49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

April 28, 2012
Round 6A: 49ers find safety depth with Trenton Robinson

In the fifth round, the 49ers found depth at outside linebacker. In the sixth, they filled out their safety position with Michigan State's Trenton Robinson, who likely will be penciled in at free safety behind Dashon Goldson. Goldson, of course, was given the franchise tag in February, which means he probably will be on a one-year deal this year.

Robinson also will be expected to play special teams. He's billed as an undersized safety -- 5-9 1/2, 193 pounds -- who has good coverage skills and who always seemed to be around the ball at Michigan State. He had 80 tackles, two pass break ups and four interceptions last year for the Spartans.

Robinson entered Michigan State as a cornerback. But the Spartans were deep at that position his freshman year and their starting safety was moving on the following year. So the coaching staff moved him to safety. Robinson was one of three team captains this past season, his second straight with four interceptions.

Asked if his size caused him to slip in the draft, Robinson said he wasn't sure. "No one said, 'You're 5-10, we're not thinking about drafting you,'" he said. It's worth noting there are several similarly-sized safeties in the league, including the 49ers' Donte Whitner and the Seahawks' Earl Thomas. Robinson drew comparison to former Colts safety Bob Sanders by ESPN commentators when the choice was made.

It's also worth noting that I had the 49ers picking Robinson -- in the sixth round, no less -- in our beatwriters 1-7 mock draft challenge. I can't wait to see my name emblazoned on the new press box in Santa Clara.

-- Matt Barrows



MATTHEW BARROWS

Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.

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