Developing Dominique Robinson Into a Solid Defensive End is Matt Eberflus' First Big Project

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Developing Dominique Robinson Into a Solid Defensive End is Matt Eberflus’ First Big Project

Chicago Bears

The Chicago Bears entered NFL Draft weekend with six picks and countless needs. And while they didn’t plug every hole, making 11 picks during the draft helped first-year GM Ryan Poles chip away at his roster-building challenge. We’ll meet the Bears’ 11 draft picks, get to know a bit about their past, and where they project to go moving forward.

Previous: CB Kyler Gordon (Round 2, Pick 39), S Jaquan Brisker (Round 2, Pick 48), WR Velus Jones Jr. (Round 3, Pick 71), OL Braxton Jones (Round 5, Pick 168)

DOMINIQUE ROBINSON (ROUND 5, PICK 174)

•  Position: Defensive End
•  College: Miami (Ohio)
•  Height, weight, hand size, arm length: 6-5, 253 pounds, 9 3/4″ hands, 33 1/4″ arms

NEED TO KNOW

•  2021 stats: 12 games, 4.5 sacks, 8.5 tackles-for-loss, 28 total tackles (13 solo)
•  Accomplishments: Third-team All-MAC (2021)
•  Position ranking: 12th OLB (ESPN), 28th DE (WalterFootball.com)
•  The Athletic’s consensus ranking based on 82 big boards: 128th overall, 16th edge defender

HIGHLIGHTS

RELATIVE ATHLETIC SCORE

Relative Athletic Score grades player measurements on a 0-10 scale and compares them to their contemporaries. It is a unique way to give some of these prospects some more depth and perspective.

THREE STRENGTHS (FROM NFL.COM’s DRAFT PROFILE)

•   “Races out of stance with immediate upfield threat.” … Quarterbacks are shaking while reading that sentence.

•   “Fluid in space to hound scramblers or cover tight ends.” …  This isn’t a line I would expect to read about a defensive end. But I like it.

•   “Hard for blockers to keep him centered up and sustained.” … This feels like a fancy way of saying this guy can be a load to block.

THREE WEAKNESSES (FROM NFL.COM’S DRAFT PROFILE)

•   “Must learn to stack blocks and maintain run fits.” … Position coaches will have a field day here.

•   “Lacks broad base to play through strong punch.” … The weight-training staff will have their hands full in this aspect of the development.

•   “Limited go-to moves and counters at this stage.” … This feels like a good place to mention Robinson is a work in progress, as he began his college career as a wide receiver.

NFL.COM COMPARISON: Whitney Mercilus

WHERE HE FITS

Developmental project who could be a situational pass-rusher at some point during his rookie season.

Every draft class features at least one prospect who coaches dream to get hands on and coach up. And for the defensive staff, that player might be Dominique Robinson. A high school quarterback who began his college career playing wide receiver, Robinson made the transition to defensive end the last two years. The result was him landing in Chicago on draft weekend, where the next step in his development begins.

Robinson is athletic and toolsy, but raw. He has skills that make you wonder why he wasn’t more productive when he was playing MAC schools while at Miami. But then you remember that he is inexperienced at the position, which puts his collegiate excellence in a different perspective. Because if Robinson can flash with minimal experience at the MAC level, it becomes easy to imagine the player’s ceiling when getting pro-level coaching and an opportunity to focus fully on football.

Travis Smith, who has spent the last few years as a Raiders assistant coaching the defensive line, gets the big chair in Chicago and all the responsibilities that come with a new job and title. Considering he is a branch from the Rod Marinelli tree and has experience lending a helping hand coaching players like Maxx Crosby and Khalil Mack, I look forward to seeing what he can do with Robinson.



Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.