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Combine Notebook: Penn State’s Chop Robinson Prepared to Showcase Skills.



INDIANAPOLIS — Before the defensive line workouts at the NFL Scouting Combine on Thursday morning, take note of DL 45 in your program if you want to stay ahead of the “riser” discussions surrounding Penn State defensive end Chop Robinson. Robinson’s standout attribute is his lightning-fast first step, a coveted skill for pass rushers, making him a widely projected top-20 pick in the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft in April. Despite only recording four sacks in the 2023 junior season, playing 10 games, Robinson’s raw talent is evident. He has been focusing on improving his hand usage consistency since the season’s end and his declaration for the draft.

Robinson expressed confidence in his best traits, highlighting his bend, hands, and ability to maneuver around the corner to reach the quarterback. Anticipate increased buzz around Robinson after Thursday night if he delivers on the impressive workout numbers he mentioned, targeting a 4.4-second 40-yard dash and a vertical jump of 38 to 40 inches.

Bears head coach Matt Eberflus shared his unique approach to formal meetings with draft prospects at the combine, offering them a choice between playing putt-putt or darts before delving into interview questions. LSU defensive tackle Maason Smith, who met with the Bears, opted for the putter.

Notable prospects on the rise this week include Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy, Missouri defensive lineman Darius Robinson, and Toledo cornerback Quinyon Mitchell. McCarthy, with an impressive track record, is excelling in interviews. Robinson’s versatility on the defensive line is earning praise, while Mitchell, with 46 combined passes defensed in the past two seasons, is touted as a potential top defensive back in the draft.

Clemson linebacker Jeremiah Trotter Jr., son of the former Philadelphia Eagles player, had discussions with his dad’s former team and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Trotter Jr. credited his father for his guidance and preparation for the linebacker position, having been around the game his entire life.

As the Tennessee Titans evaluate offensive linemen in the draft, new head coach Brian Callahan is benefiting from additional face time with his father, offensive line coach Bill Callahan. Brian Callahan expressed the joy of sitting down with his dad in the morning, discussing upcoming plans, pass protection techniques, and watching him excel at his job.

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