2020 Raiders Draft Prospect Profile

Name: James Robinson

Position: Running Back

School: Illinois State University

Height: 5’10”

Weight: 220 pounds


797 carries, 4444 yards, 46 TD

58 catches, 428 yards, 2 TD

Run Style

Robinson runs like his hair is ablaze. With an urgency to get through the line, bolting forward. More importantly, watch the lean. Granted, falling forward may not look like it matters. However, it signifies a back that will get the extra yard. Blessed with a lower center of gravity, Robinson does not give defenders an ample strike zone. As a result, he will not endure many open-field kill shots.


While adequate, Robinson shows enough burst to pull away from defenses. In the open field, he will hit another gear and start streaking away. Now, he does not possess home run speed, Robinson will gain chunk yardage at a pretty impressive clip.


Despite his frame, Robinson uses a decent but slight jump cut to shake defenders. By the same token, enough twitch allows him to elevate over would-be tacklers. At the next level, he will need to not attempt this maneuver too often.

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During his time in Normal, the offense treated Robsinson as a bellcow, not a receiver. As a result, he will need to work on evolving into a natural catcher of the ball. As of now, swing passes look like Robinson’s main foray within this trait.

Raiders Fit

With a solid season, DeAndre Washington looks to supplant Jalen Richard as the third-down back. Washington runs with the force and thump that Gruden prefers. As a result, the Raiders need a third back. Gruden and by extension, Cable, love backs that will get downhill and chew up yards, allowing the line to beat down defenses.

Why Robinson?

Granted, Josh Jacobs stands tall as the main back. The Raiders envision him as the bellcow. Yet, Robinson could easily slide into a backup role. Robinson gives the offense a similar, not carbon copy back to Josh Jacobs. His ability to gain the edge, bolt downhill and wear down defenses becomes readily apparent. Behind a strong offensive line, Robinson could get to the second level with very little contact. If he does, the tacklers cannot fling an arm near him to make the play. Jon Gruden prizes tough backs that start with burst and end with authority.

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