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Updated: April 27th, 2012 8:24pm
Vikings' pick at No. 66: Central Florida cornerback Josh Robinson

Vikings' pick at No. 66: Central Florida cornerback Josh Robinson

by Tom Pelissero
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The Minnesota Vikings continued to address their secondary in the third round of the NFL Draft, using the No. 66 overall draft pick on Central Florida cornerback Josh Robinson.

A small-framed cornerback known for his speed, Johnson (5-10 1/8, 199 pounds) ran the fastest 40-yard dash at the NFL scouting combine, clocking in at 4.32 seconds.

"When you look at his tape he has some unique cover skills," Vikings general manager Rick Spielman said. "He's more than willing enough to come up in support. Just like with most of the juniors, they're going to have some flaws that can get corrected with coaching. (But there is) just tremendous upside with Josh.

" ... His athletic skillset and when you watch on tape and watch his feet and watch his cover-ability and some of the plays that he does make on tape really stand out because of those unique athletic traits."

Robinson played in 38 games and started 35 over three seasons at Central Florida, recording 176 tackles (138 solo), 10 interceptions and 36 pass break-ups. Robinson also contributed on punt returns, averaging 13.15 yards on 27 chances.

Robinson showed no lack of confidence when asked why he came out of school early.

"My primary motivation was that I could get it done, that I had the ability to be a shutdown corner, one of the best corners to play the game," he said. "So, that's something that really motivated me to want to pursue this career and try to accomplish my goals."

Spielman said that Robinson has the ability to play both on the outside and against the slot receiver because of his size. The Vikings also took a cornerback in last year's draft, selecting Utah's Brandon Burton in the fifth round.

"We really stressed in our meetings this year on, is this guy a willing tackler?" Spielman said. "Is he able to do the things that we need to do on defense? And one of the things we really wanted to hone in on was our scouts and coaches all being on the same page.

"So, as we watched this tape, and especially we went through the DBs, both in coverage and his ability to (run) support, and we got on the same page as far as everybody agreed this kid was more than willing enough to come up and hit you."

Asked about speaking to the Vikings at the combine, Robinson said: "They seemed like they liked me then. I'm just thankful that they did draft me, to give me that opportunity to prove to the world that I can get it done, that I come from a great school that's really prepared me to face anything, any team, any program, especially playing under coach George O'Leary."

The pick ended a long wait on the draft's second day for the Vikings, who traded their second-round pick and a fourth-rounder on Thursday to get back into the first round and select Notre Dame safety Harrison Smith at No. 29.

Barring another trade to get back into the third round, they were scheduled to have nine picks in the fourth round on Saturday.

The numbers

• 40-yard dash: 4.29 seconds.
• 10-yard dash: 1.48 seconds.
• 20-yard dash: 2.44 seconds.
• 20-yard shuttle: 3.97 seconds.
• 60-yard shuttle: 11.65 seconds.
• 3-cone drill: 6.55 seconds.
• Vertical jump: 38½ inches.
• Broad jump: 11 feet, 1 inch.
• Bench press: 17 reps of 225 pounds.
• Arm length: 31¼ inches.
• Hands: 9¼ inches.
• Wingspan: 74 inches.

The tape

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for He hosts from 6 to 8 p.m. weeknights and co-hosts from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
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In this story: Brandon Burton