Day 2 of East-West Shrine Game practices is where we get an idea of who’s going to be consistent over the final two days and going into the weekend. For many of these guys, this week is the only chance they will get outside of their school’s pro days to meet and workout with teams.
On Tuesday we got a chance to see some of the players who separated themselves from the pack yesterday continue to do that, but we also have a few new names to add to the pool of players catching scouts’ attentions. The first new name comes from the West.
Robinette isn’t one of the under-the-radar prospects at this event. He averaged 24.7 yards per catch as a junior last year, and then proceeded to average 27.4 yards per catch this season. When you combine that with his 6-foot-4 frame, the attention given to him already is well warranted.
But it really blew up today.
Robinette flash on Monday as a player the West team was trying to get a feel for, but today, they didn’t even try to hide the fact that he was their No. 1 receiver. Robinette was being used all over the field on all kinds of different route combinations during the 11-on-11 drills. Though his quarterback play is limiting what we can see in terms of completions, when the ball has been in his area, his catch rate has been high.
I’ve noticed that he’s being used mostly on drag, slant, out and curl routes. Surprisingly, when this team has taken their deep shots down the field, it has been more to Toledo tight end Michael Roberts and Washington State wide receiver Gabe Marks, not Robinette, the man who has the crazy yards per catch averages.
Robinette was clearly the most used offensive player for the West team on Tuesday (he was even the holder for field goals on special teams), and I wasn’t the only one who took noticed as he was swamped with NFL scouts wanting to chat him up after practice. They’re noticing he might not just be just a deep threat player.
I’m torn on my thoughts with Josh Augusta. At 6-foot-3, 365 pounds, the way Augusta moves forward is insanely impressive, just watch the video above if you don’t believe me.
When you watch that clip, the speed of not only his hands, but his overall body movement is eye-popping, but what else should catch your eye is how straight he’s standing up. Augusta’s athleticism for his size is great, but his flexibility isn’t. He had trouble getting his body fully up and down, which also has an effect on how he can bend around defenders.
He wins with explosiveness and quickness for a man that size, but leverage is a concern to me. I’m not sure how much of it can be corrected, either.
In an event that’s sole purpose is to get these guys noticed, Aarion Pention was noticed on Tuesday.
The 5-foot-10, 190-pound, four-year starter for the Tiger was more vocal than any other play out there. He was constantly helping his teammates know their assignments, giving them “atta boys” and even having some friendly jabs back and forth with the offense.
His high energy paid off near the end of practice with the only interception I’ve seen form the West side this week.
After practice, I had the chance to talk to Penton a little bit, and he was just as energetic for that as he was when he had his helmet on. He noted that he has already spoken to several NFL teams, one of which is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucs don’t have a single cornerback on their roster who is taller than 6-foot; they seem to have their “type” of defensive back and like it that way. Penton fits their bill in terms of size and play style from a corner. The interest for him as a Day 3 pick could be real.
BRYAN COX JR., DE, FLORIDA
Florida DE Bryan Cox Jr. is having one helluva morning. He's ripping by almost every OT he's faced today. pic.twitter.com/ZPiEujEdVa
Cox Jr. was not a guy who I thought had a good day yesterday. Not that he did anything wrong, he just didn’t stand out; he was just another guy – at events like this, you never want to be “just another guy”.
On Tuesday, however, Cox Jr. was playing at a whole new level.
He’s known as a run defender, and on Monday it was almost like he was trying to play into that role. He wasn’t doing anything fancy around the edge, and wasn’t taking big risks with moves around offensive lineman, instead opting to make sure he stood his ground. That’s okay when you’re already on a team, but isn’t the best when you’re trying to really get noticed.
On Tuesday, he turned it up a notch. The clip above of Cox Jr. blowing by the offensive tackle around the edge was one of many times he got around his man. He was using a variety of inside and outside moves to be successful, and honestly put up one of the more impressive stretches of defensive end plays I think I’ve seen from him, even in all his tape. He showed a lot of diversity in what he could do on the edge, and he, too, was chatting up quite a few NFL people members after practice.
QUINCY ADEBOYEJO, WR, OLE MISS
I'm liking what I see from Ole Miss WR Quincy Adeboyejo early on. Pretty quick off the snap and out of cuts. Had Carter beat here. pic.twitter.com/1seW3gU1bR
This was one of “my guys” going into East-West Shrine week.
Quincy Adeboyejo has been putting on a route running clinic these past two days. He’s a guy who I was excited to see with his speed deep down the field, but after two consecutive days of watching him succeed like he does the clip above, I’m noticing that he’s also just as explosive in short areas as he is long strives down the field. That’s big for him.
He’s constantly winning the separation battle in and out of his routes whether that’s at the snap or wherever he’s changing direction. That, to me, proves that he can indeed be a deep threat player in this league. The NFL is more than just one type of speed. Wide receivers have to be able to separate in a variety of ways to stick.
Adeboyejo has shown NFL audience members over the last two days that he’s capable of doing that, and that’s definitely the kind of weapon the Tampa bay Buccaneers should be looking to add late in the draft.
Trevor Sikkema is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter and NFL Draft analyst for PewterReport.com. Sikkema, an alumnus of the University of Florida, has covered both college and professional football for much of his career. As a native of the Sunshine State, when he's not buried in social media, Sikkema can be found out and active, attempting to be the best athlete he never was. Sikkema can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org