Dolphins’ Grier, McDaniel discuss selection of Penn State’s Chop Robinson and more

Dolphins general manager Chris Grier said late Thursday night that Penn State edge defender Chop Robinson was Miami’s pick at No. 21 in part because of his superior athletic traits and how hard he plays.

“He was the player we identified early we liked,” Grier said. “We think he has a chance to be a really good player.

“He plays his [butt] off. Obviously the athletic traits, you see the first step quickness, the explosion, the ability to bend.”

Here’s more of what Grier and coach Mike McDaniel had to say:

▪ Grier said Robinson “was someone we felt could impact our team, had a lot of traits we liked as a player and person. The opportunity to get him we couldn’t pass up. We were fired up we could get him... His testing numbers are elite. Is he a finished product? No.

“Not many players that come into the league are. The get-off and speed everyone talks about are kind of rare. He still has a runway to keep improving.”

▪ What about the fact that he has just 11.5 sacks in three college seasons?

“We’ve talked about the stats part,” Grier said. “For us, it’s an important part.” But disrupting the passer is just as important to Grier.

And “his disruption numbers are very high,” Grier said. “Sacks, the guy that would come to mind is Danielle Hunter had four career sacks coming out of college and has been really good in this league [as an elite pass rusher with 87.5 career sacks]. A lot of the traits and things you see on film translate.

“With our coaching staff and work ethic, we feel he can take [his game] to another level.”

Asked if they see Robinson as an outside linebacker or defensive end or both, Grier said: “Some of versatility we liked. You see rushes all over, inside, over the center two point, three point. That versatility drew us to him initially.”

▪ Grier said the Dolphins were involved in trade talks but nothing materialized. “Four or five teams were trying to move to our spot. The offers weren’t enticing enough to move up.”

Grier said the Dolphins also explored trying to trade for another pick late in the first round.

▪ McDaniel said “if you have a player contributing in the pass rush, those are things you feel very fortunate not to pass up. Those players are a driving force of your defense.”

▪ Though Bradley Chubb and Jaelan Phillips are coming off major injuries, Grier said that didn’t influence the selection of Robinson.

More so, “it was adding one of the best players in the draft, especially rushing the passer, the ability to rush with four and not blitz every down creates an advantage for the defense,” he said.

▪ Grier said the Dolphins will draft the best player available, and not for need, with the 55th pick.

▪ Grier said he received good feedback “listening to people talk about [Robinson’s] character and how he loves football and the passion and his work ethic and drive. His whole focus is football.”

▪ Asked if reporters are more concerned about the offensive line than he is, Grier said he’s “very excited” about the offensive line. “We’re excited about the guys in the room. The draft is not over. There’s still free agency to add pieces.”

Here’s our piece with more on Robinson and feedback on the pick.