Robert Herron – Wyoming
Age when drafted: 22
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Collegiate Number: 6
Combine notables: N/A
Games Viewed: 2012 – Texas, Colorado State, Boise State, San Diego State, UNLV
Robert Herron attended Dorsey High School in Los Angeles, California, where he starred on the football field and track. Herron doubled as a wide receiver and running back at Dorsey. As a senior, Herron caught 24 passes for 600 yards and 6 TD’s to go with 171 yards and 3 TD’s on the ground.
On the track, Herron posted personal best of 20.99 in the 200 and 10.50 in the 100.
Herron’s freshman season would be spent the same as his senior HS season – splitting time between running back and wide receiver. Herron rushed for 235 yards on 40 carries and caught 6 passes for 57 yards but failed to find the end zone in 2010.
Herron’s sophomore season would serve as a breakout season – catching 43 passes for 379 yards and 3 TD’s.
As a junior in 2012, Herron jumped onto the radar screens of NFL talent evaluators. Despite missing four games to injury, Herron posted eye-popping numbers and vertical speed that has some salivating at the possibilities. Herron grabbed 31 passes for 657 yards and 8 TD’s – a whopping 21.2 yards per reception.
At 5-foot-10, 187 pounds – Herron’s lack of size is going to be a concern for NFL talent evaluators as he’s missed games due to injury during his career. It’s likely that Herron has maxed out his frame – maybe he could push it into the 190-range – but he possesses solid musculature throughout his upper and lower half.
As an athlete they don’t get much better than Herron. His track speed and acceleration rival that of some of the game’s best. He’s likely to run in the 4.3’s at the Combine – adding to his intrigue. Herron isn’t Tavon Austin in terms of lateral quicks but is tough to bring down in the open field with his burst, ability to change speeds in a flash, and overall top-end speed.
WHAT HE DOES WELL:
Obviously we are talking about a dangerous vertical threat with 10.5 100 meter speed. That said, he converts that speed into being a true vertical threat with his ability to track the football with his eyes without having to slow up.
Herron’s vertical speed forces opponents to play off and forces defenders out of their backpedal earlier than most. That opens up his ability to break off his vertical stem and take easy yards/catches. Herron’s first step explosion makes it tough to press him in the least – just ask Kenny Vaccaro how that worked out. At the next level, he’s going to have to prove he can beat the jam – as teams will test his physicality.
Herron’s hands and concentration are impressive. He rarely drops a pass and made some really nice catches. Herron doesn’t let the ball inside and appears to have longer arms for his size – with a nice catching radius. Despite being a shorter receiver, Herron does an excellent job of high-pointing and climbing the ladder – nice vertical ability.
The potential for Herron to break out this season is great, if he can stay healthy. With junior QB Brett Smith at the helm – Herron’s best football is clearly ahead of him. This may be a case where Herron’s production at the next level far exceeds his collegiate production.
WHAT HE NEEDS TO WORK ON:
Herron has yet to show he can be a factor over the middle of the field in the intermediate game. He caught a lot of bubbles and vertical routes but rarely showed that he could threaten the middle of the field out of the slot – something that NFL teams will want to see from him.
Perhaps the least impressive aspect of Herron’s game was his spatial awareness. It could be a product of inexperience as he’s only played full-time at the receiver position for two seasons and it’s definitely a fixable issue. That said, too often Herron wasn’t aware of sidelines in his route and as he’s making the catch – leaving his quarterback with little room for error on the throw.
Herron has to prove he can be more than just a role player at the next level. I’d like to see him do the little things well this season. Too often, he rounded off routes or didn’t come back to the ball. Those are the differences that he needs to tighten up, if he wants to be more than a day three pick.
Maybe the biggest concern will be his ability to hold up from a durability standpoint. Herron has to show this season that he can play a full schedule and stay healthy.
Injuries and durability will be heavily monitored by NFL talent evaluators. Because of his frame, this will be a growing concern if he misses any time during his senior season.
Robert Herron has a role in the NFL. I just don’t know what it will be at this point. It starts with his ability to stay healthy and prove he has the durability to take on the wear and tear of an NFL season. If he can’t stay healthy this season, teams will red-flag him for durability concerns.
As an athlete, this kid has special field-stretching speed in the vertical game. While he doesn’t have great lateral quicks, he can make guys miss and has good hands to pair with his speed. His ability track the football in air, go up and get it, and secure the catch could have him rising into the day two vicinity. That said, he has to prove he can be a complete receiver – in terms of route running, come back down his stem to the ball, and a general awareness of where he’s at on the field. If he can do all those things this season, don’t be surprised if he’s a fast riser working his way into day two of May’s draft.