- The team spent the rest of the draft partially trading back to increase their picks in the sixth round and their choices for next season. With some dealing that would have made the late Bill Walsh proud, they turned their third pick into five picks. They netted two six-rounders this year, and a third-, fifth- and sixth-round choice in 2013 to go along with an extra seventh-rounder for the Taylor Mays trade to Cincinnati that they made last summer. In the back end of the draft, they selected a play-making defensive back (Trenton Robinson) who could be their fourth safety and took two players (Joe Looney and Jason Slowey) that could help on the interior of their offensive line. - The Sports Xchange
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Robinson has the size and speed of a cornerback but it doesn't take much film-watching to see why the Spartans like his physicality at the safety position. This under-the-radar high school recruit has more than exceeded expectations during his first three years in East Lansing.
After working on special teams as a freshman in 2008 (making six tackles), Robinson earned seven starts in 11 games the following year. He ranked fourth on the team with 67 tackles (he also intercepted one pass and deflected two others) despite missing two contests with an ankle injury. His breakout season came in 2010, however, as the second-team All-Big Ten pick (coaches) finished in the top five in the conference in interceptions (four), pass break-ups (eight).
Robinson's biggest performance in 2010 came when the Spartans went into Ann Arbor and beat then-number 18-ranked -- and arch-rival-- Michigan. His seven tackles included a TD-saving stop against running back Mike Shaw, then he intercepted QB Denard Robinson's third-down pass into the end zone. That set the tone for a 34-17 win, and a share of the Big Ten regular season title for MSU--their first in twenty years. In a weak safety class, a few more big plays will put him near the top of the heap.
Man Coverage: Looks like a corner, but doesn't quite move like one. Fair hip fluidity when changing directions, but not enough to adjust to top-notch NFL route-runners. When his feet are moving, stays with slot receivers on double-moves. Lacks recovery speed to catch receivers if he stands still waiting for them to arrive. Needs work on backpedalling to prevent defenders from getting behind him.
Zone Coverage: Teams relying heavily on zone may try him at corner because of size/speed. Picks up crossing routes well from the hash, uses cornerback speed to chase and cut in front of passes when possible. A step late to pick up deep out when corner takes the shallow route, also takes time to recognize comeback route at the first down marker.
Ball Skills: Makes the easy interception, at times with hands away from his frame. Always find the ball quickly enough to at least a hand on it, has nice arm length and gives great effort to rip the ball from the receiver's hands. Short stature, however, will hurt him downfield in jump ball situations against taller, stronger NFL receivers.
Run Support: Not afraid to stick his nose into traffic against the run despite his size. Comes off the edge on run blitzes regularly. Gives all effort to wrap and drag down bigger backs. Does not spend much time in the box. Lacks bulk and size to hold up against lineman inside at the next level.
Tackling: Uses long arms (longer than expected given his height) and speed to track down ballcarriers in the open field. Not a big thumper, but will take his shot if a receiver is trying to make the extra yard. Will leave his feet or duck his head at times, leading to missed tackles against stronger ballcarriers.
Intangibles: Hard-working team leader who has earned the respect of his coaches for his work ethic and gets the most out of his physical gifts. Does not back down from any challenge.