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Chop Robinson: A Tremendous, But Frustrating Prospect

By Peter Andrisani (The Mock Draft Guy)


Ah, yes, it’s that time of the year, folks. Where The NFL Combine statistics, determine whether a player rises through the ranks or plummets to a day three pick. I’m 100% kidding, by the way. The combine is not the end all be all that some people make it out to be. But it gives us some excellent insight into just how athletic some of these guys are. The player who possibly used this to his advantage early on is Penn State’s Chop Robinson. These Prospect Profiles aim to analyze a player's strengths, Areas of improvement, scheme fit, team fits, pro comparison, and overall draft projection. 


STRENGTHS


Ready for the most obvious statement of this entire video? Chop Robinson is a world-class athlete. Granted, you have to be a world-class athlete to play in the NFL, but he is testing out to be one of the best in the position. I’m assuming you are here right now due to his Combine performance, but I’ll give you the numbers anyway, as I usually do. Chop measured out at 6’3 254 pounds. With some scintillating raw speed numbers. A 4.48 forty-yard dash, a 1.54 ten-yard split, and a 10’ 8” broad jump. All are in the top 97 percentile for the position. 


Robinson is just as effective on the field, with a 20.9% pressure rate and a 90.8 overall PFF grade for the 2023-24 season. He is adding to that with four sacks and two forced fumbles in 10 games. The true strengths in Robinson’s overall game lie in his skills as a pass rusher. At the Snap, Robinson has an ultra-quick, explosive first step that immediately stresses the opposing Offensive lineman, causing the lineman to get as much depth in his set as possible, relinquishing overall technique. Once the technique is lost, Robinson uses his incredible speed to either continue on the outside shoulder of the lineman or rip and dip to the inside, forcing a forward lunge. 


Robinson is an active pass rusher who will continue to work through the play. If his first rush fails, he will continue to work throughout the play, resulting in 2nd effort or chasing down plays in the backfield or down the field. Another area of Robinson’s game that stands out is just his overall effort. There isn’t a single play that I could recall seeing where it looks like he “took the play off.” He is consistently working throughout the play. 


Chop plays with a relentless motor, and it shows throughout his second effort tackles and chase-down plays. He isn’t a player who just relies on his speed; the effort and functional play strength are evident. On top of that, Robinson can hold his own in coverage as well, primarily as a flat or curl defender in zone coverage. Just a true testament to the overall athlete Chop is. 


WEAKNESSES


Now, Chop does come with his fair share of weaknesses and areas he needs to improve upon. Anytime I talk about Chop with one of my peers or just people in general, I always say how frustrating of a player he is. Because he’s so athletic and so explosive, but he just can’t put it all together on a consistent play-to-play basis, especially as a run defender. 


Robinson needs to improve in identifying run queues and defeating or shedding blocks. Robinson is a high-motor, high-effort, explosive player, no doubt about that, but in the run game, he will occasionally run himself out of the play and give up his responsibility in an attempt to chase the play. In addition, once offensive linemen are engaged with Robinson on run plays, he struggles to disengage promptly and make himself available to make the stop. 


Now Robinson is a frightening pass rusher to line up against. But he’s a bit of a one-trick pony in terms of his cadence and approach as a pass rusher. Robinson initially wins the arc, but outside of a rip and dip, I don’t see much else in terms of inside counter moves. Robinson needs to improve laterally when rushing to give himself a counter move to take the inside track in case the offensive lineman oversets. Which, in turn, would give him an easier path to the quarterback. 


SCHEME FIT


Chop Robinson is an incredible athlete and somewhat of a green-ish prospect, in my opinion. So, in terms of a scheme fit for him, ideally, I’d love to see him as a standup speed rusher in an odd front. Chop still has the size and functional play strength to play on the line as a 4-3 defensive end, so I’ll say his skill set makes him scheme versatile. 


TEAM FITS


Here are five teams that I think could be in play to draft Chop Robinson in the 2024 NFL Draft: 


The Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles might look to trade Haason Reddick, and with Brandon Graham, a free agent, Howie Roseman might look to get younger and more athletic at the position across from Nolan Smith. 


The Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens make a habit of squeezing every ounce of talent out of their defensive linemen. Chop would be a fantastic piece that can be used all over the defense. 


The Washington Commanders. The Commander's defensive end position is razor-thin. They could be looking for a young centerpiece. 


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucs are committed to revamping their pass rush, as evidenced by the selections of Calijah Kancey and Yaya Diaby last year. 


The Dallas Cowboys. Could you imagine Micah Parsons and Chop Robinson rushing the passer together? 

Honorable mention: San Francisco 49ers.


PRO COMPARISON


My pro comparison for Chop Robinson is Odafe Oweh. Ah yes, another Combine, darling. But Oweh was a first-round pick after not registering a colligate sack, if you can believe that. Oweh is an incredible freak athlete who was incredibly raw coming into the NFL but had all the tools to succeed. I feel like Chop is a more polished version of what Odafe Oweh was entering the NFL. I believe Chop is still green in some areas, but not as a pass rusher. 


DRAFT PROJECTION


Overall, Chop Robinson has everything it takes, including the tools, to become a dominant pass rusher at the NFL level. However, there are finite areas of his game that he has to improve on if he wants to become a more complete Three-Down player. I expect teams to fall in love with Robinson’s intangibles and relentless motor. I believe Chop Robinson will be a Top 25 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.


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