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NFL teams trying to determine where Denard Robinson fits

Evaluation process begins at wide receiver Brad Biggs

Print This January 22, 2013, 12:13 PM EST

MOBILE, Ala.--Is he a wide receiver? A running back? A punt returner? Or all of the above?

That is one of the questions teams are trying to answer this week about Michigan’s Denard Robinson because they know he will not be a quarterback at the next level.

Heck, some are wondering if the NCAA Division I all-time leader in rushing for a quarterback might wind up being a cornerback.

Robinson practiced with the North squad for the first time on Monday afternoon. He was wearing a yellow jersey preventing contact because of the ulnar nerve injury in his right elbow that prevented him from playing quarterback for the final two months of the college season. Robinson participated in some wide receiver drills. He struggled catching punts.

“I am a football player,” Robinson said. “I like playing football. Whatever it takes to play. It was great to be out there.”

The first look he is getting is at wide receiver.

“We want to see if he can make the conversion,” said Raiders wide receivers coach Ted Gilmore, whose team is coaching the North squad. “We know he is gifted when the ball in his hands. But it’s another thing to run routes and catch the ball. We’ll see what kind of ball skills he has. That is what we’re hoping to determine, that it’s something he can do, because we all know he is explosive once he has it in his hands.

“We’ve got to see if he can run routes and get out of breaks. He can do a lot of things. They were very creative with him once he couldn’t play the quarterback position at Michigan. He shows he can do it. He’s good with the ball in his hands.”

Follow me on Twitter: @BradBiggs

Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune
 

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