He’s a bit over 6 feet, 210 pounds (will get more official measurements at the NFL Combine) idolizes Randy Moss and enjoys playing Madden in his spare time. Oh, and he also played wide receiver for the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles.
At the end of 2016 not many (or, any?) would have thought of Robertson as potential breakout candidate that would be getting high grades from scouts both inside the NFL and from scouting agencies on the outside. Robertson wasn't the full time starter for Southern Miss until 2017 where he then put up 12 TDs on 76 catches and 1,102 yards.
What he has going in his favor is not his numbers, but how he was able to achieve them. Scouts are talking about his leaping ability to go up and get the 50/50 balls, his competitive toughness to make the contested catch over the middle and his burst/field vision that made him a yards after catch threat against both smaller and top conferences.
The below scouting report details the strengths and weaknesses of Robertson on film through three games of the 2017 season.
Let’s start with the positives. The guy can leap out of the building and does a really good job of playing outside of his frame. What we mean by that is he times his jumps well, extends hands away from his body (low/away/high) and shows the ability to adjust & gain leverage/positioning on 50/50 balls.
It’s one of the traits we see him show off throughout his 2017 campaign whether he was facing a CUSA team like Louisiana Tech (see below clip) or against the SEC’s Tennessee. The NFL Combine coming up in a couple of weeks will be big for Robertson as it will allow scouts to confirm what tape shows in terms of his athletic ability.
He isn't just a threat at the top of the route tree. Robertson shows a good understanding of various routes, and while he did play in a more vertical spread offense, Robertson showed the ability to make plays in tunnel screens/slant routes/digs.
Some WRs shy away from contact at times, and you’ll see many youngsters coming from college into the NFL who aren't fans of going between the hashes to catch the football. It’s a dangerous area of the field where you must maintain situational awareness of where defenders are located, hits can come from, and your concentration to real in the catch. Robertson embraces these situations.
In the blow clip we see Robertson making a tough catch on a pass slightly behind him and then immediately taking a big hit from the incoming safety. The defending corner is draped across his back making this contest catch difficult as he must body out the DB while also preparing for the shot that is coming. Bringing the catch in first, and then bracing for the hit, shows the competitive toughness NFL WR coaches covet.
Having exceptional play strength means that not only can you take the big hit (see above), but at times absorb the punishment and keep moving if the defender doesn’t wrap up. YAC ability was noted in the above scouting report, and we’ll see a clip of it here below. You can create YAC in multiple ways whether it be with just foot speed and anticipation (Korey shows these traits), play strength or just good ol’ fashion agility. Even with all these athletic markers to be a consistent YAC threat you must have the field vision to maneuver and know who/what is around you.
Not everything is a positive for Korey. While there were games against more “top-tier” teams most of USM’s schedule is made up of what most will consider inferior opponents. While he has no control over this it does bring into question how effective he truly is. (Still, the competition argument only goes so far. If a guy can play, the guy can play.)
There seems to be a consistent issue in hitch/dig routes where his stop and go ability his hampered by his inability to sink his hips and break into the route. This can be a problem not only for hitch/dig routes but option routes should teams want to utilize him there. Like many receivers in college releasing from press coverage at the line can be a problem.
At the end of the day, it looks as if Robertson (barring a very poor combine/pro day) will hear his name called in the middle rounds. In the above scouting report I’ve placed a third round grade on him. This could adjust slightly based on athletic measureables. Robertson has received similar grades from multiple NFL Scouts and GMs he has talked to.
I had a few minutes to speak with Robertson about his success at USM, as well as things he feels he needs to work on, and you can take a listen to that interview here below. With the Saints being one of many WR needy teams around the league (no knock on Ted Ginn or Michael Thomas intended) Robertson is one of the many candidates likely to receive a long and hard look.
The thing I dislike the most about Korey? He didn’t trade himself away from the Atlanta Falcons on Madden. As always, thanks for reading. Who Dat and God Bless!