Alton Robinson – DE (Syracuse)
at Florida State
Griffen is getting up there in age and he is likely going to be a free agent after this season. Minnesota would be smart to look for depth at the position and have his successor in-house before it is too late.
Alton Robinson out of Syracuse could be that guy. Robinson is a freak off the edge with length and speed that kills. He is a bit undeveloped as far as technique goes, but his potential is through the roof.
Robinson broke out in 2018 for the Orange as he racked up 10.0 sacks and 17.0 tackles for loss. He is a raw athlete with strong hands and a quick get-off at the line. He is also skilled across both full-man and half-man attacks – depending on where he lines up.
He is the perfect replacement for Griffen given his risk of jumping the snap early and getting a penalty. But when it works, it works quite well. He has added more of a swim move since arriving at Syracuse and he has the traits to be great in the NFL.
Unfortunately, there are some off-field concerns with Robinson that stem from an arrest that resulted in a felony robbery charge back in 2016. Robinson has seemingly cleaned up his act since then, but the concerns will always be present.
Florida State struggles with protecting the passer. The Seminoles have given up 24 sacks on this season, which ranks them 120th in the nation in sacks allowed. Robinson will finally get going in 2019 and re-insert his name as a top pass-rusher in the 2020 class.