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Insider

Could Robinson be a first-rounder?

1/26/2012
Can Denard Robinson transition from college QB to NFL WR? Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

As NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. continues to laud the possibility of Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson as a wide receiver in the NFL -- he has him as his No. 2 senior NFL Draft prospect at receiver for 2013 -- the question remains.

Could Robinson be a first-round draft pick having never caught a college pass?

The answer is ... yes.

While Kiper's list doesn't include underclassmen who would enter the draft after next season -- and USC's Robert Woods, Oklahoma's Kenny Stills or Cal's Keenan Allen could easily infiltrate that list if they were to leave school early -- that Robinson in No. 2 bodes well for him based on history.

Since former Michigan wide receiver Desmond Howard was drafted fourth in the 1992 NFL Draft and was the only wide receiver picked in the first round that season, NFL teams have drafted three or more wide receivers in the first round 16 of the past 20 seasons.

Only 2010 (Demaryius Thomas and Dez Bryant), 2008 (none), 2006 (Santonio Holmes) and 1992 have seen less than three wide receivers taken in the first round.

So taking history as a barometer, Robinson has a chance to be a first- or second-round pick after all.

NFL wide receiver first round picks since 1992 (Michigan receivers in italics):

2011 -- AJ Green, Georgia (fourth)

Julio Jones, Alabama (]sixth)

Jonathan Baldwin, Pittsburgh (26th)

2010 -- Demaryius Thomas, Georgia Tech (22nd)

Dez Bryant, Oklahoma State (24th)

2009 -- Darrius Heyward-Bey, Maryland (seventh)

Michael Crabtree, Texas Tech (10th)

Jeremy Maclin, Missouri (19th)

Percy Harvin, Florida (22nd)

Hakeem Nicks, North Carolina (29th)

Kenny Britt, Rutgers (30th)

2008 -- None.

2007 -- Calvin Johnson, Georgia Tech (second)

Ted Ginn Jr., Ohio State (ninth)

Dwayne Bowe, LSU (23rd)

Robert Meachem, Tennessee (27th)

Craig Davis, LSU (30th)

Anthony Gonzalez, Ohio State (32nd)

2006 -- Santonio Holmes, Ohio State (25th)

2005 -- Braylon Edwards, Michigan (third)

Troy Williamson, South Carolina (seventh)

Mike Williams, USC (10th)

Matt Jones, Arkansas (21st)

Mark Clayton, Oklahoma (22nd)

Roddy White, UAB (27th)

2004 -- Larry Fitzgerald, Pittsburgh (third)

Roy Williams, Texas (seventh)

Reggie Williams, Washington (ninth)

Lee Evans, Wisconsin (13th)

Michael Clayton, LSU (15th)

Michael Jenkins, Ohio Staet (29th)

Rashaun Woods, Oklahoma State (31st)

2003 -- Charles Rogers, Michigan State (second)

Andre Johnson, Miami (third)

Bryant Johnson, Penn State (17th)

2002 -- Donte’ Stallworth, Tennessee (13th)

Ashley Lelie, Hawaii (19th)

Javon Walker, Florida State (20th)

2001 -- David Terrell, Michigan (eighth)

Koren Robinson, NC State (ninth)

Rod Gardner, Clemson (15th)

Santana Moss, Miami (16th)

Freddie Mitchell, UCLA (25th)

Reggie Wayne, Miami (30th)

2000 -- Peter Warrick, Florida State (fourth)

Plaxico Burress, Michigan State (eighth)

Travis Taylor, Florida (10th)

Sylvester Morris, Jackson State (21st)

R. Jay Soward, USC (29th)

1999 -- Torry Holt, NC State (sixth)

David Boston, Ohio State (eighth)

Troy Edwards, Louisiana Tech (13th)

1998 -- Kevin Dyson, Utah (16th)

Randy Moss, Marshall (21st)

Marcus Nash, Tennessee (30th)

1997 -- Ike Hillard, Florida (seventh)

Yatil Green, Miami (15th)

Reidel Anthony, Florida (16th)

Rae Carruth, Colorado (27th)

1996 -- Keyshawn Johnson, USC (first)

Terry Glenn, Ohio State (seventh)

Eddie Kennison, LSU (18th)

Marvin Harrison, Syracuse (19th)

Eric Moulds, Mississippi State (24th)

1995 -- Michael Westbrook, Colorado (fourth)

Joey Galloway, Ohio State (eighth)

J.J. Stokes, UCLA (10th)

1994 -- Charles Johnson, Colorado (17th)

Johnnie Morton, USC (21st)

Thomas Lewis, Indiana (24th)

Derrick Alexander, Michigan (29th)

1993 -- Curtis Conway, USC (seventh)

Sean Dawkins, Cal (16th)

O.J. McDuffie, Penn State (25th)

1992 -- Desmond Howard, Michigan (fourth)