The 2020-21 regular season is in the books for the Trail Blazers and the 2021 NBA Draft is only a day away. For the first time since 2016, the Blazers are set to enter draft night without a selection. However, that doesn’t mean that President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey will sit on the sidelines during the process.
Today’s profile looks at Villanova forward Jeremiah Robinson-Earl. During his two-year run with the Wildcats, Robinson-Earl frequently showcased a modern NBA skill set.
- Height: 6’9”
- WT: 242
- Wingspan: 6’10”
- Shooting Hand: Right
- Position: PF
- Age: 20
- Projected draft range: 28-38
- PTS: 15.7 | Per 40: 18.2
- REB: 8.5 | Per 40: 9.8
- AST: 2.2 | Per 40: 2.6
- STL: 1.0 | Per 40: 1.1
- FG%: 49.7
- 3P%: 28.0
- FT%: 71.4
Robinson-Earl’s headlining attributes are tied to his superb court vision and feel for the game on both ends of the floor. On defense, he slides perfectly from one-on-one matchups to passing lanes. He utilizes a textbook stance to cut off angles to the rim and stay in front of quicker opponents. Due to his size and fundamentals, Robinson-Earl picked up multiple defensive assignments during his second year at Villanova. Robinson-Earl is an effective shot blocker and he avoids fouls by staying vertical.
Offensively, Robinson-Earl’s vision is just as impressive. He scans the floor for advantages and he is a stellar roll man in pick-and-roll situations. Once he receives the ball on the roll, he is an accurate secondary passer and solid finisher at the rim. Robinson-Earl’s fundamentals shine in the paint. He keeps the ball high and secure before finishing at the rim. In the open floor, he can create quick opportunities by bringing the ball up the court after securing a defensive rebound.
A quick glance at Robinson-Earl’s numbers from last season reveals that he is far from efficient from distance. He took a noticeable step back in accuracy as a sophomore, which raises concerns about his role as a modern forward in the NBA. Along with his outside shooting, Robinson-Earl does not create for himself off the dribble. His pull-up game is underdeveloped at this time.
Athletically, Robinson-Earl relies on his fundamentals in matchups against smaller opponents. He is not an elite athlete and that could limit his versatility at the next level.
Robinson-Earl followed up his Big East Rookie of the Year campaign by securing Big East Player of the Year honors in his second season with the Wildcats. In the NCAA Tournament, he recorded a combined 40 points in Villanova’s two victories. In the Sweet 16, he produced eight points in a loss to Baylor.
Robinson-Earl fits the bill of a prospect that is poised to earn minutes early in his NBA career. His feel for the game gives him a distinct advantage over several of his peers. Robinson-Earl’s lack of shooting and top-end athleticism does lower his ceiling, though. Moving forward, he has the potential to log minutes as a small-ball five. That avenue could boost his list of suitors on draft night.
You can never have too many players with superb vision and feel for the game. Robinson-Earl plays to his strengths, limits turnovers and is actively engaged on defense. Those three attributes should pique the Blazers’ interest. He is a near-perfect understudy for Robert Covington on the defensive end. From a spacing standpoint, Robinson-Earl did shoot a serviceable 37.1 percent on his corner three-pointers.
Robinson-Earl could be just out of reach for the Blazers. The former Villanova standout could easily sneak into the first round.