Jacksonville Jaguars undrafted free agent linebacker Matt Robinson is learning a lot these days. He's learning how to live life after college at Maryland, he's learning how to acclimate to a new city in Jacksonville, he's learning how to fit in with new teammates...
And he's still learning new things about a new position.
Robinson was a four-year player at Maryland, but the first three were spent at defensive back and safety. His move to linebacker was a strategic move by head coach Randy Edsall at the end of Robinson's junior year, when he finished fourth in tackles and third in tackles for a loss. Now he's an athletic linebacker who's naturally good at tackling guys behind the line of scrimmage and has an aptitude for pass coverage.
"Playing safety in college really helped me understand the game better," Robinson said. "At safety, you really had to know what everyone on the field was doing. It also helped me in coverage because I feel that I understand pass concepts a lot better than most linebackers. I think coverage is what I do best."
The 6'3" 247-pound Robinson doesn't look like your typical outside linebacker who specializes in the pass game. He's nearly 30 pounds heavier than Telvin Smith, and even an inch taller and five pounds heavier than middle linebacker Paul Posluszny. But that doesn't dissuade Robinson.
"I feel that I'm a smart player who can run and cover a lot of ground in coverage. I think I match up well against tight ends because of my size and speed. I can play fast."
A big, strong linebacker who can cover tight ends and tackle well. Did Robinson expect to get drafted?
"I didn’t think I would be drafted. I was prepared for anything. Expected the worse but prayed for the best. I other offers but I chose Jacksonville because I fit the system well and I have a good opportunity to compete for a spot on the team."
And Friday's rookie mini-camp is the first chance Robinson will get to impress coaches and staff.
"I think my chances are good as long as I show that I can contribute to the defense and on special teams if given the opportunity. The NFL is very competitive so I know I have to be on my game and compete every chance I get."