Why Dolphins' first-round pick Chop Robinson is more elite than you think

Big things are on the way for the star Miami pass-rusher
Defensive end Chop Robinson runs through the three-cone drill during Penn State's Pro Day in Holuba
Defensive end Chop Robinson runs through the three-cone drill during Penn State's Pro Day in Holuba / Dan Rainville / USA TODAY NETWORK

Mike McDaniel was finally able to pick in the first round of the NFL Draft for his first time since arriving in Miami. Many fans expected an offensive splash, but McDaniel and Co. chose Chop Robinson from Penn State - this is a move that made plenty of sense for the Miami Dolphins.

Robinson weighed 14 pounds at birth and so the nickname Pork Chop was born. As he got older, his awesome nickname was shortened to Chop. So, who did Miami draft when they selected the former Penn State standout?  Allow us to introduce Miami’s new EDGE.

Robinson is a 21-year-old youngster. He spent his freshman year at Maryland before transferring to Penn State for his sophomore and junior seasons. Robinson was not a flashy pick by any stretch of the imagination. Many Dolphins fans clamored for an offensive lineman or the speedy Xavier Worthy from Texas. Instead, Miami opted to address their much-maligned defensive line.

Chop Robinson has extra pressure on him for his rookie season with Miami

With Bradley Chubb and Jaelan Phillips on the mend from season-ending injuries suffered in 2023, Robinson will get plenty of opportunities in Anthony Weaver’s defense. His athleticism and speed are what enticed Miami to select him with the No. 21 overall pick.

Robinson’s stat sheet leaves a lot to be desired. In three years of college ball, he only amassed 10 total sacks, 87 total pressures, 40 total tackles, and three forced fumbles. Yet, Pro Football Focus has Robinson as the No. 2 rated edge-rusher taken in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Amongst edge-rushers in 2023, Robinson was second only to Laiatu Latu in defense and pass-rush. Robinson was also 14th in missed tackle percentage for all players who played at least 300 snaps. Robinson’s speed wowed everyone at the NFL Combine, with him posting a 4.48 40-yard dash and a 1.54 10-yard split. Throughout his college career, Robinson showed his talent and potential, posting a 17.5 percent pressure-creation rate. The NFL average for pressure creation is 10.3 percent.

At 6-3 and 254 pounds, Robinson is an undersized edge-rusher who will have to rely on a multitude of moves to get to the quarterback. For comparison, Phillips is 6-5 and 263 pounds, while Chubb is 6-4 and weighs 268 pounds. 

Micah Parsons, Khalil Mack, and Demarcus Lawrence are all Top 10 edge-rushers in 2023, measuring 6-3 or under. This is not to say that Robinson is of this caliber of player, but more so to show height isn’t everything at the edge position.

However, when comparing Parsons' last year at Penn State with Robinson, they have similar stats. Parsons finished his final year with the Nittany Lions with 26 total pressures, five sacks, three forced fumbles, and 77 tackles. Robinson finished his last year with 26 total pressures, three sacks, two forced fumbles, and 10 tackles. 

Yes, Parsons did have 77 tackles to Robinson’s 10, but Parsons lined up in the box and in coverage 92 percent of the time, while Robinson was lined up on the edge 90 percent of the time. With his abilities and work ethic, there’s no reason to think Chop can’t be a Top-10 pass rusher in the years to come. He has loads of potential and he's going to be ready to put everything together in Miami.