New York Jets shake up the roster
The New York Jets announced a handful of roster moves on Friday night.
In addition to activating George Fant from the reserve/COVID-19 list and placing Alex Lewis on the exempt/left squad list, the Jets made a swap at the bottom of the roster.
Wide receiver Matt Cole has been waived. Taking his spot is 29-year-old linebacker Edmond Robinson, who reunites with former Falcons defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich after playing under him in 2020.
Let’s dig into what the Jets are getting in Robinson.
Robinson attended Division II Newberry College in Newberry, South Carolina. He was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings with the 232nd overall pick in the seventh round of the 2015 NFL draft.
Over two years in Minnesota, Robinson played in 21 regular-season games and one playoff game. He rarely appeared on defense (46 snaps) but was a key piece on special teams (331 snaps).
Robinson was waived during the Vikings’ final roster cuts entering the 2017 season. He was claimed by the Jets. Robinson played in the Jets’ season-opening loss to the Bills and made one tackle on special teams but did not don a Jets uniform again.
After 2017, Robinson bounced around multiple leagues, having stints with the Arizona Cardinals, the AAF’s Arizona Hotshots, and the XFL’s Houston Roughnecks.
Robinson signed with the Atlanta Falcons in March 2020 and ended up making the team’s practice squad. He was promoted from the practice squad to the active roster in six of the team’s first nine games and then signed with the active roster on November 10, appearing in each of the remaining seven games. Robinson ended up playing 13 games.
Here is a look at some of the numbers posted by Robinson at the 2015 Combine and their percentile ranks among linebackers all-time:
- Height: 6′ 2⅝” (71st percentile)
- Weight: 245 lbs (73rd)
- Arm length: 34″ (95th)
- Hand size: 10¼” (90th)
- 10-yard split: 1.61s (63rd)
- 40-yard dash: 4.61s (79th)
- Vertical jump: 37″ (81st)
- Broad jump: 121″ (75th)
- 3-cone drill: 7.49s (4th)
- 20-yard shuttle: 4.38s (29th)
- 60-yard shuttle: 11.81s (35th)
- Bench press: 20 reps (36th)
Robinson is a great athlete. He owns a Relative Athletic Score (RAS) of 8.36 out of 10.
According to his latest measurement, Robinson is still at 245 pounds. That would tie with him Jarrad Davis as the heaviest linebacker on the Jets’ roster (C.J. Mosley‘s most recent official measurement has him at 250 pounds, but he has reportedly lost about 20 pounds).
Robinson has barely played any defense in his career. He has played zero defensive snaps in 25 of his 35 career games and has racked up just 92 defensive snaps over 35 career games (2.6 per game).
When he has played defense, Robinson has primarily been a 4-3 outside linebacker, playing both Sam (strong side) and Will (weak side).
It is on special teams where Robinson has made his name. Robinson has played 531 special teams snaps in his career (15.2 snaps per game). He contributes heavily for the punt coverage, kickoff coverage, punt return, and kickoff return units.
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Robinson’s 92-snap sample in the regular season is way too small to glean anything from. However, he has played 396 career snaps in the preseason, so we will dig into some of his numbers from that sample.
Robinson has been a fairly active run stopper in the preseason. With 14 run stops over 178 snaps against the run, he has a run stop rate of 8.1%. The 2020 NFL average at linebacker was 6.8%.
The biggest problems for Robinson have been missed tackles and pass coverage.
Robinson has a 6.0-to-1 tackle-to-missed tackle ratio in the preseason, well below the 2020 linebacker average of 8.3.-to-1. In coverage, Robinson has given up a brutal 9.9 yards per target. The positional average in 2020 was 7.3.
As a blitzer, Robinson has not done much damage. He has played 38 career pass-rush snaps in the preseason (9.6% of his defensive snaps) but has recorded only four pressures. That’s a pressure rate of 10.5%, significantly below the 2020 going rate for linebackers (14.3%).
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Special teams production
This is where Robinson can make his case to crack the Jets’ roster. His special teams production has been impressive.
On special teams in his regular-season career, Robinson has made 18 tackles while missing just one, according to Pro Football Focus. That is incredible efficiency; the NFL’s average tackle-to-missed tackle ratio on special teams in 2020 was 2.9-to-1.
To boot, Robinson has made five special teams tackles in the preseason without missing a single one. That’s 23 tackles on special teams while missing only one, which is flat-out ridiculous.
The Falcons’ special teams unit was mediocre in 2020, ranking 20th in special teams DVOA. It probably would have ranked significantly worse if not for Robinson’s efforts.
Robinson led Atlanta with 12 special teams tackles this past season, which tied for 10th-most in the NFL. His 79.1 special teams grade at PFF ranked second-best out of the 59 Falcons players to appear on special teams. That mark also placed at the 87th percentile league-wide among players with at least 150 special teams snaps.
If Robinson sticks on the Jets’ roster throughout the preseason and can keep up the same level of special teams production, he just might sneak onto a roster that is starving to improve its return coverage. He could at least make the practice squad and be promoted on a frequent basis, as the Falcons did with him last year.
Swap of special team players, Matt Cole was primarily a gunner that played WR. Too many quality WR ‘s on this team. Linebacker Depth is a little sketchy.
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