NFL Combine: How Mizzou EDGE Darius Robinson's draft stock mirrors Darnell Wright's: 'Just cut my tape'

This might all sound familiar.

The Chicago Bears are interested in a player that started at multiple positions at an SEC school, dominated in the trenches and is shooting up draft boards after a stellar senior season followed by a stellar senior bowl.

That's how Darnell Wright captivated the Bears last season coming out of Tennessee. That's exactly how Missouri's Darius Robinson caught the Bears' eye, too.

Robinson told reporters that he had a meeting with the Bears after his media availability on Thursday morning.

"I played the SEC and I dominated," Robinson said Wednesday. "Just cut my tape."

That tape will show quite a bit.

Robinson was a defensive tackle in 2022 at Missouri. He became a run-stuffer who recorded 5.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. He almost declared for the NFL Draft then, but decided to return for another year.

In 2023, the MU coaching staff moved him to defensive end to bolster the team's pass rush. That ended up working wonders. Robinson put the SEC on notice with 8.5 sacks and 14 tackles for loss in his final season.

That got him on the Senior Bowl's radar. That's how he's getting on plenty of other radars around the NFL. It's been a cumulative process of lessons he's taken every single season from different points of view.

ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 29: Missouri Tigers defensive end Darius Robinson (#6) runs up field during the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic football game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and Missouri Tigers on December 29, 2023 at AT&T Stadium in Ar

In 2021, Robinson's defensive coordinator at Missouri was Steve Wilks. He still remembers the advice he got from him almost three years ago.

"Coach Wilks, he's always just say ‘stay green.’" Robinson said. "I'm constantly evolving, constantly finding ways to get better because, like I said, now I'm going from college to NFL and I start out all over again getting my new process to get going and get working. There should be a lot of high expectations of me and I got to make sure I do my part to get better each and every day."

What helps is his versatility. Robinson said he can play any position and any technique on the defensive line.

Even though he was a pass rusher primarily in 2023, he never forgot his favorite parts of being a defensive tackle.

"I'm physical, man," Robinson said. "Inside run is my favorite period of practice. Whatever that takes, I just line up my hit."

That physical play fed into his pass rushing.

MU teammate Ty'Ron Hopper said he remembers his favorite play from Robinson during the 2023 season. It was a sack at the beginning of the fourth quarter in Missouri's 38-21 win over Kentucky. Robinson beat the right tackle off the snap, chased Devin O'Leary and flattened him.

"The way he exploded off of the ball, and the way he was able to get to the quarterback," Hopper said. "That's my favorite play of D-Rob."

That play showcased Robinson's speed. At first he was a physical guy. Now, he could chase an offensive player down.

But, that athleticism was always there. He was originally a basketball player first coming out of Southfield, Michigan, which is a suburb of Detroit. Robinson was a junior in high school when he first picked up football.

However, if he didn't get a football scholarship then his other option was to join the Marines. His family has a deep background in the Marines, from his dad, to his aunt, to his grandfather and down to his brother. That background also brings discipline.

What Robinson is going to bring to the combine, though, is a hunger.

It's not just the drills, he to win in the interview process and leave an indelible mark on the people he's going to meet so they'll remember him during the most important job interview of his life.

"I'm always competing," Robinson said. "I want to do every drill to the best of my ability, continue to do great in the interviews, meeting these people for the first time and just take advantage of every opportunity I get."

A consistent theme from Robinson's career, let alone his interview on Wednesday, is pretty simple: do it all.

He was asked what positions he could play. Which ones were his favorite? Which one is his best? His answer was the same everytime.

It's why he's on the cusp of the first round of the NFL Draft, and it's how he caught the Bears' eye.

"Each and every one of them," Robinson said. "Just line up."


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