Hey Saints Fans.
I run the FSU SBN site and thought I would share some thoughts on Patrick Robinson. He is a tremendous player and was the victim of some really unfortunate circumstances over the last two years at Florida State. I'll do my best to explain.
First, a pro scout (friend of our site) commented on the defensive scheme and coaching: http://www.tomahawknation.com/2010/4/13/1418377/nfl-scouts-comments-suggest Our defensive coaching was allowed to go to shit because we had an 81-year old coach who was still incredibly bitter that the University forced him to hire his son. He was not going to dismiss the horrific defensive coaches who also happened to be his closest friends.
Second, the defensive collapse we had prompted by the suicide of the defensive coordinator's son (the coach, who was also the secondary coach, lost all motivation), a linebacker coach more concerned with subverting the authority of the head-coach-in-waiting (who did eventually take over for Bowden and saved the recruiting class from 44th to 6th nationally) who was also battling cancer, a defensive ends coach with no experience (family friend of Bowden), and multiple defensive tackles lost for the season due to injury or ill-advised early draft entries.
As for Patrick, FSU abused him. Our DB coach basically asked Patrick to teach and coach the younger DBs. Patrick was extremely promising in 2007. He looked like a top 10 pick. He's a very hard worker but did not get coaching in his final two years. His technique development completely halted. FSU asked Patrick to play man coverage with no help (FSU literally played no safety help or a single high safety shaded to the side opposite of Patrick on over 75% of its plays). And even if you play great coverage in that situation, you'll be beat sometimes because you have no help over top. Patrick is such a competitor that he would occasionally leave his assignment in an attempt attempt to make plays and compensate for a defense in shambles. We all know how that works out.
Given the situational factors, it was not a stretch to say this was the worst defensive staff in the country. Look at the precipitous collapse: http://www.tomahawknation.com/2010/1/21/1262756/closing-the-book-on-the-2009 (yes, they were all fired at season's end).
As for the academic cheating scandal. It sounds bad, but there were over 100 athletes caught up in the scandal that involved one tainted class. The issue was over what materials were allowed on an un-proctored, online exam. Patrick voluntarily turned himself in.
In Patrick, you're getting probably the most physically talented corner in this draft (Per Mike Maycock). He needs to be placed in a professional environment where he has a defined role and quality coaching. There are people around the program who speak of him in the same breath as Terrell Buckley and Bryant McFadden. He will have a huge learning curve adjusting to zone coverages (we seldom ran it and never ran it well), but there isn't a better guy out there if you need 3 seconds of press man coverage on the back end of a blitz. My guess is that he will have a rough initial mini-camp and then progress at a much higher rate than many expect.