ESPN NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. burned up teleconference lines for nearly 90 minutes this morning, fielding questions about NFL Draft prospects from across the country - everyone from Michigan lineman Taylor Lewan to South Carolina's Marcus Lattimore, who suffered a gruesome knee injury in October but still plans to declare for the April draft.
And, yes, Kiper was asked about Denard Robinson - and maintains that Robinson's move to the professional level will be one where Robinson makes a position change. Which, in all intents and purposes, he already has, as a result of an injury to the ulnar nerve in his right throwing arm.
"He’s got tremendous speed, a tremendous burst, and we know he's a tough kid and he can catch the ball," Kiper said of Robinson. "He could be a situational back. You can put him in the slot, in the wing, you can get him the ball in the return game ..."
"As long as he can show he can catch the ball, effectively, he can show he’s got potential to be a second-round choice."
A strong workout, a strong performance on Jan. 1 in the Outback Bowl and the Senior Bowl, Kiper said, could help Robinson's cause. (Kiper said the showcase game next month in Alabama could also help the case of several other players, too - so take that for what it's worth.)
As for Lewan, Kiper anticipates the redshirt junior to be the second offensive tackle taken in the draft behind Texas A&M's Luke Joeckel - if Lewan decides to turn pro after this season. Lewan, however, will have some competition from Central Michigan tackle Eric Fisher for that spot. Worth noting: Lewan and Joeckel were named first-team Associated Press All-American selections today, while Fisher was named a third-team All-American selection.