Is Jaxson Robinson deserving of a first-round pick?

Jaxson Robinson has been receiving some NBA draft buzz from his breakout 2023-24 season. Is it warranted?

Jaxon Robinson fires a 3 against Denver University
Jaxon Robinson fires a 3 against Denver University / Chris Gardner/GettyImages

When I was a younger man, I used to believe that the best players from my favorite teams were probably some of the best players on their level. I figured the star player from my high school was getting scholarship offers from all the best D1 schools, and after Jimmer, I thought that every good player from BYU was on a direct path to the NBA. With none of Eric Mika, TJ Haws, and Nick Emery became the NBA superstars I imagined, I had a serious reality check. Especially as the Cougars struggled to find success after the Jimmer years, I was forced to ask myself if I would ever see another Coug's name called in the NBA Draft again.

Enter Jaxson Robinson, a 6'6" forward with a 7'2" wingspan who is athletic enough to have significant upside, and shoots the ball well enough to grab the attention of NBA Scouts across the league. In a Sports Illustrated article written about Robinson, their draft staff describes the aspects of his game that have grabbed the attention of scouts:

"On ridiculous volume, Robinson has been one of the best 3-point shooters in the entire country this season. He has fantastic form that is repeatable and can rise above defenders with his size and release point. On any given night, he can knock down four of five triples and really be a catalyst for his team. Whether it’s in spot-up situations or creating for himself, Robinson can shoot in a variety of ways. He has decent vision for his position, but isn’t a primary or secondary facilitator. He also will need to prove he can rebound at a higher rate to round out his productivity."

Sports Illustrated
UCF v Brigham Young
Despite being a distraction for opposing players, this sign may be a distraction for Jaxson Robinson as well / Chris Gardner/GettyImages

Beyond his shooting capability, Robinson has flashed real defensive upside this season. In a win against Texas, he blocked 3 shots while still scoring 17 points on 8-for-11 shooting numbers. His output has been inconsistent at times, with a few duds sprinkled across the Cougars' first Big XII season. 2024 has been a breakout season, but he still needs to prove that he can produce consistently for his team--especially when they need him.

Robinson has been clutch in recent games against Kansas State and UCF, where his late-game heroics have saved the Cougars from their famous "let you back in" collapses.

In recent mock drafts, Robinson's projection has varied, from as high as the 18th pick of the first round to a second-rounder.

"Provides “microwave” instant offense coming off the bench for BYU … The 21 year old out of Oklahoma is shaping up to be the 2024 NBA Draft’s top senior prospect … Projected as a possible mid-first round pick, but will need to show consistency throughout his senior year to prove that he’s really flipped a switch and become an impact performer and elite shooter"

While the rest of the season still needs to be played before we can begin to really focus on anyone's draft stock, Robinson is making a great case to be selected in this year's draft. Despite his older age compared to other prospects, his physical tools and high-volume shooting efficiency should grab the attention of NBA scouts, with the hope that he can be an addition to their team.

Of course, Robinson hadn't impressed many people in his seasons with Texas A&M and Arkansas. He didn't even turn any heads in his first season at BYU, but has impressed many this year. It remains to be seen if this season is an outlier, or an example of a late bloomer coming onto the scene at the perfect moment. Either way, Robinson has earned all the draft buzz directed towards him this season.

More BYU Sports: