by J.T. Toth
Photo courtesy of Rock M Nation.
At Draft 412, the NFL draft talk never ends. We will keep you ready for the next set of gridiron stars—from today and all the way until draft night 2024. We will bring you mock drafts, player profiles, individual team needs, and everything else you may need related to the 2024 NFL Draft.
Today’s Spotlight - Missouri, Defensive Tackle, Darius Robinson
Name- Darius Robinson
Pos- Defensive Tackle
HT/WT- 6’5” 296 lbs.
Home – Southfield, MI
Darius Robinson was primarily a basketball player while enrolled at Canton Prep before transferring to Canton High School to focus on football as a junior. He was a consensus 3-star recruit by the major recruiting services and ranked as high as the nation’s no. 39 strongside defensive end. He was a captain of his team as a senior and saw time at defensive tackle, outside linebacker and tight end.
As a freshman at Missouri, he played in 5 games and recorded 1 tackle.
Robinson saw his playing time increase as a sophomore for the Tigers. He finished the season playing in 7 games, making 2 starts at defensive tackle. He collected 11 tackles, 1 tackle for loss and 1 sack during the Covid-19 shortened season.
In 2021, Robinson battled through injuries to appear in 10 games with 6 starts. He started the last 5 games of the season and finished the year with 21 tackles for Missouri.
In 2022, Robinson had his most complete season, seeing action in all 13 games with 10 starts and was able to cause disruption along the line when he did. He set career highs in tackles with 35 and added 3.5 sacks for the Tigers.
Robinson has been able to ride the momentum from his 2022 season into 2023, and he has been dominating for the Tigers. He started 11 games and has totaled 41 tackles and a career high 7.5 sacks.
Robinson has long arms to go along with powerful hands and uses both in combination to control offensive linemen at the point of attack. For the most part, he plays with excellent pad level and makes it that much harder for offensive linemen to engage with him. He plays the game with energy and is never out of a play, fighting and battling until the refs blow their whistles. Robinson is both athletic and instinctive and does an effective job of sniffing out runs towards his gap. He offers some versatility on the line and can line up as a 3-technique, 5-technique or an edge rusher. Robinson has a solid inside move and can beat offensive blockers on their inside shoulder using his heavy hands.
On the downside, Robinson can be slowed down by chop blocks and can be very robotic with his spins and moves in pass rushing. Though he is a high energy player, he needs to play under control and understand chase angles better. He is a hard hitter but needs to do a better job of wrapping up ball carriers and finishing tackles. He leaves his gaps sometimes and teams can run the ball to his side. He is not a run of the mill defensive tackle who frees up space for his linebackers but more of a high energy player who is doing what he can at all times to attack the ball.
Watching film of Robinson’s play this season reminded Draft 412 of 2016 2nd round pick Chris Jones. Robinson is not close to Jones. Nobody is. But Robinson has the versatility of Jones and is dominant in the SEC this season. Robinson will not get drafted in round 2, but he could be a mid-round pick that becomes a starter on a defensive line.
Free up space
Darius Robinson has shot up draft boards as quickly as any other defensive line prospect this season and is doing it in the best conference in college football. Robinson’s versatility and size will go a long way on draft day. A big combine performance would lock his mid-round grade.
Draft 412 Draft Prediction - 4th round or 5th round