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Penn State Football

Draft Scout Doesn’t Grade Prominent Penn State Prospect as a 1st-Rounder

Chop Robinson celebrates his third quarter sack and forced fumble.

Penn State edge rusher Chop Robinson ended his PSU career with 9.5 sacks and 17.5 tackles for loss in two seasons. Add his freshman year numbers at Maryland before transferring to State College, and Robinson owns 11.5 career sacks and 20 tackles for loss. His 7.5 TFL this season ranked 14th in the Big Ten, paired with the 18th-most sacks of any conference defender.

Robinson is regarded as a first-round pick by numerous draft evaluators, including CBS Sports analyst Tom Fornelli. He slotted Robinson 21st in his latest mock to the Miami Dolphins.

ESPN draft analyst Matt Miller is not among the most complimentary supporters.

“I’ve never had the top 20 grades on Chop Robinson,” Miller said on a conference call earlier this week. “I think he’s right about 45 to 50 for me.”

Listed at 6-foot-3, 254 pounds by Penn State Athletics, Miller thinks Robinson lacks the necessary power to play on an NFL defensive line or as an edge rusher.

“My biggest thing is going to be size and strength. I didn’t think he played with great strength, especially in the run game, at Penn State,” Miller said. “He’s listed at 250 pounds. He does not look 250 pounds. So I think (the combine) is going to be big. Are you 6-3, 250? Or are you 6-2, 235? Where is his actual size at?”

Does that make a significant difference to NFL teams? Miller thinks so. Robinson has done work to change the narrative and is now 255 pounds.

“That might sound like a small factor, but you’re looking at how much bigger can this player get? How are they going to produce against the run if they’re sub 250 pounds and they’ve got short arms. How are we going to ask them to set the edge?”

Robinson opted out of the Peach Bowl, an eventual defeat to Ole Miss in Atlanta at Mercedes Benz Stadium, and declared for the Draft Dec. 5. He also did not participate in Senior Bowl events during practice week and the game in Mobile. Robinson will also take part in the 2024 NFL Combine in Indianapolis next week.

“As people in the media talk to people with teams, or as we have time to catch up and watch more tape of individual players instead of actual teams, you start to formulate some of those more defined opinions on players,” Miller said. “If I had to guess, that’s why to see him drop a little bit in mock drafts and rankings. For me, he’s been kind of consistently in that 40-50 range for a while.”

Miller mocked Robinson 40th overall as the eight pick of the second round to the Washington Commanders. The first-team All-Big Ten honoree missed the White Out against Minnesota with an injury but recorded 15 tackles, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery, and five QB hurries in 10 games. The Combine begins Thursday, Feb. 29, with defensive lineman and linebackers taking center stage at Lucas Oil Stadium beginning at 3 p.m. Robinson will look to make a considerable impression on all 32 teams to solidify his chances of being a first-round pick.

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