Allen Robinson said Friday he understands being underrated. Dave Caldwell, general manager of the Jacksonville Jaguars, said he didn't underestimate the Penn State receiver at all.
The Jaguars continued their offensive overhaul at the NFL Draft on Friday, selecting Robinson in the second round with the 61st pick overall. The Jaguars traded third- and fifth-round picks to the San Francisco 49ers to select Robinson, the two-time Big Ten receiver of the year.
Robinson joined Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles and USC receiver Marquise Lee in the Jaguars' first three picks of the draft. Jacksonville clearly intended to upgrade an offense that averaged an NFL-low 15.4 points per game last year.
"He was one of our favorites from the beginning," Caldwell said of Robinson. "We had him behind Lee on the board. They were neck-and-neck. We could not imagine going back-to-back with receivers. We didn't think we'd have the opportunity to do it."
Robinson is the first Penn State receiver drafted since Derrick Williams and Deon Butler in 2009. He is the Penn State receiver drafted highest since Bryant Johnson went in the 2003 first round.
Robinson, who caught 97 passes last season, said on a conference call that he is accustomed to being underrated. He said he received only a few scholarship offers in high school and stuck with Penn State when the team stuck with him.
"Without Penn State," Robinson said, "I wouldn't have the opportunity to be here."
Caldwell said he interviewed Robinson at the NFL Combine and was impressed with the receiver's work ethic, competitiveness and grounded nature. He also praised Robinson's ability to catch jump balls and gain yards after the catch. Robinson averaged 14.8 yards per reception.
"[Robinson] brings another element to our offense," Caldwell said. "… And you can't find anybody at Penn State to say a negative word about him."
Jacksonville now has four former Nittany Lions on its roster. Robinson joins linebackers Paul Posluszny and Nate Stupar and center Matt Stankiewitch.
The Jaguars clearly sought to upgrade an offense that averaged an NFL-low 15.4 points per game last year. Jacksonville was one of only two teams (along with Tampa Bay) to average fewer than 300 yards per game.