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Denard Robinson eager to prove worth at NFL combine

INDIANAPOLIS -- Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson won't throw at the NFL Scouting Combine, he announced Saturday. It'll be all receiving and kick-returning duties as he aims to prove he can make a position change.

"Hopefully tomorrow I'll show them that I can catch the rock," Robinson said.

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Robinson arguably is the most intriguing prospect at the combine this year. He was one of the most dynamic players in the country during his career, setting the NCAA career rushing record for a quarterback with 4,495 yards. Robinson has rare speed, coupled with open-field elusiveness. (He's declined repeated requests to guess how fast he'll run the 40-yard dash Sunday.) Robinson could fill a Percy Harvin/Randall Cobb-type receiving role and might even have better speed than those two NFL standouts.

"I want to score every time I get the ball in my hands," said Robinson, who stayed true to his "Shoelace" nickname by sporting untied shoes while speaking at the podium.

The knock against Robinson is that he hasn't shown he consistently can catch the ball or run clean routes. He did not have a strong week at the Senior Bowl. To be fair, Robinson still is dealing with numbness in his right hand from nerve damage that prevented him from playing quarterback the final four games of his collegiate career. He said the hand still is an issue, and he didn't rule out eventual surgery.

Robinson specified a focus on running routes, getting out of his breaks quicker and attacking the ball in the air. He has studied film of quarterback-turned-receiver Antwaan Randle-El, who played nine seasons in the NFL.

"A lot of people gamble, don't you think? I think I'll be a pretty sure bet," Robinson said. "I don't think I'm a big risk. Anybody who watched film on me knows I can make plays. They know I won't be a risk when I get the ball in my hands."

Some teams have talked to Robinson about playing running back in situations but not on a full-time basis. He hasn't been asked to perform defensive back drills.

Robinson added he actually might throw the ball a little at Michigan's Pro Day.

Follow Kareem Copeland on Twitter @kareemcopeland.

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