San Francisco49ers

Kentucky receiver Robinson sees himself as Deebo-type prospect


INDIANAPOLIS — University of Kentucky wide receiver Wan’Dale Robinson has been compared to 49ers receiver Deebo Samuel and appears to have the same physical approach to the game. 

The 5-foot-11, 185-pound receiver played his final college season at Kentucky, but when Robinson spent his prior two seasons at the University of Nebraska, the wideout was used much like Samuel was by the 49ers this season.

“That’s all the things I’ve done in college,” Robinson said Tuesday at the NFL Scouting Combine. “Even at Nebraska, I was taking a lot of carries. Inside zone, outside zone, doing a lot of different things. At Kentucky, I was able to play a lot of receiver, so I just feel like I have the versatility to do both at a very high level.”

Over his three college seasons, the multi-talented prospect caught 195 passes for 2,248 yards and 10 touchdowns but the majority of those stats occurred in his final year. In his junior season as a Wildcat, Robinson recorded 104 catches for 1,334 yards and seven touchdowns. 

At Nebraska, Robinson carried the ball more than he caught it. The hybrid player racked up 134 carries for 580 yards and four touchdowns while only recording 91 receptions. The young receiver didn’t carry the ball nearly as much at Kentucky with only seven attempts for 111 yards. 

Robinson has a different build than Samuel but that doesn’t affect the aggressive nature of his play. Like the 49ers' star receiver, Robinson has the same mindset as Samuel with the ball in his hands. 

“I feel like whenever it’s one-on-one, I don’t think anyone can tackle me,” Robinson said. “I think I turn into a running back with the ball in my hands. I’m going to fight for extra yards and just try to break as many tackles as I can, try to get to the end zone.” 

Robinson also uses that aggression in his route running and wants to show that he can play bigger than his size would suggest. 

“I feel like whenever you’re running routes you have to have some kind of aggression with it,” Robinson said. “Just getting those DBs to feel uncomfortable and then even whenever you catch the ball, having that aggression of being a running back.”  

Robinson doesn’t have top-tier speed, recording a 4.44 40-yard dash but is still fast enough to be an effective player in the league. Samuel, who ran a 4.48 40-yard dash is proof that there’s more to the game than speed alone. 

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Like Samuel, Robinson just wants the ball in his hands. As a third-round projection, the shifty receiver could be an option for the 49ers who might be looking for depth at the position. Robinson believes his resume indicates to NFL teams that he can do it all. 

“I think it just shows that I have that ability to do it and I can do it at a very high level,” Robinson said. “There were games I had to take 10-plus carries at Nebraska, so if a team needs me to do that, I can do it.”

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