ARIZONA CARDINALS

PFF: Cardinals’ Darius Robinson is one of the best team fits from 2024 NFL Draft

May 12, 2024, 8:08 AM

Arizona Cardinals rookie Darius Robinson comes into the NFL with a chance to immediately help the team on the defensive line.

Pro Football Focus’ Trevor Sikkema named Robinson as one of the best player-team fits from this year’s draft — even if the 61st-rated player on his own big board being taken 27th overall was viewed as a reach.

However, of the teams he could have gone to at the back end of round one, I do like the fit in Arizona. Robinson played interior defensive line as a defensive tackle for his first two years as a full-time starter at Missouri in 2021 and 2022. But in 2023, he lost some weight and played more on the edge. At the Senior Bowl, he showed what a mismatch his power can be as an edge defender, but at the combine, he showed he doesn’t really have the speed game for the position. But in a multi-front Jonathan Gannon defense, Robinson will be aligned anywhere from a three-technique defensive tackle to a seven-technique edge rusher. We talk about versatility a lot, but this is one of the spots where I actually think it holds a good amount of value.

Over five seasons at Missouri, Robinson took three years to develop into a rotation piece before taking off in 2022. He recorded 35 tackles, 5.5 for loss, with 3.5 sacks as an interior lineman.

Robinson’s move toward the edge this past year bumped the numbers to 43 total tackles with 14 for loss, 8.5 sacks and a forced fumble in 2023 to slingshot his draft stock forward.

How does the Cardinals’ defensive line look headed into the 2024 NFL season?

Robinson joins the Cardinals in an offseason where general manager Monti Ossenfort has made several moves in free agency and the draft to improve the front seven.

In free agency, Ossenfort signed defensive linemen Bilal Nichols and Justin Jones, who are projected starters. The Cardinals also re-signed L.J. Collier, who has starting experience but missed nearly all of 2023 with a biceps injury.

In addition to drafting Robinson in the draft, the Cardinals added Clemson edge rusher Xavier Thomas in the fifth round.

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PFF: Cardinals’ Darius Robinson is one of the best team fits from 2024 NFL Draft