Eagles Hosting Talented but Troubled WR Demarcus Robinson
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) — Even with Reuben Randle and Chris Givens added to the mix in free agency, the Eagles need a talent infusion at the wide receiver position and will be taking a look at talented but troubled former Florida wideout Demarcus Robinson Tuesday as the draft approaches.
Robinson, 6-foot-1, 205 pounds, finished a three-year career in Gainesville with 105 receptions for 1,353 yards and nine touchdowns but those numbers were skewed by four different suspensions. As a freshman, Robinson actually spent 45 days in rehab to combat a substance-abuse problem.
"I know I have made mistakes and I've learned from my mistakes," Robinson told reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine back in February. "It's just about telling the truth and getting it out all in the open now. I'm not the same person I was three years ago."
According to Robinson, he was suspended three times by the Gators as a freshman and also for a violation of team rules that was not drug related after a loss to Florida State last year. He claims he hasn't failed a drug test since his rookie campaign with the Gators.
"I knew I had to do something to let my teammates and let my coaches know I wouldn't do it again," Robinson told the Palm Beach Post when asked about his decision to enter rehab. "I was doing whatever I had to do to let them know that wasn't me. What I was doing was selfish and was wrong of me. I wasn't really relying on drugs I just knew I had to prove to my coaches I really wanted to be on the team. I had to take on some consequences for doing the actions that I did and that was one of the consequences — going to rehab."
Two NFL sources confirmed to 973espn.com that teams have been told Robinson's problems are with marijuana.
Most scouts have tabbed Robinson as a late-round option with terrific upside because his talent belies that position but the red flags and character concerns are certainly real.
As a player Robinson is regarded as a significant vertical threat with excellent ball-tracking skills. He is capable of beating press coverage but like a lot of young receivers, his route running needs more consistency.
"Talented kid," a long-time scout told 973espn.com. "If he didn't have the issues in college, he would be at the top of this draft. Probably only (Notre Dame's Will) Fuller is a better deep threat in this class. Can't imagine anyone taking a chance early."
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973ESPN.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen