ARIZONA CARDINALS

Mizzou’s Eli Drinkwitz: Darius Robinson will invest in Cardinals like they invested in him

May 1, 2024, 8:16 AM | Updated: 8:17 am

Missouri head coach Eli Drinkwitz talks about new Cardinals defensive player Darius Robinson....

Darius Robinson poses after being selected 27th overall by the Arizona Cardinals during the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft at Campus Martius Park and Hart Plaza on April 25, 2024 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Missouri Tigers head coach Eli Drinkwitz is excited for new Arizona Cardinals defensive lineman Darius Robinson, the 27th overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

It’s not just because Robinson’s drafting itself represents individual success for the lineman or program success for Mizzou. It’s that Drinkwitz had gratitude for the time — five years of it — that Robinson played under him at Missouri.

“He had my back when not a lot of people did,” Drinkwitz told Bickley & Marotta on Friday. “In the day and age when it wasn’t going great and he could have turned and (gone) somewhere else, he stayed, trusted the process, believed in himself, his teammates and the university.”

Drinkwitz said Robinson will be worth the first-round investment for the Cardinals because Robinson will invest in the team.

“You’re getting a guy who’s going to give that organization and those fans everything he’s got, every single day and he will be a tremendous teammate and it will mean a lot to represent Cardinal nation,” Drinkwitz said.

Drinkwitz told Bickley & Marotta how impressive it was for the Cardinals to draft Robinson and wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. in the first round of the draft.

“I know they’re coming in there with the right mindsets, both from winning programs, and I think it’s going to be good additions to the team,” Drinkwitz said.

In the five seasons Robinson played at Missouri, he had 112 tackles, with 21 tackles for a loss and 13 sacks.

Drinkwitz acknowledges a big moment during Robinson’s time at Missouri was the transition he made from defensive tackle to defensive end.

“It goes back to his team-first mentality,” Drinkwitz said. “This young man was a projected mid-round pick as a defensive tackle and we asked him to do something very risky. To move to a defensive end position, something you haven’t worked your entire career to do, but we felt like it was the best need for our team and he did it unselfishly and excelled at it.”

Robinson piled up 29 tackles, 14 for loss, plus 8.5 sacks in his final season with Missouri.

“He can play a five(-technique) on first and second down and move to a sub-three on a third-down pass rush,” Drinkwitz said. “He’s going to be a very difficult out for an offensive tackle to block and he’s going to be a very difficult out for a guard or center to pass block.”

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