For everything that Torry Holt represented about hard work, discipline, and keeping one’s head on straight; Koren Robinson (unfortunately) seemed to represent the opposite.
Robinson was easily one of the best players to don a uniform for Chuck Amato at NC State. Unfortunately for K-Rob, his strong play in Raleigh did not translate to the NFL gridiron because of his own recklessness.
In anticipation of this month’s NFL draft, Fox Sports compiled a list of the 10 biggest draft busts at wide receiver. Do you want to venture a guess on who ranks high on the bust list?
5. Koren Robinson, 2001
First round, ninth pick, Seattle
A watershed moment that foreshadowed Koren Robinson’s eventually wasted potential occurred during his final college season, when his N.C. State team took on Wake Forest. That day, the talented Robinson sat out the entire first half as part of a disciplinary suspension, and his team fell behind 14-3 to an overmatched Wake Forest bunch. When Robinson finally entered the game, he easily returned a punt 61 yards for a TD. Four minutes later, he caught a TD pass from freshman Philip Rivers, immediately sparking his team to a win. That particular effort displayed Robinson’s dominance, almost as much the first half-suspension displayed his growing inability to abide by rules.
In the NFL, Robinson’s proven to be a productive receiver (1,240 yards in 2002) or kick return man (Pro Bowler for Minnesota in 2005-06 season). However, Robinson ultimately makes bigger headlines with numerous brushes with the law. On the field, Robinson can cut it, but off the field, he often can’t, and that’s the strange paradigm of Robinson’s career. In 2006, he was suspended for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, then sentenced earlier this year to 90 days in jail for DUI and fleeing the police. A fantastic talent, and a sadder story.
Notable WRs also available to Seahawks: Santana Moss (Round 1), Reggie Wayne (Round 1), Chris Chambers (Round 2), Chad Johnson (Round 2), Steve Smith (Round 3), T.J. Houshmandzadeh (Round 7).
Notable Players also available to the Seahawks in the first round: OG Steve Hutchinson, DT Casey Hampton, S Adam Archuleta, CB Nate Clements, TE Todd Heap.
A couple of days after Fox’s list, CNNSI’s Bucky Brooks (who, not-so-incidently played football at UNC-CH) penned this article discussing character questions in the NFL Draft. Brooks was a scout in Seattle when K-Rob was drafted.
As I sat in the Seattle Seahawks’ war room before the 2001 draft, my first year with the team as a scout, one of our discussions involved explosive North Carolina State wide receiver Koren Robinson.
We were coming off a disappointing season and desperately needed a playmaker. In our version of the West coast offense, Robinson was the perfect fit. But when we delved into his background and character, there were concerns. The area scout rattled off numerous incidents that pointed to his immaturity and lack of responsibility. Robinson skipped classes, missed meetings and was not accountable in the weight room.
When it came time to vote on whether Robinson was worth the risk, I chose to ignore those red flags because his athleticism and potential was so promising. The room was divided, but we were confident that we had the structure in place to allow him to be productive and decided to select him with the No. 9 overall pick.
Needless to say, Robinson lived up to his reputation on and off the field. He was an explosive athlete with all of the tools to be a star, but he missed team meetings, did not work hard at practice and developed a reputation as a night owl. Eventually, his poor off-field habits destroyed his athletic potential and he was released from the Seahawks after a series of arrests. He’s currently serving a year-long suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.
Worth noting is this old entry that includes an article from a Seattle newspaper written when the Seahawks finally said good-bye to the ‘self-destructive Robinson’.
In one of our old entries Jeff made a comment that was a front-handed slap at some of the folks around NC State’s program. He didn’t want to share the whole story…so we won’t either. His comments ring true regardless of how much you know about the manner in which K-Rob was coddled in Raleigh.
I remember thinking that Chuck was doing everything that he could to get K-Rob on track. He would suspend the guy, publicly call him out, everything known to man to get him straight. Heck…the season after K-Rob was our absolute best. His presence could have meant that we challenged for a National Championship.
K-Rob needed more discipline and guidance from far more sources in his life than he ever received.
Could you imagine if you were one of those people on campus (or an agent or in generally in his life) and had the opportunity to attempt to talk sense to him and instead chose to coddle and stroke him? That would suck to think that you contributed to this ‘character’ by being too star struck or scared to be true to your sense of right and wrong.