There were mixed reactions when the New York Giants drafted Kentucky stand-out Wan’Dale Robinson in the 2nd round of the 2022 NFL draft. At face value, Robinson was a tiny offensive playmaker with the shortest arm length in the entire draft class and some of the smallest hands to boot.
Robinson ranked in the 0th percentile in arm length and 31st percentile with 9-inch hands. However, he stood out with his 40-yard dash time, 20-yard shuttle, and impressive 19 reps on the bench press.
Featuring elite elusiveness and open-field capabilities, the Giants are excited to incorporate him into their offensive scheme. He wins in man coverage, breaking loose from defensive backs with a shifty style. However, he can make an impact in both the deep passing game and screen game.
For Kentucky last season, he ranked 6th with 16 deep catches and 3rd with 35 screen catches. In addition, he added 22 missed tackles forced, which ranked 6th in all of college football last year among receivers.
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Head coach Brian Daboll gave some insight into how the Giants plan to use Wan’Dale:
“We have a very clear vision for the player and look forward to utilizing him,” coach Brian Daboll said after the draft.
“I think he can play inside, and I think he’s strong enough and fast enough, even though he’s a smaller, shorter guy, that he can contribute outside, too. Again, what we’re trying to do is put as many generating pieces out there to create pace and stretch the field, whether it be vertical or horizontally, and this is another good guy that has ability to run after the catch, which is an important aspect of it.” – Head Coach Brian Daboll on Wan’Dale Robinson via Giants.com
Robinson will have to diversify his route running to help him expose the deeper concepts downfield. With faster and athletic safeties at the next level, he will need to find an extra gear. His strength at the point of attack will need to stand out. Given he’s only 5’8″, it’s going to be difficult for him to win 50/50 balls.
The best way the Giants can utilize him is on short route concepts, getting him into open space and letting him work from there. Quarterback Daniel Jones threw just 49 passes behind the line of scrimmage last season compared to over 150 from Patrick Mahomes. That comparison is important to mention because the Giants hired Kansas City Chiefs offensive assistant Mike Kafka to serve as their new coordinator.
Kafka and Daboll will be looking to execute a West Coast/spread-offense blend. This will get their playmakers into open space with quicker concepts but spread the football out to all portions of the field. Last season, Jason Garrett had a tendency to shorten the field and roll Jones out to his right, taking massive portions of his vision away.
Good offensive coordinators can manipulate production with short passes but get blockers out in front. That is how the Kansas City Chiefs managed to execute such a potent offense. They are lethal around the line of scrimmage, which forces opposing defenses to creep up, which opens up deeper concepts downfield.
Robinson will play an integral role in helping to diversify the offense.