*CB grades can and will change as more information comes in from Pro Day workouts, Wonderlic test results leaked, etc. We will update info as it becomes available. 

Let’s say it’s 4th-down and 5 yards to go at your goal line (if you’re a defensive coordinator or GM or owner of a team in this fictitious game/set up). Your team is ahead by 4 points and it is the last play of the game…

You’re going to play the opponent to pass. Let’s say it is Green Bay circa 2020 (Aaron Rodgers) you are facing…and they have Davante Adams split out and you’re going to cover him one-on-one (why you didn’t double him is a conversation for when we fire you).

What 2021 NFL Draft prospect cornerback do you want out there covering Adams in this do-or-die situation?

Patrick Surtain…the consensus top CB prospect in this class?

Caleb Farley…the cool-kid-scout’s top CB prospect?

Jaycee Horn…that ‘other guy’ named when discussing the top 3 CBs in the draft?

Think about it for a moment, and don’t forget that Surtain played for Alabama so he has special powers. Which CB do you want on Davante in this situation?

Of course, you know what my answer is going to be – it’s Aaron Robinson.

For me, it’s indisputable that of the ‘holy’ top three CB prospects (Surtain, Farley, Horn)…Robinson (not in that consensus ‘holy trinity of CB prospects) is clearly the best one-on-one cover guy among them. And that’s not putting down the other three guys…it’s just Robinson is that good. I saw it at the Senior Bowl…it just jumped out at you; you couldn’t deny it. But I also saw it confirmed on tape in his 2020 games – Robinson is one of the best one-on-one cover corners off the snap I’ve scouted the past few years.

Does this mean Robinson is the best CB prospect in the 2021 NFL Draft? Maybe. Let’s see. There are some other things to consider (and I’m going to keep referencing and comparing Robinson with Surtain-Farley-Horn for obvious reasons)…

The three areas I see Robinson get knocked on…

1) Some places list Robinson as a ‘slot corner’. If that analyst or scouting site goes on and on about Robinson as a slot guy only, then you should not trust anything else they say because they obviously haven’t done the film work or study.

First off, Robinson did play some slot corner…it depended upon the game and opponent. Sometimes in the slot. Sometimes on the outside. A few times as a 4-3 OLB alignment. He went where the action was…because he’s great and can shut things down.

Yes, Robinson is a great slot corner…a better one than Surtain-Farley-Horn would be (though Horn would be pretty good too) – and this should be seen as a positive. Robinson is 6’0”+ and 200+ pounds. He’s about the same size as Surtain-Farley-Horn. He plays in the slot because he’s awesome in coverage east-to-west/side-to-side and can shut down a slot WR…he’s not there because he is ‘only’ a slot guy.


2) The whole ‘slot’ label is used as a negative on Robinson, but to me it’s a shining/glaring positive he has over Surtain-Farley-Horn, considering his similar size and his ability to play outside corner just as well/better than all of them.

Yes, he can play outside corner as well…and he’s glue on those types of WRs. He won’t let outside receivers hardly get into their routes, he gets so up in their face and mirrors their moves so well – Robinson always seems a step ahead of the receivers and hardly ever gives them room to breathe off the snap. If he does get beat off press coverage, he recovers quickly and gets back into coverage. I don’t recall seeing Robinson ever truly just get worked by an opposing WR, Robinson always seemed to have the upper hand.

Again, if you wanted to cover Davante Adams one-on-one, whether he went slot or outside – you’d want Robinson on him.  

I watched Robinson totally manhandle Houston elite speedster WR Marquez Stevenson in 2020, when they matched up. Stevenson might be the fastest WR in this 2021 draft, and he could not get away from Robinson...not in a foot race, Robinson wouldn’t let him breathe off the snap or get going into stride.

How about this… Marquez Stevenson had two games under 15 yards receiving in three years as a starter. The two games: 2020 vs. Central Florida (1 catch for 12 yards) and 2019 vs. Central Florida (2 catches for 10 yards). You know who was on the field both of those games for UCF in defense/coverage much of the time?


3) The one potential negative on Robinson…his off-the-field.

Five UCF players were pulled over in a speeding car on campus in November 2020. Robinson was a passenger. The police smelled marijuana and pulled everyone out of the car. The driver had no license. A loaded AR15 was in the car as well as another handgun under the seat. The driver was arrested. Four of the 5 players were kicked off the team. Robinson the only one who didn’t get suspended or kicked off…and I don’t see it really addressed as to why.

Robinson may have been wrong place/wrong time, but the fact that he was with this group…and some of them were on police cam footage disparaging the cops as this pullover and search and arrest unfolded…is not a good thing. The event might cost Robinson a 1st-round draft stock.

If this was just ‘dumb college kid’ stuff (or if it had never happened)…Robinson is probably an ‘A’ grade prospect who would be a top 15-20 pick. If he has a good explanation and an NFL team overlooks it…he might be in the 1st-round anyway.

Consider the case for Robinson outside of the off field 1x blemish on his record….

-Great at the Senior Bowl, clearly the best cover corner in the drills.

-His career tape backs up the Senior Bowl performance.

-And guess what? Was originally a Crimson Tide player! We should love and adore that! He played some as a freshman for Alabama. He has that kind of pedigree. He transferred to UCF to be closer to home and to be able to play more CB roles than just slot (I think/I get the feeling).

If there’s a more pure/better cover corner in this draft than Robinson, I’ll be surprised (and delighted by all the talent in this draft).


Aaron Robinson, Through the Lens of Our CB Scouting Algorithm:

 -- Final two seasons of college play (solo tackles per game)…

3.1 = Robinson

2.2 = Surtain

2..1 = Horn

1.9 = Farley

 -- Robinson allowed a 56.3% completion percentage against press coverage (per PFF stat I saw free, online/public in my research). In my games I tracked him, against his toughest opponents – I show right around 50% (and catches he gives up are usually the defense eased up situationally). 

We have actual/real Senior Bowl H/W measurements here: 5’11.4”/190, about an inch smaller and 10+ pounds lighter than the big-3 CB prospects. 

Robinson also measured with 30.0” arms, which is not ideal…but his wingspan was 74.0”, which is OK/slightly below average for what you’d want in a corner. 

8.75” hands are small, which means he won’t likely lead the league in picks…but his game/gift is coverage not turnovers. 

The ‘slightly smaller (everything)’ Senior Bowl measurements ‘hurt’ Robinson in our profile and computer models, and with the NFL. Not that they are damning…just suboptimal. It costs him a about a grade (from A to B levels) as an outside corner but is not much of an issue as a slot corner.

The Historical CB Prospects to Whom Aaron Robinson Most Compares Within Our System:

That’s a good group of comps, albeit embarrassing because they are mostly lower graded CB prospects by us (that wound up good+ NFL corners). Our computer models has things against height and CB prospects, sometimes too much so when they are tracking great in coverage but have other physical flaws. If Robinson is a star, we might need to tweak this formula/algorithm even more. 

Robinson as a next Trufant-Hayward-Haden type would be a really sweet career. 

CB Grade



Draft Yr





Cover Rating

Speed Metrics

Agility Metric

Tackle Metric





C. Florida




























































La Tech












Notre Dame








*The ratings are based on a 1–10 rating scale, but a prospect can score over 10.0+ and less than 0.0

OVERALL RATING -- We merge the data from physical measurables, skill times/counts from the NFL Combine/Pro Days, with college performance data available on pass coverage/tackles, etc. and grade it compared to our database history of all college CBs, with a focus on which CBs went on to be good-great-elite in the NFL. We found characteristics/data points that the successful NFL CBs had in common in college, that most other CB prospects could not match/achieve.

Scoring with a rating over a 7.00+ in our system is where we start to take a CB prospect more seriously. Most of the future NFL successful college CBs scored 8.00+, and most of the NFL superior CBs pushed scores more in the 9.00+ levels...and future NFL busts will sneak in there from time to time. 10.00+ is where most of the elite NFL CBs tend to score in our system analysis.

COVERAGE -- A combination of on-field data/performance and physical profile data

SPEED -- Measurables from a perspective of straight-line speed, burst, etc.

AGILITY -- Measurables for lateral movements, quick cuts, body type, speed, etc. 

POWER -- A look at physical size, tackling productivity in college, other physical measurables. One of the side benefits/intentions here, is to see which CBs may be more of a model for a conversion to playing safety successfully in the NFL. Also denotes CBs who are more physical/will have higher tackle totals...over pure speed/coverage CBs.

2021 NFL Draft Outlook:

You can find Robinson as a 1st-round prospect for some analysts, and all the way down to 3rd-round for others. I suspect he’ll go late 1st-round (2nd-round if his background checks are squishy), and then once again having a high draft pick is a total waste of energy as the good teams get ‘gooder’ by nabbing NON-Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State guys who are great at their position…and getting them at a cheaper price. 

If I were an NFL GM, I suspect Robinson would be in my top 10 consideration…high enough thought of for me to trade up to make sure I get him. If his deeper background check was OK, I’d say he’s a top 10 talent for this draft – a unique specimen, someone elite at a ‘thing’ they do (pure coverage). There are better body profiles/40-times, but there are not better cover guys in this draft, I suspect. 

NFL Outlook:   

Starts for an NFL team in the slot Week 1 and is a shutdown slot corner and fantasy projections have to be adjusted for the slot WR facing him – that’s how good, valuable he can be.