After a productive two years at Villanova, 6’9 forward Jeremiah Robinson-Earl enters the 2021 draft as a solid all-round wing. Robinson-Earl had a nice season averaging 15.7 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 2.5 assists, displaying a number of translatable skills at the next level. He is projected to go in the second round but could sneak into a late first position for a contender.
Let’s take a look.
2021 NBA Draft Profile: Villanova Forward Jeremiah Robinson-Earl
Jeremiah Robinson-Earl was a five-star recruit out of high school, receiving offers from Arizona, Kansas, North Carolina, Notre Dame, and Villanova. The young forward elected to go to Villanova where he spent two years at college.
As a freshman, Robinson-Earl made an impression as a high IQ, defensive-minded forward who could do a bit of everything. In 31 games, he averaged 10.5 points and 9.4 rebounds in 31 minutes per game and was subsequently named the Big East Freshman of the Year. He declared for the 2020 draft but changed his mind, returning to boost his draft stock in 2021.
His sophomore season started off with a bang, scoring a career-high 28 points in the win over Arizona State. However, he would experience inconsistency throughout the season, especially with his jumper but remained fundamentally sound on defense.
In the NCAA tournament, Robinson-Earl played extremely well averaging 18.5 points and nine rebounds on 57 percent shooting. Villanova was knocked out by Baylor 62-51 in the Sweet 16 round.
Robinson-Earl declared for the 2021 Draft.
One of his biggest strengths is his IQ and understanding of angles on defense. He was a tremendous help defender at Villanova, making instinctual plays to cover teammate’s mistakes and missed coverages. Robinson-Earl uses his solid fundamentals to make up for his lack of athletic ability, stone-walling drives, and cutting off driving lanes.
In pick-and-roll situations, Robinson-Earl is aggressive at the point of attack. He will aggressively pursue primary handlers seeking mismatches, a favorable trait at the next level. NBA team’s attack mismatches but Robinson-Earl blows up these actions with his ball pressure. He has a great defensive technique and solid fundamentals and will be effective in blitzing defensive schemes.
Rolling to the Hoop and Passing From the Post
Robinson-Earl did a great job as a roller at Villanova, finishing an impressive 67 percent of his shots. He is a silky, smooth athlete that has a soft touch and can finish with both hands. Robinson-Earl also possesses soft hands and can catch the ball on the move at full speed.
The most intriguing part of his offensive game is his ability to find open shooters from the post. Robinson-Earl has tremendous patience and wasn’t influenced by defensive pressure. He regularly made high-level reads and made some excellent cross-court passes to the corners for three’s.
Teams are starting to play more from the post and sought-out corner threes. This makes him an interesting prospect as a secondary playmaker.
His greatest weakness is his perimeter shooting. Robinson-Earl shot just 28% from three with some of his misses being way off. While he did make 41.7% of his catch and shoot opportunities, Robinson-Earl needed to be wide-open. He struggled mightily when sped-up or with hands in his face. Villanova tried to use him as a pick and pop threat but the results were mixed due to his inconsistency under duress.
Right now, he is just a set shooter and needs a ton of room to shoot.
Robinson-Earl made his mark as a defender leaning on his defensive IQ and beating his man to spots. However, if he is not able to do so, the forward struggles to contain his defensive assignment due to his lack of lateral foot speed.
Players who excel cutting off the ball are tough matchups for Robinson-Earl who simply can’t recover. He was able to mask this in college but the NBA is another level. Robinson-Earl will need to keep his head on swivel, be mindful of space and avoid ball watching.
NBA Player Comparison
Robinson-Earl carries a lot of the same abilities as David West. Both players are a bit undersized for the post but very physical and quick. Both have a decent midrange game and can do a lot of different things on the court. However, Robinson-Earl is much more athletic which makes him a better defender. Robinson-Earl should have a long NBA career if he follows a similar path.
NBA Draft Projection: 35-45
Every NBA team is looking for high-IQ players who play on both sides of the ball. Robinson-Earl can fill a number of roles and appears to be a swiss army knife-type prospect. Ultimately, it all comes down to his shot.
If he finds consistency from the perimeter, he’ll be a solid pro for any team that drafts him.
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