We've beaten the NFL draft topic to death, and we'll probably get a few more punches in on this dead horse before we know where our boys will be playing in their professional careers. Everyone pretty much understands that Jakeem Grant is very fast, Deandre Washington has crazy acceleration, and LeRaven Clark has a chance to be a real star in the league. That's why we're here to talk about a guy that has pretty much disappeared from the minds of the Red Raider faithful: Pete Robertson.
From the outside looking in, you could say that Pete had a down year. As a Junior, the man tallied 12.5 sacks without playing in a bowl game, good for best in the Big XII that year. Keep in mind, this is a Big XII with Shawn Oakman, Andrew Billings, Emmanuel Ogbah, Charles Tapper, and a TCU front that seems to be a never ending wave of pass rushing talent. Leading this league in sacks, especially against this caliber of Offensive Linemen and with the star power of the Defensive Linemen is a big deal. However, in Pete's Senior year, the man only tallied 5 sacks.
Minus the sacks, Pete Robertson's production was relatively similar to his dominating (when's the last time you heard that about a Texas Tech defensive player?) Junior year. As a Junior, he tallied 15.5 TFL. As a Senior, he gained 13.5. He had 37 solo tackles in 2014 as opposed to 39 in 2015. He dipped a little bit in all areas, but not to the point where he became an oversight. By many metrics, Pete Robertson played a heck of a season. So why is there no buzz about him? Was it the fact that he played on a very subpar defense? The colossal dip in sack production? The unwillingness to draft a guy with some of the greatest eye black concoctions of all time?
Pete might have not gotten the sack production people expected from him this season. He might not have made as big of a visual impact as one might think. This was not Pete Robertson's fault, but it was partially his choice. Per his role in the David Gibbs system, Pete spent much of this year covering the flats, or setting the edge of the defense for someone else to make the play. I could spend 5,000 words on how Pete Robertson has affected this defense, but it will inevitably get drowned out in "LOL WORST DEFENSE IN THE NATION" or "I DIDN'T SEE IT SO IT DIDN'T COUNT".
I'm not here with a bunch of cherry-picked, chopped up gifs that explain exactly how good Pete Robertson is. I just want to talk about his willingness to accept a smaller role for the benefit of the team as a whole. Let's be real; If Pete Robertson is in a different style of defense, he has the same production as he did in 2014. Pete accepted this, likely knowing he was going to take a dip in sacks, and that his draft stock might take a hit. Oh, and it did take a hit.
We're not the only ones who seem to have forgotten Pete. We here at VTM made a big fuss when Jakeem Grant wasn't invited to the combine. Well, neither was Pete. And we forgot about you too. Sorry, man. That's on us.
While we've forgotten about him, I dearly hope that NFL scouts haven't. I know he has the talent to succeed in the NFL. Everyone who's followed Texas Tech has seen it. His bull rush technique is top-notch. But any team that drafts Pete Robertson is going to get the biggest gift any coach can get.
He's going to get a man who's willing to take a backseat so that the team can shine instead of him. This is a phrase that gets thrown around a lot, but Pete Robertson is a team player. And in a league that's all about team play, I really hope that he finds a home.