The Denver Broncos were certainly very keen on some of the Arizona State players available in last week’s draft, as they selected quarterback Brock Osweiler in the second round and cornerback Omar Bolden in the fourth.
Consequently, when scouting Osweiler the Broncos’ front office, headed by their former signal caller and Hall of Fame quarterback, John Elway, couldn’t but noticed Gerell Robinson, who participated in all of Osweiler’s workouts. A private workout for the former Sun Devil QB conducted for Denver on April 6th, is when Robinson felt that there was a good chance that the Broncos may add him to their ranks.
Robinson remarked that it was a scenario that was very attractive to him at the time, which is why he is pleased with the way the process ultimately played out.
“As everyone goes through the process, you have to be politically correct and say that you don’t mind which team drafts you,” Robinson explained. “And when you get drafted you’re happy to go to the team that wants you. But the one team I always wanted to go to was the Denver Broncos.
“I always liked the team and I had a good conversation with Mr. Elway when he came to the school, as well as with their GM and receivers coach. I got to talk to them when they worked out Brock and I got a better understanding about them and how much they liked me. I was talking to them even before they worked out Brock. But obviously me being there in all of his workouts helped me get noticed by the Broncos.
“I’ll take that package deal.”
In 2011 Robinson appeared in all 13 games, starting 12 of them and earned honorable mention All-Pac-12 honors. He collected 77 catches for 1,397 yards and seven touchdowns, all career highs. His 107.5 yards receiving per game set a school record. His 1,397 receiving yards are the second-highest single-season total in school history, while his 77 receptions ties him for third most in a single season by a Sun Devil.
“Denver said that they liked my size,” said the 6-3 227 Robinson, “My ability to make plays and turn in catches into first downs. They also like I can go across the middle and just my overall desire to win.”
Robinson noted that he expected to be drafted as early as the third round and as late as the sixth, but he did admit that he was “hoping for the best and preparing for the worst” and knew that a situation that he wouldn’t be selected by any team, but rather do his own selecting through a free agent signing was a very realistic possibility.
The fact that former ASU wide receiver recorded an official NFL combine time of 4.62 seconds in the 40-yard dash, is more than likely the biggest factor which caused teams to bypass him in the draft. For Robinson the speed aspect is just a reality that he has accepted as he tries to rationalize why he wasn’t selected even in the later rounds of the draft.
“It would be naïve or even foolish on my part to think otherwise,” Robinson said. “I understand that running a 4.3, 4.4 looks nice on paper, but in the end it doesn’t always mean that you’re a competitive athlete or an overall good receiver.
“I’m glad things happened the way they did for me. I’m in the best situation possibly for myself, and I’m ready to work hard and do whatever the coaches want me to do to help the team be successful.”
Playing with two of his former ASU teammates is something that Robinson knows that will greatly motivate him whether it’s catching balls from a very familiar signal caller or lining up across a cornerback whom he had several hundred one-on-one battles in practice.
Nonetheless, Robinson confessed that the greatest driving factor for him is naturally proving that he was in fact worthy of being selected in the draft.
“I don’t have a chip on my shoulder, I have the entire world on my shoulder,” Robinson stated. “That is the mindset I will have when I get there. Again, I understand that things happened for a reason, but the way things happened are more than just motivation for me to just go out there and do what I’m supposed to.”
Ultimately, Robinson knows that many events in one’s life, as undesirable as they may seem, do indeed happen for a reason.
“I know that some situations are out of your control and a man’s fate doesn’t always rest in his own hands,” Robinson said. “You just have to trust that everything will work out and I believe it did. To be part of such a good organization like that …I’m very excited to see how everything plays out.”