towards the end of the season, then he needs to come back and improve his knowledge and experience at the position. Especially with the coaching he's finally getting. Good luck to you Denard with what ever you decide, my advice is stay. If he goes for some crazy reason, I've always liked Devin and think if he played a lot would mature quickly into a solid starter and I think Bellomy is a potential gem of a QB, that kids film is impressive, he played in the highest rated division of Texas HS FB and has a great arm and runs a 4.6 40 and is 6'3" and can put some weight on his frame, oh and he had a 4.16 GPA in HS. We'll be fine at the position. Also, if Denard leaves, Hoke will have an extra schollie to recruit another QB.


Thu, Dec 22, 2011 : 4:08 a.m.

This article seems rather negative about the NFL Draft Advisory Board. Maybe it's justified but it seems like the intention is well founded. RE: Robinson's asking for an evaluation - Denard has done great as a college player and may well do even better as a senior, given that some variables have improved. But I doubt many people think he's got NFL potential TODAY. I think he really NEEDS this next season - as much for his own future career as for contributing to Michigan's stature now and in 2012. I think it helps athletes in Denard's position to be given a dose of reality. But I do agree: if the NFL DAB gives Robinson the go-ahead for going pro, then that would turn into a disaster all around.