EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Josh Robinson left Central Florida after his junior season with the stated goal of becoming one of the best cornerbacks to ever play in the NFL.
The Minnesota Vikings would be happy with a lot less than that.
Confident in the depth of this year’s draft at this critical position, the Vikings patiently waited until the 66th overall selection and made Robinson their third-round pick on Friday, going with a 5-foot-10, 199-pounder who ran the fastest electronically recorded time among all prospects at the league’s scouting combine two months ago at 4.33 seconds.
“Of course everybody has speed at the next level, so I never really say that is a strength,” Robinson said on a conference call. “But I always tell everybody I’m versatile. I can do whatever you want me to do.”
He might return punts or kickoffs. Most importantly, he’ll be asked to help shore up the pass coverage that was one of the NFL’s worst last season, a weakness made weaker in the NFC North Division, where Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford and Jay Cutler are on the schedule a total of six times. That athletic skill set Vikings general manager Rick Spielman raved about will come in handy. He’s also not, Spielman insisted, simply a finesse player who needs the safety or the linebacker to make the tackle for him.
“This kid is more than willing to come up and hit you,” Spielman said.