Giants Rookie Wan’Dale Robinson Draws Comparisons to All-Pro Wide Receiver

Wan'Dale Robinson

Getty/ New York Giants wide receiver Wan'Dale Robinson is drawing lofty comparisons to Cooper Kupp.

The New York Giants need a spark on offense, and rookie wide receiver Wan’Dale Robinson may be able to provide one.

Robinson, a second-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft (43rd overall), started his collegiate career at Nebraska before transferring to Kentucky. According to Kentucky wide receivers coach Scott Woodward, the Wildcats lured Robinson to Lexington by promising him a role similar to the one All-Pro wide receiver Cooper Kupp plays with the Los Angeles Rams.

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Here’s what Woodward said about Robinson on the Giants Huddle podcast this week, via (emphasis added):

“When I got on staff here, the guys were saying, ‘Hey, we got a pretty good shot at landing this transfer, Wan’Dale. He’s from Kentucky.’ I threw on his Nebraska tape, and the thing that pops off right as you watch it is this man is special with the ball in his hands,” Kentucky WR coach Scott Woodward told the Giants Huddle podcast. “He would line up in the slot, at running back, all over the field. When Nebraska got the ball in his hands, special things happened. Coming from Nebraska and bringing him into our system, with Liam Coen who’s now the OC for the Los Angeles Rams, all you can kind of look at it and see is the Cooper Kupp comparison.

What the Rams would do with Cooper Kupp, that’s kind of what we sold him on. He came in here and obviously produced at a very high level, had 104 catches for over 1,300 yards… With him being such a guy who just loves football and can take it mentally and put it back on the field into what a great product he did, it was so easy to just get him the rock because we lined him up all over the place. But his mental aspect of the game is not as good as Cooper Kupp, but just very close to it. We threw a lot at him and he was able to handle all of it.”

Coming out of high school, Robinson was the No. 1 ranked all-purpose back in the nation at 247Sports. He struggled to break through at Nebraska, though, and transferred out after two seasons. In one season at Kentucky, Robinson caught 104 passes for 1,334 yards and seven touchdowns while also rushing seven times for 111 yards.

If the Giants want to get that level of production out of Robinson at the NFL level, they have to channel what the Rams do with Cooper Kupp.

Is Cooper Kupp a Realistic Comparison for Wan’Dale Robinson?

On the surface, Cooper Kupp seems like a crazy comparison. Kupp is coming off a season in which he led the NFL in receptions (145), receiving yards (1,947) and receiving touchdowns (16). In addition to being named first-team All-Pro, he was also the NFL Offensive Player of the Year and was MVP of Super Bowl LVI.

Comparisons don’t get much loftier than that.

But consider a few other factors for a moment. While Kupp has a significant size advantage, Robinson has the edge in draft position and NFL Combine measurements. Take a look at how they stack up on paper in the chart below.

Cooper Kupp Wan’Dale Robinson
6-2 Height 5-8
208 lbs. Weight 185 lbs.
Round 3 (69th overall) Draft Position Round 2 (43rd overall)
4.62 sec. 40-Yard Dash 4.44 sec.
116″ Broad Jump 118″
31.0″ Vertical Leap 34.5″

Liam Coen was Robinson’s offensive coordinator at Kentucky in 2021. He was an assistant wide receivers coach with the Rams from 2018-2019 and an assistant quarterbacks coach in 2020. Now, he’s back with the Rams as their offensive coordinator.

Coen has worked closely with Kupp over the years, and the factor that separates Kupp as a great NFL receiver has little to do with his physical ability — it’s his mental acuity.

“When Liam came here [to Kentucky], we would talk about how Cooper, how smart he was and how they could throw all this stuff at him and he could handle it all and understand defenses and understand concepts and the coverage and what’s going on, not just pre-snap but post-snap,” Scott Woodward told the Giants Huddle podcast, via “When you sit down and talk to Wan’Dale, since he’s been drafted or before he was drafted, all these scouts and coaches have always asked me, ‘What makes Wan’Dale so great?’ One thing, the kid is an absolute dog. That’s just on the field. But one thing that really makes him special is anything that I have ever said to that kid, he’s remembered.”

Can Wan’Dale Robinson Match Cooper Kupp’s Football IQ?

If football IQ is the factor that makes Cooper Kupp such a great NFL receiver, this is what we need to see from Wan’Dale Robinson to make the player comparison even remotely accurate.

That’s a level of analysis usually reserved for the league’s elite quarterbacks. If Robinson can get anywhere close to this level, then the Giants will have landed the steal of the draft in Round 2.

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