Why Brian Robiskie Makes Sense

First of all, I wanted to take this opportunity to send a few kudos Mr. Morgan's way for the Stafford scouting report. It echoed many of my own concerns and illustrated a few new ones. Bravo, good sir.

Second, I recently interviewed Ohio State's Brian Robiskie for the Washington Post, and came away as impressed as I expected to be. A coach's son, he's the progeny of former Raiders and Dolphins running back Terry, who's been coaching in the NFL since 1982. And like his dad, Robiskie is a cerebral football guy who loves the game. That's what happens when you grow up with first-person role models like Tim Brown and Marcus Allen.

Robiskie is projected as a second-round pick (NFLDraftScout.com currently projects him 37th overall, right in that wheelhouse), and while the Housh signing would seem to eliminate the receiver position as a need at that point, it will be interesting to see what happens if he's there and the BPA.

I think there has always been a bias against receivers who are smart, and run routes correctly, when it comes to pure on-field quickness. I think that Robiskie is painted with a ceiling that's lower than he may actually have. One quote in particular stood out from my interview with him:

Specifically, the Buckeyes would outdo opposing defenses with a double-post. "It's a two-receiver set, lining up the two receivers together. I'm normally the outside guy, and we have a slot receiver. He would normally take off and try to contain the inside shoulder of the safety, and that would leave me one-on-one with the corner. Like I said, if it's off coverage or press coverage, I can do whatever I need to do. If its press, if I can beat him outside with a fade, then I'll take that. If it's soft, then I can run him out with a nine route or post route, then I'll run that. I think that we ran a lot of those last year, and we ran some this year, and I think we were successful on a lot of them."

Put simply, if you've got a guy with the real speed to get separation on a mid-distance post route, or a 15-yard stick throw, providing more freedom for the slot guy running routes underneath (like, oh, I don't know, the guy who just signed a $40 million contract), you're going a long way toward eliminating some of the reasons for Seattle's anemic offense last year. There is no receiver in this draft who understands routes and responsibilities better than this kid -- he may already understand that part of the game better than some of the guys he'll be suiting up with at the next level.

On the surface, receiver isn't a need. But what if the Seahawks don't have the Branch/Housh/Burleson combo at its best from start to finish? What if Branch spends half the year recovering from various paper cuts, Burleson continues to combine dynamic downfield plays with nebulous route-running, and Housh gets overwhelmed as the #1 receiver he really isn't?

Few GMs understand the value of the ready-made player than Tim Ruskell (one could say that he overvalues the trait if one is so inclined), and few players in this draft are more ready-made than Robiskie. It seems like a strange second-round pick for a team that just signed a receiver to a big contract and expects to run more this season, but looking beyond the surface brings up some holes I think Robiskie could fill better than most.

(Plus, he actually likes to block. Not a bad thing for a run-balanced offense, and something that Housh also does very well...)

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