ARIZONA CARDINALS

Arizona Cardinals take DL Darius Robinson with No. 27 pick in 1st round of NFL Draft

Apr 25, 2024, 8:26 PM | Updated: Apr 26, 2024, 8:09 am

The Arizona Cardinals selected defensive lineman Darius Robinson out of Missouri with the No. 27 pick of the NFL Draft during the first round on Thursday.

The pick followed Arizona’s decision to take Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. with the fourth overall selection, giving quarterback Kyler Murray a big-time weapon. With general manager Monti Ossenfort’s second first-round pick, he turned his focus to the defense.

Robinson was First-Team All-SEC for the Tigers in 2023 with 43 total tackles, 8.5 sacks and 14 tackles for losses.

The Michigan native measured at 6-foot-5, 285 pounds at the NFL Scouting Combine. He has experience both inside and on the edge.

Getting to the quarterback was a big issue for the Cardinals’ pass rush last season, finishing 30th in the NFL in sacks (33) and 31st in opposing passer rating (102.9).

Leading Arizona’s pass rushers in 2023 was veteran outside linebacker Dennis Gardeck, who paced the team with six sacks. Rookie BJ Ojulari and Victor Dimukeje chipped in four apiece, while MIKE-backer-turned-pass-rusher Zaven Collins added 3.5.

All four of those names are expected back in the fold in Year 2 under defensive coordinator Nick Rallis, although the team has a decision to make when it comes to picking up Collins’ fifth-year option.

Inside, the Cardinals added veterans Bilal Nichols and Justin Jones in free agency. Leki Fotu signed with the New York Jets, while Jonathan Ledbetter is a free agent.

There was not a defender taken in the first round until the 15th pick when the Indianapolis Colts took UCLA edge rusher Laiatu Latu. Six quarterbacks went with the first 12 picks, a gift for teams in the back half of the first round looking for defense.

The last Missouri defender the Cardinals drafted was linebacker Markus Golden.

How did the Cardinals get another first-round pick?

The Cardinals acquired a 2024 first-rounder from the Texans on draft day last season, as Houston moved up to No. 3 to pick Alabama edge rusher Will Anderson Jr.

In return, the Texans sent the No. 12 and No. 33 overall picks, as well as a first- and third-rounder in the 2024 draft, to Arizona.

A separate deal with the Detroit Lions had the Cardinals shift back up to No. 6 where they picked Ohio State offensive lineman Paris Johnson Jr.

Arizona dealt the No. 12 pick, No. 34 and No. 168 picks to move back up. The Cardinals also received the No. 81 pick before packaging that with the No. 33 pick to move down — the trade allowed the Tennessee Titans to draft quarterback Will Levis.

The Texans went on to win the AFC South and earn a playoff victory over the Cleveland Browns in the wild card round, so their draft slot plummeted to No. 27 overall.

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