Seahawks trade down, select WR Robinson at No. 9
KIRKLAND, Wash. (AP) -- There's no question about Koren Robinson's physical ability. It's his maturity and work ethic that have been the major questions.
At North Carolina State, Robinson played 22 games in two seasons before entering the NFL draft. The Seattle Seahawks used the first of their two first-round draft choices Saturday to choose him -- to become the big-play wide receiver they didn't have.
"I know there is a lot of issues about my character and my maturity, but I am only 21 and I am learning day to day," Robinson said.
He spent three years at North Carolina State, redshirting in his freshman year. He left college with two years eligibility remaining.
He didn't like to go to class and North Carolina coach Chuck Amato used to call Robinson's mother, Suzette Sims, when he got in trouble. One of those conference calls lasted two hours.
Amato suspended him for parts of three difference games for being late to meetings or missing classes.
"I don't feel like I have any character issues," Robinson said in a telephone interview Saturday. "I am a good person. You ask anybody that knows me, they are not going to say that Koren is a bad kid. They are not going to say that he is a bad person. I am a nice person."
Robinson is a nice receiver, too. At 6-foot-1 1/2 and 202 pounds, he is expected to become a starter along with Darrell Jackson, who led NFL rookies with 53 catches, 713 receiving yards and six touchdowns last season.
Seattle head coach Mike Holmgren thinks Robinson will easily overcome his reputation.
"As far as his person goes, how he conducts himself, I think he is pretty normal," he said. "At least that's the feeling I got. I don't think school and going to class was real important.
"To me, Koren is not a gamble."
Robinson will give new Seahawks starting quarterback Matt Hasselbeck the big-play receiver the team did not have last season. As a college sophomore, he caught 62 passes for 1,061 yards and 12 touchdowns.
"Koren is an explosive receiver," Holmgren said. "He has good size, he has a great ability to get off of bump coverage at the line of scrimmage, which is a big transition from college football to professional football."
The Seahawks like Robinson's potential. At South Point (N.C.) High School, he was a tailback. So he's been a receiver for only two seasons.
"He is just a pup when it comes to playing the position," Holmgren said.
Robinson's speed has been questioned because he was timed between 4.59 and 4.63 seconds in a 40-yard dash in a workout for scouts. His hamstring was bothering him.
"I have been clocked from a 4.33 to a 4.38," he said. "The 40 times of 4.5 or 4.6, those are not accurate at all."
Because his hamstring still is sore, Robinson won't be able to take part in Seattle's minicamp April 4-6.
The Seahawks drafted Robinson although they know he has diminished vision in one eye. They had his eyes checked out.
"There was the feeling that he has had this condition since he was a little guy," Holmgren said. "If anything, he has learned to deal with it."