New York Jets

The Rollercoaster Career for Robby Anderson From Prep Star to the Pros: Talented and Challenged

Credit: Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Robby Anderson spent his high school days in Florida where he was a talented wide receiver. He was a three-star recruit coming out of Fort Lauderdale when he received his only Division 1 offer to the University of Temple. During his freshman year at Temple, he never saw the field and he barely got playing time his sophomore year, mostly due to poor academics. However, when Anderson got on the field his junior year, he had an amazing year, hauling in 44 passes for 791 yards and nine scores. After his third year at Temple, Anderson wanted to enter his name into the NFL Draft, yet he did not meet the academic requirements to leave school early. Because of this, if he wanted to pursue his dream of becoming an NFL player he would have to play another year of college football and return to school for his senior year.

Robby apparently spent more time in the books than he did working on his game to allow him to graduate, even though it seemed he only worked on football. During his senior year, Robby snagged 70 passes for 939 yards and seven touchdowns. Even so, Anderson was not invited to the NFL Combine, where they said they had the slowest wide receiver class in years. Anderson was known for his speed, and took this news as a great opportunity: he had one shot to prove to the scouts that he was ready for the NFL, and that was at the Temple pro day.

During his pro day, Anderson showcased his great speed running a 4.34 40-yard dash, yet he did not seem to have separation speed in game, and that was part of his weaknesses coming out of college along with being very inconsistent, you would see him catch insane passes in double coverage then drop three straight open targets. Due to Anderson’s inconsistency, being skinny as a rail, and his academic issues, Anderson’s phone did not ring on the first, second or third day of the NFL Draft.

However, Robby did receive an invite to come to the New York Jets training camp, where he performed well and ended up playing in preseason with three touchdowns. On the day of regular season cuts, it’s the complete opposite of draft day; no call is good. On the day where the final 53-man roster was supposed to be turned in, Anderson did not get a call from the Jets, which means he made the roster. At this point things are going pretty well for Robby. He had come back from being forced to play another year in college and not getting drafted to making the final roster. Yet things are not done for Robby Anderson he still has to fight and earn his spot on the field.

Robby worked hard enough to get on the field for his rookie season with the Jets and racked up 42 receptions for 587 yards and two touchdowns. This wasn’t the best season ever, but was good enough for the Jets to keep him around a second year. Yet, there was still two problems with Anderson: his inconsistency and his attitude. Yes, Anderson had 42 receptions, but he had 78 targets. This means Robby had only caught 53.8% of his passes, which was not good; it and was something he needed to work on in the offseason going into his second year. That other thing he needed to work on was his attitude. Time and time again you could see Anderson getting overly worked up, and he was known to have an ego about him. While this isn’t

unexpected from someone who had fought for everything up to this point. It’s practically a survival instinct; you need that king of “dog” in you to fight through everything. However, Anderson couldn’t turn it off, and that would ultimately be his biggest handicap.

Because he could not turn this attitude off, he was arrested in May of 2017 for shoving a police officer in Miami. This was not good at all for Robby’s career as he was not a good enough receiver to have the security of knowing that his term at the Jets would continue. Luckily, the Jets kept Anderson around for a second season where he had a career year and looked like a budding talent who would be in the league for a while.

Anderson ended his 2017 campaign with 941 yards and seven touchdowns on 63 receptions, establishing him as the go-to-receiver for the Jets and a really good young player witha very high ceiling. However, Anderson was targeted 114 times, and with only 63 receptions. This meant he hauled in 55.2% of his targets, which again was not a good percentage. This is not even top 100 in qualified players of all positions. The top wide receiver this season was Golden Tate of the Detroit Lions with a 76.7% — a crazy 21.5% better than Anderson. Sure he had a career year, but he failed to improve on his consistency.

Now just this week Anderson was arrested yet again, for the second time in a year. In this latest incident, he received nine charges and is facing two misdemeanors and two felonies, according to his police report. He reportedly passed an officer going 105 in a 45, reckless driving, threatening a public servant, ran two red lights and threatened to sexually harass the officer’s wife with words I’m not even going to say it’s so vulgar.

At this point, who knows what the future for Robby Anderson is. He has all the talent and has continued to be pushed down throughout his career from the academic problems at Temple and to both of his arrests. However, Anderson has skills and the potential to be great, provided he finds a way to stay out of trouble and turn his life around. Otherwise, who knows if he will stay on the Jets, or even a NFL team. One of the hardest things for an NFL team’s management is finding talent and then making sure they work well with others and is willing to do what it takes to get better and win a Super Bowl. I believe Anderson has the drive and talent to do so, yet I do not believe he has the maturity to do so.

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