Florida CB Joe Haden vs. Florida State CB Patrick Robinson
Tale of the tape
Florida CB Joe Haden
Joe Haden: No. 5, 5-11, 190 (59 Total tackles, 4 INTs, 7 pass breakups)
Patrick Robinson: No. 21, 5-11, 194 (47 Total tackles, 0 INTs, 11 pass breakups)
When evaluating the cornerback position, one of the key attributes that needs to be assessed is balance. It doesn’t matter how fast or athletically gifted a corner is -- if he’s unable to maintain his balance, he will never be able to get out of his breaks and make plays on the football.
Both Haden and Robinson are big, athletically gifted corners who have the ability to run with just about any receiver down the field at the next level. However, there’s a distinct difference between the two in terms of body control and footwork when asked to change directions and close on the ball.
Haden does a great job keeping his feet under him in his drop, sitting into his back-pedal and without a doubt closes better than any college cornerback today. He looks smooth and balanced in both man and zone coverage and has done a much better job this season being patient in his drop and not biting on every play fake. Plus, when the guy is asked to flip his hips and turn to run vertically, he is nearly impossible to get behind and tracks the football with impressive grace and ease.
Robinson, on the other hand, isn’t nearly as compact with his footwork in coverage and has a tendency to get overextended, which negates his closing speed on the ball. A clear example of this was his matchup in man coverage with Florida TE Aaron Hernandez 1v1 on the outside last weekend. All Hernandez did was give him a subtle outside shimmy, which forced Robinson to open his base too far, preventing him from making a play on the football.
FSU CB Patrick Robinson
On another occasion, Robinson allowed Florida WR Riley Cooper to get behind him down the field, and because of his inability to keep his base down, Robinson got caught playing too high when trying to transition out of his drop and failed to track the football vs. the slower Cooper, resulting in a 39-yard touchdown pass.
So even though both players look like NFL starting-caliber corners from a size/speed standpoint, it’s his overall balance and body control that allow Haden to play as fast as his 40-time would indicate and the main reason Robinson will struggle at times to make plays vs. far less athletically gifted receivers. Both players entered the year near the top of their class at the cornerback position because of their combination of size and athletic ability. But after watching them, it looks as though Haden has definitely separated himself from the rest of the pack as the nation’s top cover man, while Robinson looks like just another overrated size/speed athlete.
Joe Haden vs. Patrick Robinson
Just one opinion but it does seem to be the overwhelming opinion that Haden is head and shoulders above the rest of the CB class. I honestly no longer see how he falls to us maybe some team will fall in love with Robinson's speed and FSU's history of producing cb's and take him over Haden
[ Edited by epdavis on Jan 3, 2010 at 9:16 AM ]