The combination of injuries and a prolonged learning curve have held back Robinson's progress. The Giants, unfortunately, are short at TE these days so Robinson is being thrust into the fray of the teams' TE derby this summer. He's ready.
“It’s my third year, my weight’s down, we’ve got a new OC [Ben McAdoo], new tight ends coach [Kevin Gilbride Jr.]", Robinson said at the beginning of OTAs last Month. "Everything is fresh; it’s like a clean slate. I’m just ready to go.”
Robinson has thus far taking advantage of the Giants' new offensive strategy, which suits his athletic skill set better than the old one. His knowledge and comfort is evident in the way he's been carrying himself at camp this spring.
"I think he’s done a really good job in terms of just learning," said Tom Coughlin. "Again, not many mental errors. I’ve been really impressed with that."
Several factors will lead to Robinson's success this season. Health being the primary one. After only dressing for two games as a rookie in 2012, Robinson played in only one game last year after suffering foot and ACL injuries. Going into his third season, Robinson has not recorded a reception in a regular season NFL contest.
Robinson is currently being listed atop the depth chart at TE. His competition in camp is as follows: veterans Kellen Davis and Daniel Fells; Larry Donnell, who has been here a few years as well, and rookie Xavier Grimble. Former Packer Tom Crabtree is coming in for visit this week. None of those players possess the athleticism of ARob.
On the Giants' website, the writers debated whether Robinson would lead the Giants' TE in reception this season:
Michael Eisen: "Fact - Robinson has looked good this spring and I believe he will take advantage of his opportunity and be a contributor this season."
John Schmeelk: "Fiction - I haven’t bought in yet. In his first two NFL seasons Robinson hasn’t been able to consistently stay healthy or play at a high level for me to make this prediction. Both Kellen Davis and Daniel Fells have far more experience and production at the NFL level."
Dan Salamone: "Fiction - He’s shown good hands in OTAs, and Tom Coughlin even mentioned his lack of mental errors so far. But we’ve seen these flashes before, only to see Robinson not suit up on game day for various reasons, including health. He has to prove it in live action first."
I agree with all of this. You can see the maturation of Robinson over the past few seasons, but he still has to show that he can perform in games. If he can, then the Giants' need for an athletic TE has been answered, as well as Jerry Reese's proclamation from 2012.