2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Brian Robinson

  • Brian Robinson, 6-1/225

  • Running Back

  • Alabama

  • Brian Robinson Scouting Report
    By Charlie Campbell

  • Three-down starter ability
  • Advanced pass blocker
  • Tough downhill runner
  • Strong to run through tackles
  • Contact balance
  • Gets yards after contact
  • Strong lower body
  • Short-yardage, goal-line asset
  • Keeps feet going after contact
  • Can move the pile
  • Speed to hit the hole
  • Acceleration
  • Second gear to hit the second level
  • Instinctive runner
  • Good vision
  • Patience
  • Can create for himself
  • Anticipation
  • Good body lean to run low
  • Bends at the knee
  • Runs behind his pads
  • Receiving ability
  • Quality route-runner
  • Quality hands
  • Decisive runner
  • Small work load in college
  • Low mileage

  • Weaknesses:
  • Good skill set, but overly dominant
  • Good, but not great, speed

  • Summary: Alabama is a difficult place to play if you are a running back because every year it seems like the program adds a five-star recruit, so it can take years for backs to finally get their turns. Alvin Kamara ended up transferring to Tennessee for that very reason. Robinson stuck it out despite small carry totals in 2017 (24), 2018 (63), 2019 (96) and 2020 (91). But those few opportunities leave him having low mileage and fresh legs entering the NFL. Robinson finally became the starter in 2021 following Najee Harris moving on to the next level. In 2021, Robinson averaged 5.0 yards per carry for 1,343 yards and 14 touchdowns. He had 35 catches for 296 yards and two touchdowns. Robinson has been a real riser with pro teams.

    Sources say they there is a lot to like about Robinson. “He has low mileage,” said a director of player personnel in the late fall. “He’s athletic, instinctive, and has size and power. Right now, he’s our top-rated back.”

    For the next level, Robinson is a physical back who can be the engine of a tough rushing attack. He has three-down starting potential and can overwhelm a defense. With his power, size, and tough rushing style, Robinson is a downhill runner who can impose his will through sheer strength. His strong build, his knee bend, and his ability to run behind his pads let Robinson break tackles consistently and pick up yards after contact. Defenders will struggle to bring him down at the second level, and it often takes multiple defenders to get him to the turf. With his contact balance and strength, Robinson is a tough runner to wear out a defense. His strength to run through tackles and push the pile makes him an asset in short-yardage and goal-line situations.

    Along with his power, Robinson has the quickness to hit the hole and a second gear to accelerate to the next level of the defense. Robinson is not a burner, but he has good speed for a big back and is capable of ripping off yards in chunks.

    In the passing game, Robinson shows the ability to serve as a receiving down back. He has quality hands, runs solid routes for a big back, and shows vision and feel to find the soft spots in defenses. Robinson will need some work as a blocker and identifying rushers for the NFL, like all college backs, but he did an excellent job of blitz protection for Bryce Young in 2021. Robinson made some huge blocks on clutch plays to protect his quarterback. Coming from a pro-style system, Robinson could become a three-down starter who is a valuable pass protector early in his NFL career.

    Some teams have Robinson as the top-rated back for the 2022 NFL Draft with a second-round grade. He shouldn’t go any lower than Round 2, and he could sneak into the end of Round 1.

    Player Comparison: Frank Gore. In terms of running style, Robinson reminds me of Gore. Gore was a tough, physical, downhill runner that picked up a lot of yards in his prolific NFL career. I don’t think Robinson will match Gore’s longevity, as very few ever have, but in terms of running style I could see Robinson having a good career as a plus starter like Gore was for most of his career.


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