Lions Drafting Darius Robinson Would Be 'Disney Movie'

Robinson could come back to his roots after 2024 NFL Draft.
Feb 28, 2024; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Missouri defensive lineman Darius Robinson (DL46)  talks to the media at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Feb 28, 2024; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Missouri defensive lineman Darius Robinson (DL46) talks to the media at the NFL Scouting Combine. / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
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If Darius Robinson were to be a Detroit Lion by the end of the week, the Southfield product believes it would be worthy of a movie.

Growing up in the Detroit area and playing high school football at Canton, Robinson's first favorite team was the Lions. His first jersey was Calvin Johnson's, and he enjoyed watching his home team play on Sundays.

Now, this week offers a chance for his dream to come full circle. He's back in town as one of 13 prospects to attend the NFL Draft in person. The event, which is held in Detroit this year, begins Thursday.

Robinson is projected to go between the late first and early second rounds. The Lions currently hold the 29th overall pick, meaning there's a chance Robinson is one of the best players available when its time for general manager Brad Holmes to make his selection.

If the Lions' draft card reads, 'Darius Robinson,' it would be a poetic moment for the Missouri product.

“That’d be awesome. It’d be like a Disney movie," Robinson told All Lions. "The Draft here, I play for the Lions. That’d be cool. I had a great 30 visit with them. So we’ll see what happens (Thursday).”

Robinson visited Detroit as one of several stops for him along the pre-draft road. He told reporters during the NFL's prospect media availability that he is uncertain where he'll land in the Draft because of his versatility and different teams having different roles in mind for him.

He spoke highly of his top-30 visit with the Lions, indicating that the culture was what he was looking for. Robinson stated that the coaching staff are people he'd relish playing for, but that his ultimate landing spot is out of his control.

While at Missouri, Robinson played different roles for the defense. Initially, he was viewed more as a edge-setter and run defender. However, his production in pass-rush situations popped during his final season when he logged a career-high 8.5 sacks and 14 tackles for loss.

When asked to give a self-scouting report, Robinson explained that he's comfortable playing anywhere along the defensive line and that he took pride in being a captain for the Tigers at the collegiate level.

“I would say I’m a two-time captain so low ego, high output," Robinson said. "A lot of position flexibility, I can play from a zero to a nine (technique). But most importantly I’m a great teammate. So just really excited to see what team I can get on and earn the respect of my coaches and my teammates.” 

In the Draft, the Lions have the opportunity to add a pass-rusher to pair with Aidan Hutchinson. With Hutchinson's prowess at getting to the quarterback, having a player who can also set a firm edge in the run game on the opposite side is an important bonus.

Robinson holds Hutchinson in high regard amongst the other NFL top rushers, stating that the Michigan product is overlooked by some in NFL circles.

“I think Aidan Hutchinson, people sleep on him," Robinson told All Lions. "He’s a top-five end in the league right now, so that’d be a great guy to learn from. I don’t control what happens, so we’ll see what happens. Just really thankful for any opportunity.” 

In a pre-draft cycle that has been filled with special moments for the hopefuls involved, Robinson admitted that one of the coolest occurred Tuesday when he was introduced to his childhood idol, Johnson.

The two shared a conversation where Johnson advised the young player on how to navigate the emotions surrounding the Draft weekend.

“He was just saying, 'Be locked in in the moment and do everything you can so you don’t have no regrets with this and be at peace with yourself,'” Robinson said.

The defender explained that there was no hesitation as to whether he'd attend the Draft in person once he got the invite. Now, he'll prepare with his family for the moment when he hears his name called.

With everything surrounding his weekend homecoming, Robinson has tried to stay in the moment and focus on his preparation for rookie minicamp. He anticipates a smile and a handshake with Roger Goodell.

Yet, if a certain team picks him, that smile will undoubtedly be a bit bigger.

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Christian Booher