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Back to Football: Lee Robinson Seeking First NFL Action

It is every young football player's dream to play in the NFL. For Broncos linebacker Lee Robinson, the road has been a long one, but it will be worth the wait.

The former undrafted free agent and Alcorn State star linebacker could make his Denver Broncos and NFL debut on Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals. When the Broncos lost Joe Mays for the rest of the season, they replaced him on the active roster with Robinson, who was recently re-signed to the team's practice squad.

Robinson has roots at Mile High Report dating back to before the 2009 draft, where resident draft scout Jeremy Bolander gave this scouting report:

This guy reminds me eerily of Wesley Woodyard, and that is a damn good thing.  He is a good tackler, reads plays well and is instinctual in following the play to the ball.  Like WW, one of his strongest assets is keeping blockers away from his legs and keeping hands out of his frame, which leaves him free to make the tackle at the line of scrimmage.  His open-field tackling could use work however, as he doesn't consistently break down but he shows a ton of hustle and is quick to congratulate teammates, making him a respected member of the team.  His coverage ability is adequate, though he can't hang very long on deeper routes.  Has all the markings of a late-round, high-impact player.

I have not had the chance to watch Robinson play, save for maybe a couple of plays in the 2009 pre-season which I definitely do not remember, and there is not a lot out there of recent film of him. I did see him along with Robert Ayers at Joe's Crab Shack when I went to training camp in 2009, though I had no idea who he was at the time. This is a guy the Broncos have had their eyes on for two years, and he's finally made it to the big league.

Robinson's frame and 4.74 speed indicate to me that he is more than capable of holding up in the NFL athletically, and his collegiate resume' indicates that he has the skill. The key for Robinson has got to be putting everything together, as well as being mentally prepared for the next step. In the wake of Mays' injury, it appears as though Robinson is ready to take that step.

Here is a quick scouting report on Robinson before the draft:

Positives: Good height and upper-body strength. ... Can bull rush and rip from running back/tight end blocks. ... Nice closing speed, runs downhill to attack ballcarriers. ... Often lines up outside the defensive end in a rushing stance to take advantage of his explosiveness. ... Uses his hands to keep cut blocks off his knees. ... Fights through trash inside to get to the ballcarrier. ... Will hustle down plays. ... Team leader on and off the field.
Negatives: Teams will not know whether he's a versatile inside-outside linebacker or a "tweener" until they have him in training camp. ... High and slow in his backpedal, but can stay with tight ends in short areas. ... Does not change direction well laterally in space. ... Needs to improve his open-field tackling, as he bounces and slides off too easily bigger backs.

Like the addition of David Veikune, the signing and promoting of Robinson is a clear indication that the Broncos both need help at the linebacker positions, and have done their research. Despite linebacker being one of the deepest positions on the Broncos' roster, they are now down to waiver wire pickups and practice squad players as backups.

Robinson received the call, and will wear number 54 for the Broncos. In all likelihood, the starting four for Denver will be DJ Williams, Mario Haggan, Jason Hunter, and Robert Ayers, but it is certainly possible that Robinson could see duty as a reserve along with Wesley Woodyard.

Robinson is a guy who has been a tackling machine dating all the way back to his high school days, but he undoubtedly saved the best for last.  In his final season at Alcorn State in 2008, Robinson had 111 tackles, 10.5 for loss, 3.5 sacks, 3 interceptions, and 3 forced fumbles. He is very athletic, has a nose for the ball, and I wouldn't be surprised if he turned out to be a nice complimentary player for the Broncos.

More than a year and a half since Jeremy wrote his initial scouting report of Robinson, the young linebacker will finally be getting a chance to appear in an NFL contest to show what he can do.