With the excitement and slight awkwardness of a big-time award ceremony, the Texans signed their second and final first-round draft choice Saturday. In a neatly pressed suit, his agent and family by his side, cornerback Dunta Robinson smiled for the cameras and thanked nearly a dozen people who helped him along the way. Now he’s ready to get to work. “I wanted to be in camp on time because it’s very important to me learning,” Robinson said. “Over the years a lot of rookies have held out and once they get onto the football field things are kind of slow and they’re not being as productive as they should.”
Robinson signed five days before the team reports to training camp. The Texans signed another first-round pick, linebacker Jason Babin, June 26. Babin was the 27 th pick. As of Saturday, Robinson – the 10 th overall pick in April’s draft – was the league’s highest pick to be signed. He was the second cornerback selected in the draft behind DeAngelo Hall (Atlanta). The rookie is expected to compete for a starting position with the Texans opposite veteran Aaron Glenn. Coaches have begun the process of moving last season’s starter at right cornerback, Marcus Coleman, to free safety.
Robinson and coaches can now turn their attention to developing the rookie’s game from college to pro. Robinson had 50 tackles and one interception last season at South Carolina. “From a coaching standpoint it’s always encouraging when you’re able to get your number one pick signed prior to training camp starting,” head coach Dom Capers said. “There’s nothing more frustrating to identify and be able to pick the guy you want with your number one pick and have him not be able to start training camp on time.”
Capers said he gets a good feeling when he enters meeting rooms and sees Glenn and Robinson talking. He smiles, knowing more than small talk is being traded. Glenn, a three-time Pro Bowler and 11-year veteran has plenty to teach the rookie. “Sometimes I see Aaron doing something and I’m like, ‘how did he do that,’” Robinson said. I see him make plays and it’s because he’s been here for so long. He understands the game. “
“When I came here I didn’t know there was as many tricks to the NFL game as there are. Talking to some of the (veterans), especially Marcus Coleman and Aaron Glenn, the guys who played my position, they’ve showed me some things. I still have a lot to learn but I’ve improved a lot since the first time I stepped on the practice field.”