Why Jon Gruden compares Raiders rookie Amik Robertson to Ronde Barber


The Raiders took Amik Robertson with their final pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. It took until the fourth round -- pick No. 139 overall -- for the Louisiana Tech cornerback to hear his name called, but Jon Gruden was locked in on him for a long time.

"I hate to come out and say he’s my favorite guy, but selfishly, deep down, somewhere inside of me, I wanted that guy bad," Gruden said to the Mercury News' Jerry McDonald. "I just love what he’s about." 

Gruden became so infatuated with watching Robertson that he even compared him to a star corner he coached for seven seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 

"He’s got a lot of Ronde Barber traits," Gruden said. "He’s a different dude on game day. He’s not little, he’s just short. He’s just not tall. He’s a powerful guy, he’s got great quickness, he’s got incredible recognition and he’s a good tackler."

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Barber, listed at 5-foot-10 and 187 pounds, was a five-time Pro Bowl selection and three-time First Team All-Pro. Robertson comes in even smaller than Barber at 5-foot-8 and 187 pounds. But he proved time and time again in college that he could bully bigger receivers.

[RELATED: Gruden defends Raiders drafting CB Arnette in first round]

Despite his short stature, Robertson had 14 interceptions and 34 passes defensed at LA Tech. He also is a fearless tackler and has a bit of Tyrann Mathieu in his game. Robertson recorded four sacks and 23 tackles for loss in college. 

The Raiders wanted to add toughness to their defense in the draft, and they did just that with Robertson. He's a Gruden Grinder in every sense of the word.

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