The Falcoholic will periodically be looking at potential first round picks for the Atlanta Falcons in the 2010 NFL Draft. Today, Florida State cornerback Patrick Robinson.
Patrick Robinson is a name that you'll hear frequently linked to the Falcons between now and April.
In the collective haste to assign a cornerback to the Falcons, we've heard a lot of names like Kyle Wilson's thrown around, and he's a guy I've already taken a look at here. But many believed Robinson was the better corner before Wilson's rapid ascension during the Senior Bowl, and many still believe that's the case. Why, you ask? Because he's got the potential to be damn good.
Scouts like that Robinson is such a freakish athlete who runs like a gazelle, jumps like a rocket-powered rabbit and turns on a dime so fast it transforms into ten pennies. At 5'11 he's got a couple of inches on our group of mighty mites and his speed allows him to keep up with even the toughest receivers. Those who have watched tape on Robinson say he's perfectly willing to help out against the run, and that's something the Falcons heavily emphasize on defense. Sounds pretty good, right? So what's the catch?
The catch is that nobody knows whether Robinson's going to play with that switch flipped up all the time. There's serious questions about his awareness and his ability to focus his efforts for the length of a game, and as we all know too well, it only takes one or two busted plays to blow a game wide open. There's a real concern that he simply doesn't play up to his ability at times, and that's something the Falcons wouldn't be likely to tolerate. That's at least quasi-coachable, however.
Out of all the cornerbacks behind Joe Haden, I think Robinson would be the best fit for the team because he has the talent to be the lights-out, elite corner we've been looking for. Where Kyle Wilson is brainy, aware and quick, Robinson is good-sized, incredibly athletic and aggressive. Because I believe Mike Smith and his mighty top hat can bring out the best in anyone—unless, like certain defensive lineman, the originally predicted talent doesn't appear to be there—Robinson would be slightly ahead of Wilson on my draft board, if the team was really sold on corner. You could make a reasonable argument for either, assuming you still have any reason after reading this site as long as you have.
So that's where I stand. If the Falcons go for Robinson, they'll be getting a guy who could very well be a game-changer in short order. The question is whether he'll play up to that ability at all times, and that's a very big question indeed.
But hey, feel free to debate.