We are currently making our way through the Miami Dolphins' 90-man offseason roster, breaking down last season for each player, as well as what could happen this year. Today, we continue today with a look at linebacker Lee Robinson.
Previous Roster Breakdowns: Chad Bumphis Marcus Thigpen Aaron Corp Jonathan Freeny Jordan Kovacs Dion Jordan Chris Burnette Josh Samuda Brian Thomas Keelan Johnson Jeff Fuller Jamar Taylor Michael Egnew Vaughn Martin Michael Clay
Robinson returns to the NFL in 2013 after spending two years with the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League. Prior to his time in the CFL, Robinson went undrafted out of Alcorn State in 2009 before signing a free agent contract with the Denver Broncos. He was waived by the team in the final round of roster cuts.
With the Eskimos, Robinson moved from linebacker to defensive end, but is projected to return to linebacker with the Dolphins. He spent most of the 2011 season on the Eskimos practice squad, then played just 10 games in 2012 due to an injury.
Miami signed him to a futures contract after a tryout in February.
Why he could improve in 2013:
The Dolphins have found a pipeline in recent years to bring CFL talent back to the NFL. In most cases, nothing pans out, but Miami did find both Cameron Wake and Marcus Thigpen in Canada (along with Ricky Williams spending his drug suspension season north of the border). That does not really mean anything for Robinson, but it is interesting how often the Dolphins turn to the CFL for free agents and camp bodies.
Back in 2009, as he prepared for the draft, Robinson was seen as a very athletic, big bodied linebacker, who could take on lead blocking guards and fullbacks, but could also cover ground laterally to close on ball carriers or cover running backs in the passing game. He has explosiveness to get after a quarterback and can play multiple linebacker and defensive end positions.
That versatility alone could have Robinson find a way onto the team.
Why he could regress in 2013:
He's struggled finding a home, and playing time, in both the NFL and the CFL. Even when he did get on the field, Robinson was not dominating (in comparison, Wake had 72 tackles and 16 sacks in his bad year in the CFL. In 2008, Wake tallied 67 tackles and a ridiculous 23 sacks.). Having played college football at Alcorn State, part of Robinson's college success could be due to the talent level against which he competed. Having been out of football for essentially three years before having an injury shortened 2012 season, it could be a long climb for Robinson.
Odds he will make the 53-man roster:
He actually has a chance to make the roster. He's currently the third middle linebacker, behind Dannell Ellerbe and Austin Spitler, and Robinson has been impressive in training camp. If he can continue to play at that level, and if he can perform on special teams, Robinson might be able to grab one of the final roster spots. He does have one year of practice squad eligibility remaining as well.