When the phone finally rang, Aldrick Robinson had two very distinct feelings that pulsated through his body. Both feelings still ultimately ended with the same result.
Robinson was selected with the 13th pick in the sixth-round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins on Saturday. When the voice of Redskins’ head coach Mike Shanahan and receivers coach Keenan McCardell came on the line, the Waxahachie native let out a big sigh of relief.
“I was excited and relieved. Excited to be a part of the NFL and be a Washington Redskin. And relieved because I got drafted,” Robinson said.
Entering the draft, Robinson was predicted to go as early as the third-round although most mock drafts had him being selected on day three. With his speed and ability to change direction, many thought Robinson would be an enticing pick for a team looking to improve special teams play immediately while developing him into a quality slot receiver.
Miami had been the early favorites to pick Robinson but when the Dolphins took Abilene Christian receiver Edmond Gates in the fourth-round the wait was on. Robinson had worked out for Philadelphia, Chicago and Cincinnati individually while showcasing his talents to a slew of teams at SMU’s pro day back in early April.
That made the phone call from the nation’s capital all the more strange as the Redskins weren’t a team Robinson had much contact with since the NFL Combine back in February.
“No, I didn’t work out for them. They weren’t even at my pro day I don’t think,” Robinson said with a laugh.
Robinson was one of 12 players the Redskins picked over the three-day event and one of three wide receivers. Washington selected Leonard Hankerson from Miami in the third-round and Nebraska’s Niles Paul in the fifth-round. The No. 178 pick Robinson was selected with came in a trade from Houston.
Wide receiver was one of the major concerns for Washington to answer in the draft as Santana Moss is the only player on the team’s roster to ever reach a Pro Bowl and he could be lost to free agency once the labor situation gets worked out.
Shanahan addressed the media on Saturday after the draft was finished, saying he was really pleased with the 12 players the team was able to pick up and that the organization addressed a lot of needs.
“Any time you add 12 people to your football team and you feel good about the people you added you feel like you’ve got some depth and every football team needs depth,” Shanahan said.
While the Redskins might have the rights to Robinson, they can’t work with him directly until the lockout is over. During the early portion of the draft, the lockout was lifted for about a day and a half, allowing the coaching staff to interact with the players. During that time Shanahan said he was able to give first-round selection Ryan Kerrigan a playbook. By the time Robinson was taken, the lockout was back in place, meaning he did not receive a playbook.
Adding Robinson might have added depth to the Redskins’ receiving group but the team has yet to fully address its quarterback situation. Washington made a much talked about trade for Donovan McNabb prior to last season but benched the former Pro Bowler over the course of the season. Shanahan stressed to the media at Saturday’s conference he has faith in former BYU quarterback John Beck, who could be the starter once the season gets under way.
Robinson admits he wouldn’t mind hauling in a few passes from the legendary McNabb, if he’s still around.
“I’m definitely excited about meeting him. I’ve been a fan of his for my whole life and my family likes him so it’ll be good if he stays with us,” Robinson said.
Though there is a lot of uncertainty around the NFL right now, Robinson plans to stay focused and be ready when all the issues get sorted out.
During his brief conversation with the Redskins’ coaching staff, it became apparent the team has hopes for him once he arrives in D.C. Robinson is preparing to live up to those as soon as he can.
“They just asked me how I felt about being a Washington Redskin and how they know that I’m going to work hard and things like that. We talked about what they expect of me when I get there and what we’re going to do when I get there,” Robinson said.
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