With their lone Friday night pick, the Vikings have drafted cornerback Josh Robinson out of the University of Central Florida. Robinson is an athletic defensive back with strong instincts. He had 46 passes defended in his three years at UCF.
Robinson is often praised for his speed, ball skills, tackling ability and his ability to flourish in zone coverage.
General Manager Rick Spielman addressed the media to talk about Robinson just a few minutes ago. Spielman called Robinson "an extremely talented athlete" with unique cover skills. Robinson entered the draft a year early out of Central Florida and needs some polish. But overall the Vikings were intrigued by his upside and raw athleticism. Robinson ran a 4.33-second 40-yard dash at the combine in February and also posted a vertical leap of 38.5 inches.
"The kid's an outstanding character kid, fitting the bill for what we're trying to do," Spielman said. "Excellent work habits. Everything you're looking for in a young player who's going to continue to have tremendous upside."
Robinson's athletic skill set and cover ability will give him a boost as he transitions to the next level. He will need to clean up his technique significantly but should get an opportunity to do so working with three Vikings coaches -- head coach Leslie Frazier, defensive coordinator Alan Williams and defensive backs coach Joe Woods -- all having defensive backs expertise.
Robinson, the Vikings believe, has the versatility to flourish both in man coverage and in zone and is a decent tackler.
"He has that unique trait as far as anticipating when a receiver's going to break and his ability to get out of his transition and close to the ball," Spielman said. "Sometimes, like all DBs, you'll see him maybe bite on a double move. But watching his recovery speed, if they do get a step on him, how quickly he can recover -- those are some of the unique traits he does have."