ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) — Denard Robinson’s wait for a new employer stretched to the final day of the NFL draft, but the former Michigan standout didn’t have to wait long.
The Jacksonville Jaguars selected him early in Saturday’s fifth round with the 135th overall pick and plan to use him as a running back and kick returner.
“They can put me in at receiver or running back or whatever,” he said in an interview posted on the team’s website. “There’s a lot of different positions so I’m excited about doing that.”
He was a quarterback in former Wolverines coach Rich Rodriguez’s spread system but shifted to other skill positions during his senior season after an injury and the emergence of passer Devin Gardner. Jacksonville had one of the league’s worst offenses last season but new general manager Dave Caldwell and head coach Gus Bradley seemed mostly intent on finding players to augment the secondary in the later rounds of the draft.
Robinson started 35 games at quarterback for the Wolverines and set an NCAA record for career rushing yards (4,495) by a signal-caller.
He was the first Wolverines player taken in the draft and didn’t hear his name until three Michigan State players were selected.
Michigan State tight end Dion Sims went to Miami with the ninth pick of the fourth round and teammate William Gholston, a defensive end, went 20 spots later. Both were juniors. Running back Le’Veon Bell went to Pittsburgh in the second round.
Sims was prized for his blocking abilities in the passing game while Gholston likely dropped farther than he would have had he left East Lansing after his sophomore year, which ended with raves after a strong performance in a Capital One Bowl victory over Georgia.
The New York Jets drafted Michigan defensive tackle William Campbell midway through the sixth round and Grand Valley State receiver Charles Johnson was taken by Green Bay early in the seventh.
Michigan State cornerback Johnny Adams was the most prominent player from a state school to go undrafted. Spartans placekicker Dan Conroy and defensive tackle Anthony Rashad White also will have to seek free-agent contracts with teams.
Michigan guard Patrick Omameh also went undrafted, as did linebacker Kenny Demens, defensive end Craig Roh and safety Jordan Kovacs.
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