RICHMOND — At 5-feet-10 and standing still, Aldrick Robinson doesn’t exactly jump out from a crowd.
But suited up on the football field, the fourth-year wide receiver erupts as one of the more explosive players on the Redskins’ roster — a significant downfield threat who has made five catches of more than 40 yards the last two seasons.
It’s not just the former track star’s raw speed that jumps out; it’s also his leaping ability, which, in a quarterback’s eyes, makes him a bigger target than he actually is.
“I have hops,” Robinson said with a smile, asked about his vertical jump. “That’s what they call it. I have hops.”
That’s what enabled Robinson, 25, among a dozen wide receivers jockeying for limited spots on the 53-man roster, to reel in a lofting ball thrown by Robert Griffin III on third-and-10 from New England’s 16 in last week’s preseason opener.
It was a terrific catch in the back of the right end zone, but it wasn’t ruled a touchdown because Robinson put a hand down out of bounds a split-second before getting both feet in.
“He gave me an opportunity,” Robinson said of Griffin. “I went up, and I made my best effort. Unfortunately I put my hand down before I put my other foot down. It was a difficult catch, but you’ve got to make those.”
Griffin offered nothing but praise after the team returned to camp.
“He has been a guy that has popped off the screen when you turn on the practice tape and game tape,” Griffin said of Robinson, who caught a 10-yard touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins on the next series.
Robinson, who got the start against New England with DeSean Jackson (ankle) and Pierre Garcon (hamstring) nursing injuries, finished with three catches for a team-high 45 yards.
“I thought Aldrick did a great job,” Griffin added. “He was a finger away from a second touchdown. Other than that, he had an A-plus performance in the game. We were all pleased with that.”
Despite the fierce competition at his position, Robinson said the receivers “have a nice vibe together.” When the team signed Jackson in the off-season, it was Robinson who surrendered his No. 11 jersey to the Pro Bowl free agent, switching to No. 15.
“We all can make plays; we’re all dynamic,” Robinson said. “The competition is high. At the end of the day, it’s an individual effort on the field. Collectively, we’re still friends. When we’re off the field, we’re always together.”