After two seasons as a solid, but unremarkable contributor for the Ole Miss defense, Tavius Robinson showed up in a big way for his fifth year of eligibility, leading the Rebels in sacks (7) and forced fumbles (5) in 2022, filling the role many expected Cedric Johnson to assume. With Johnson playing injured, or not playing at all for much of 2022, Robinson emerged as the team’s best pass rusher and played himself into consideration for the NFL draft. Robinson played for two years at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, transferring to Ole Miss when Canadian schools shut down their college football season during the pandemic.
Robinson has intriguing size at 6’6, 265 lbs, and 79-inch wingspan; those measurables will land him squarely in “tweener” territory for a lot of teams. While he played defensive end at Ole Miss, he’s almost certainly projected to play outside linebacker (EDGE, Buck, whatever you want to call it) in the NFL. And while Robinson showed solid athleticism for his position, with the speed to pursue running backs to the sideline, he may lack the explosiveness coveted for those pass rush linebacker roles at the next level. While draft profiles of Robinson are generally complementary of his size and overall athleticism, I’m seeing some say he needs to improve technique, while others say he lacks “bend,” and others decry his relative lack of production in college (thanks, 3-2-6 defense!).
Ole Miss edge Tavius Robinson.— Ryan Fowler (@_RyanFowler_) April 19, 2023
3/5 versatile, quick feet/hands & is a nuanced pass-rusher. Tremendous upside with room to get even stronger. pic.twitter.com/zJZIoS5Lvf
At the NFL Combine, Robinson ran a 4.66 40-yard dash, ranking 17th of 28 defensive end/EDGE prospects. His bench press reps, broad jump, and vertical jump were all similarly middle-of-the-pack, which isn’t bad considering several of the guys lumped in with the defensive ends are much smaller, quicker players.
Projections: Draft rankings and projections for Robinson are really all over the place, seemingly due to his relatively late emergence as a prospect. I’ve seen projections as high as the third round (College Football News) and as low as “he’ll be lucky to get an undrafted free agent deal” (Pro Football Network), but maybe the most common projection we’re seeing is somewhere in the 5th round.