‘Freak Athlete’ Edge Rusher Called Buccaneers’ Best 1st Pick in Draft

Chop Robinson

Getty Robinson runs the 40-yard dash

In an “ideal first pick” scenario, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would see Penn State edge rusher Chop Robinson falling to them at No. 26 in April’s draft, according to Pro Football Focus.

“The Buccaneers are truly in a ‘best player available’ scenario,” Dalton Wasserman wrote in a February 28 story about “best-case scenarios for all 32 NFL teams.” “They have needs on the offensive line and across the board on defense. For now, we’ll take a swing on uber-talented pass rusher Chop Robinson here.”

Robinson, a 6-foot-3, 250-pound defensive end, impressed teams on February 29, the first day of the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, according to NFL Network’s Robert J. Turbin, who called him a “freak athlete” and a “pure pass rusher.”

“This guy just ran a 4.4 [40-yard dash], right? And his split was a 1.5, that’s getting off of the football with explosiveness,” Turbin said during an appearance on “NFL Total Access.”

According to Arizona Sports, Robinson “solidified his status as a first-round prospect.”

Robinson: ‘We Had a Great Meeting’

Robinson, a junior at Penn State, said on February 28 that he’d already had a “formal” meeting with the Buccaneers.

“Yeah, I’ve met with the Buccaneers,” he told reporters. “That was my first team I met with. We had a great meeting.”

Sports Illustrated likened Robinson to All-Pro edge rusher Micah Parsons of the Dallas Cowboys, “not in the top-shelf talent area as much as play style.”

“Tampa Bay could sure use some of that on the roster, and there’s a high likelihood he’ll be available for general manager [Jason Licht] to take at pick No. 26 in the first round of April’s selection meeting,” David Harrison wrote in a February 29 story.

Chop Robinson Had 35 Total Tackles in 16 College Games

Chop Robinson

GettyChop Robinson against Northwestern.

It’s no secret that the Buccaneers have a lot of building to do through this draft to help supplement their free agent decisions. The Buccaneers currently have 18 unrestricted free agents pending, meaning they could lose out on a lot of key players this offseason, including front-seven fixtures Devin White and Lavonte David.

A pick like Robinson could surely add value to the roster, especially in light of the Buccaneers’ release of Shaq Barrett. So, what exactly can Tampa Bay expect from a player like Robinson to bring to the field?

Throughout his collegiate career (16 games), Robinson managed to rack up a total of 35 total tackles, 1 pass defense, 6 sacks and 2 forced fumbles.

“The Bucs generally struggled to generate pressure without blitzing, so Robinson would add to Tampa Bay’s plethora of young defensive linemen,” Wasserman wrote in the PFF story. “Looming over their draft situation, though, is Mike Evans’ contract situation. If he were to depart, wide receivers like Adonai Mitchell, Brian Thomas Jr. and Keon Coleman immediately become options to fill the void.”

Robinson started his collegiate career with Maryland in 2021. After one season, Robinson transferred to Penn State where he played two seasons on the defensive line for the Nittany Lions. Needless to say, Robinson has built a great name for himself in college football.

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