From now until the 2020 NFL Draft takes place, we hope to showcase as many prospects as possible and examine both their strengths and weaknesses. Most of these profiles will feature individuals that the Pittsburgh Steelers are likely to have an interest in, while a few others will be top-ranked players. If there is a player you would like us to analyze, let us know in the comments below.
#21 Amik Robertson/CB Louisiana Tech- 5’8” 187
- Shows elite patience and aggression in his press, giving receivers fits at the line with a mix of aggressive hand usage and quick feet to mirror the release
- Shows great eye discipline down the field, pinning receivers to the sideline, locating the football and showing elite jumping ability while highpointing over much taller receivers
- Elite ball production, finishing his career with 14 interceptions and 34 PBUs, taking 3 back to the crib in his career
- Played a variety of different zone coverages, particularly adept squatting in shallow zones, disguising the coverage before aggressively driving on routes with click and close speed
- Fluid in his backpedal, does well to quickly and fluidly drive on routes out of breaks, undercutting short and intermediate routes with relative ease
- Twitchy athlete, shows good hip mobility transitioning and running on deep routes
- Extremely versatile, playing both to the boundary and field, as well as getting more extensive work in the slot in 2019
- An absolute playmaker, keeps his eyes active at all times, oftentimes reading the quarterback’s eyes and leaving his assignment to steal picks
- An asset on the edge as a tackler, beating blocks with speed and putting ball carriers down with violence
- Shows the traits to be an effective blitzer off the edge with 23 TFL and 4 sacks
- Can struggle to get off blocks when he allows bigger receivers to engage
- Sometimes can become overzealous jumping short patterns in shallow zones, opening up throwing lanes behind him
- Obvious size deficiency presents questions about his ability to survive as an outside corner at the NFL level
- Started all 36 games during his 3 year career at Louisiana Tech
- 184 tackles 23 TFL 4 sacks 14 INTs 34 PD 2 FF 3 TDs
- 2019: 60 tackles 8 TFL 1 sack 5 INTs 16 PD 2 TD 1 FF 1 FR
- 2019 2nd team All-American, 1st team conference USA 2019/2018, 2nd team conference USA/Freshman All-American in 2017
- Led the NCAA in PDs in 2019 as a Junior with 16
- Recorded 2 blocked kicks as a junior
- Named DXL Frisco Bowl player of the game as a freshman in 2017
- Lettered in football and track at Thibodaux High School in Louisiana
Amik Robertson remains one of the best kept secrets of this year’s draft pool at the cornerback position, due largely to limitations in size and stature. Don’t let his size fool you though, Robertson plays with junkyard dog recklessness and swagger, drawing comparisons to his childhood hero, Chiefs DB Tyrann “Honey Badger” Mathieu. He possesses great instincts, elite tackling ability and aggressiveness, as well as the position versatility to serve a variety of roles in an NFL defense.
Despite his 5’8” stature, Robertson possesses one of the most complete press coverage skill sets in this year’s draft class. Although he is almost always giving up height and length, Robertson is able to get into the body of larger receivers, disrupting their release and timing off the line. Robertson repeatedly toyed with Southern Miss receivers throughout the game, here opting for a patient “mirror press” technique, before skying a game winning interception, his third on the day. For those who want to complain about small school competition, here Robertson manhandles a Texas receiver off the line, surprising him with an aggressive jump jam, and never letting him release off the line for the PBU.
Robertson relied on elite instincts and route recognition to routinely create splash plays for the Bulldogs. Here, against Southern Miss, Robertson lines up in a press alignment with outside leverage, mirroring the receivers inside release before seamlessly recognizing and undercutting the post for a game changing pick in overtime. Revealing more weapons in his coverage arsenal, here against UTSA Robertson gives the allusion of press coverage, before bailing into his deep 3rd zone at the snap, squeezing off the receiver and showing off his vertical for another impressive interception. Once again mixing up his technique, Robertson fakes a jump jam before sealing the UTSA receiver off to the sideline and highpointing the football for a PBU.
An undervalued aspect of the modern cornerback position, run defense on the edge, which can help shut down opposing teams outside run games, further adds to Robertson’s value, whether in the slot or on the outside. Here against FAU, Robertson perfectly executes a “crack and replace”, following his keys and quickly diagnosing the read option, taking the qb down in the backfield for a TFL. Even more impressive, against UAB, Robertson blitzes from the boundary, shedding a reach block from the tight end and tackling the sweep for a minimal gain.
One of the best aspects of Robertson’s game is his ability to thrive in underneath zones. Here, playing his cover 2 assignment out a press alignment, Robertson bails at the snap before instantly diagnosing the screen, flying out of his break and putting the back down for no gain with a devastating hit.
Robertson also displayed the ability to create havoc as a blitzer both out of the slot and on the boundary, with 4 sacks in his career. Here out of the slot, Robertson fakes outside before flying through the open B gap for a quick sack.
When Robertson isn’t able to quickly diagnose and beat blocks with speed, he can get overpowered by larger framed receivers. Here Robertson gets a late read on the screen, allowing the Texas receiver to get into his body and drive him into the end zone for an easy walk in touchdown.
Robertson is a potential steal for a team selecting in the middle rounds who is willing to overlook clear size deficiencies and look toward the versatility and impact he can provide. Robertson has the toughness and versatility to help a team early as a dime and slot defender, in addition to the necessary press coverage tools to bump outside and provide snaps at boundary cornerback. I’ve been seeing a ton of Mathieu comparisons, but I see a lot of former Buccaneers star Ronde Barber in his game. Both undersized players, Robertson provides a similar impact as a playmaker, with the versatility to operate out of a wide array of coverages, as well as the ability to wreak havoc as a blitzer and tackler on the edge. As Joe Haden ages and Mike Hilton’s future remains uncertain past 2020, Robertson could provide a great opportunity to aid in replacing both players with one selection.
Projection: Early Day Three
Games Watched: at Texas(2019), at LSU(2018), vs FIU(2019), vs Grambling State(2019), at FAU(2018)