An Anonymous NFL Scout Breaks Down Denard Robinson's First Pitch at Comerica Park

By Jeff Beck on April 11, 2013 at 12:00p

As many of you know, on Tuesday Denard Robinson had the esteemed privilege of throwing out the first pitch for the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park.

Undoubtedly, Robinson – who continues to state his desire to play QB in the NFL – wanted to showcase his arm strength, velocity and accuracy.

Allegedly, his inner circle advised against it. They felt he had shown enough over the course of his college career, and honestly who could blame them?

For the past four years, Shoelace has been adept at...

Throwing to wide-open receivers:

Hitting players in stride for touchdowns:

And etching his name in the Michigan record books:

"With four picks Saturday, Robinson becomes Michigan's career leader with 38 interceptions, moving by career passing yards leader Chad Henne for first place all-time in a rather unceremonious category. The four interceptions were a career-high, and considering he's tossed at least one pick in 14 of his last 17 games, Robinson may put some serious distance between himself and second place here."

So, when the call came in from the bullpen, it was a bit of a surprise that the three-time September Heisman winner opted to throw. Maybe it was to remind ESPN of that pesky “WR” typo on their player profile page.

Well remind them he did. Hit it, Shoelace:

Man, was that a thing of beauty. Got it there in one hop. Caught the outside corner of the plate and everything!

Like you, we began to wonder what impact – if any – that throw would have on Denard's draft stock. Would it help Robinson prove to NFL general managers, once and for all, that he was capable of playing quarterback at the next level?

11W was lucky enough to speak with one of the scouts who witnessed the throw firsthand. Below is a brief Q&A with said scout who asked not to be named for fear of giving away his team’s sixth-round draft strategy.

11W: What were you expecting out of Denard on Tuesday?

Scout: Well, to be completely honest we were really excited to see Denard run the ball as fast as he could to the catcher, possibly juking once or twice along the way. We weren’t actually expecting the ball to physically leave his hands unless he dropped it.

11W: So what was your reaction when Robinson tossed it?

Scout: Honestly, it was fear. 

11W: Fear? Why is that?

Scout: Well I was on the field and one thing I’ve learned from the tape is that when a ball is chucked by Robinson there’s no telling where it will go. Granted I was behind him, but still, the fear of being beaned by an arm punt was palpable

11W: Ah, the legendary Denard arm punt.

Scout: Yes. The official word is that he closes his eyes upon every release, opens them, then attempts to smile the ball into a receiver’s hands. It’s unconventional at best, but against some Big Ten defenses it was successful.

Yes. The official word is that he closes his eyes upon every release, opens them, then attempts to smile the ball into a receiver’s hands.

11W: So what did you think of the throw?

Scout: I thought the throw was right on target. It’s hard to see it in the video, but Robinson actually put the ball where it needed to be. It's on home plate for not making an adjustment, breaking on the ball and then battling a defender for the catch.

11W: So, with an arm like that, what is he capable of?

Scout: Well, I think he’s got a future doing anything that requires tossing something a short distance. I know for a fact professional Jacks leagues are already banging down his door. It's not hard to see Robinson transitioning into a casino dealer after his playing days are over, either.

11W: So, does Denard Robinson have a future at quarterback in the NFL?

Scout: Well, that depends on what you're looking for out of a quarterback. If you're looking for a guy to come in and run the ball, connect on shovel passes and underthrow deep balls into coverage – which can confuse even the best corners – then, Robinson is worth taking a flyer on.

11W: Thanks for your time.

Scout: You got it.

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