Getty Images

Penn State defensive end Chop Robinson has declared for the 2024 NFL Draft and will skip the No. 10 Nittany Lions' upcoming Peach Bowl showdown against No. 11 Ole Miss. The two-year star for the Nittany Lions announced his intentions on social media following an injury-hampered season that still ended in exactly half of his 15 total tackles going for negative yardage.  

Robinson's bona fides go back to his recruiting days. He is still the second-highest ranked recruit to ever sign with Maryland out of high school in the 247Sports era. He joined the Terrapins in 2021 as a five-star prospect out of Gaithersburg, Maryland, and was the No. 2 edge rusher in his class. 

He played all 13 games of his only season with the Terps and finished with 19 tackles, 2.5 for a loss, and two sacks. He transferred to Penn State in 2022 and immediately became a fixture for the Nittany Lions at defensive end and earning honorable mention All-Big Ten honors. 

He ends his Penn State career with 41 total tackles, 17.5 for a loss, and 9.5 sacks. 

Robinson's draft stock 

Since Robinson is widely considered a first-round draft prospect, his decision comes as no surprise. He has NFL-ready size at 6-foot-3 and 254 pounds. Penn State used Robinson as a stand-up edge rusher for most of his career, but in 2023 the coaching staff gave him snaps as an interior defensive lineman in obvious passing situations with largely positive results, meaning he could have some schematic utility at the next level. In his most recent mock draft for CBS Sports, Ryan Wilson projected Robinson to the Houston Texans with the 24th overall pick. 

"The Texans traded up for Will Anderson Jr. in the spring and he's been as advertised," Wilson wrote. "This time, they stay put and land another edge rusher in Chop Robinson, who is as active a pass rusher as you'll find in college football."

What it means for Penn state 

Replacing a player of Robinson's caliber is never easy, but someone like Adisa Isaac returning to school would mitigate some of the damage. Isaac, a redshirt senior with one remaining year of eligibility, led Penn State with 7.5 sacks this season. He has yet to announce his intentions for the future, though he has been in college for five years now and his production certainly gives him a shot at getting drafted. 

One defensive standout that should definitely be back for the Nittany Lions next season is linebacker Abdul Carter. He just wrapped up his sophomore season and has drawn comparisons to Penn State great Micah Parsons due to his versatility as both a pass-rush specialist and effective off-ball linebacker. He tied with Robinson for second on the team in 2023 with 4.5 sacks and contributed five quarterback hurries. 

Sophomore Dani Dennis-Sutton, a 6-foot-5 edge rusher, saw plenty of playing time with Robinson sidelined and flashed when given the opportunity, finishing the year with six tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. The Nittany Lions also have a trio of three-star edge rusher commits in Xavier Gilliam (Gaithersburg), Jaylen Harvey (Gaithersburg) and Mylachi Williams (Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania) in their 2024 recruiting class.