During Saturday’s fourth round of the NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers used their pick to draft LSU cornerback Rashard Robinson, making him the sixth player they’ve selected at the position since 2014.
However, Robinson did not play for the Tigers during the 2015 season due to a series of off-the-field incidents.
In 2014, the 6-foot-1, 171-pounder, was suspended at the beginning of the season because of a failed drug test. It was his sophomore season, and after six games, Robinson was suspended indefinitely for failing to meet academic requirements. He never returned to the team after the suspension. He missed one semester, and re-enrolled at LSU last year. But in June, Robinson was arrested for unauthorized entry into the apartment of Tigers quarterback Anthony Jennings. Robinson said the case was dismissed and his record was expunged.
He ultimately moved back home to Florida and enrolled at Broward College with the hopes of playing football; he did not have enough credits to be eligible.
After the sagas of Aldon Smith, Ray McDonald and others, should Robinson be regarded as a character risk for newly minted head coach Chip Kelly’s locker room?
“No sir,” Robinson said on a media conference call. “I had things come up in the past. I learned from mistakes in the past, just missing this whole season and everything; just learning from them, trying to progress and become better as a man.”
Robinson also said he had not expected to be selected so early in the draft.
“It was a shocker,” he said. “It was unexpected.”
He met with the 49ers during February’s NFL Scouting Combine, however, he spent the majority of his time chatting with the team’s pastor Earl Smith. The two met for lunch last week in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
“It was a great meeting,” Robinson said. “We sat down and we related about a lot of things. We just sat down and I was hearing his story, and he was listening to mine. It was a good feeling.”
For his career, Robinson recorded 33 tackles, four pass break-ups and one interception in two seasons with the Tigers. He played in 20 games and made eight starts.
David Barclay is the 49ers Insider for byteclay.com. He is a member of the Professional Football Writers of America. Email, firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter, @DJamesIII