HOW HE GOT HERE
Last fall, Chop Robinson showed the ability to find a direct route to the quarterback - being rated as the top edge rusher by Pro Football Focus for the 2022 college season. But it wasn’t so direct getting to Happy Valley. Robinson was a five-star recruit in the 2021 recruiting class, but decided to stay home and play for his hometown Maryland Terrapins. There, he found the field early while playing outside linebacker. He tallied 19 tackles and two sacks in his first year - along with midseason ESPN freshman All-American honors.
But, after the 2021 season, he made the decision to enter the portal and found his way to Penn State. Moving to defensive end, Robinson emerged as a dominant pass rusher as the year progressed. He wound up with 5.5 sacks and 12 tackles for loss in the 12 games that he appeared. More than that, however, Robinson was a disruptive force from the edge spot in Manny Diaz’s pressure-heavy defense.
WHAT TO EXPECT IN 2023
Probably no other position group carries the NFL potential that Penn State’s defensive end room will have. That’s saying something with James Franklin on the record about the talent of the tight ends and the known commodities at running back. Still, Robinson will be the first name mentioned in a grouping that includes Adisa Isaac and Dani Dennis-Sutton.
Robinson was clearly a disrupter in 2022 and that figures to continue this season. Meanwhile, he graded out well against the run, so his every down opportunities should continue to grow. While the numbers weren’t jaw dropping, anyone who watched No. 44 closely knew the kind of pressure that he was putting on opposing offenses. He figures to do much of the same in 2023 and should be a key cog in a defense that will be built to pressure opposing quarterbacks.