Doug Farrar compares Penn State duo to a couple of solid NFL regulars

With the NFL draft approaching this week, rankings galore are in full swing as mock drafts, big boards, and comparisons are being released.

USA TODAY’s Doug Farrar took his top 50 NFL draft prospects and gave each one an NFL player comparison.

Offensive tackle Olu Fashanu and defensive end Chop Robinson made Farrar’s top 50 list.

After injuring himself at the combine, Fashanu did not have the best pre-draft process. He was once considered a top-10 selection but is now likely more of a mid-round pick. Farrar has the former Penn State left tackle as the 17th-best prospect and the third-best offensive tackle behind Washington’s Troy Fautanu and Oregon State’s Taliese Fuaga.

Farrar’s NFL comparison for Fashanu is Minnesota Vikings left tackle Christian Darrisaw. Both are similarly athletic and big-bodied tackles who came into the NFL with questions surrounding technique.

Fashanu never allowed a sack in 733 pass-blocking snaps over three seasons for the Nittany Lions, and at 6′ 6″ and 312 pounds, he looks the very model of a modern left tackle with his speed and agility. There are some technique issues to work out, but in time, Fashanu could remind some of Darrisaw, who was selected by the Minnesota Vikings with the 23rd pick of the 2021 draft out of Virginia Tech. Darrisaw is a lighter tackle at 315 pounds, and he’s had few consistency issues in pass protection, but he’s that same type of athletic blocker. – Doug Farrar, USA TODAY

Darrisaw and Fashanu are similar prospects slated to be drafted around the same spot in the first round. As Farrar stated, Fashanu never gave up a sack as a Nittany Lion, whereas Darrisaw has had issues in pass protection at both levels. Perhaps this gives Fashanu an edge when comparing the two as prospects.

Throughout the pre-draft process, Robinson has consistently been compared to current Dallas Cowboys and former Penn State greatMicah Parsons. It isn’t a bad comparison, but I believe there are more apt ones out there.

Farrar sees Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ edge rusher Shaquil Barrett in Robinson, and I like the pick.

Barrett and Robinson are flawed edge defenders, but they can be All-Pro or Pro Bowl-caliber players in the right situations. Robinson used his speed to dominate slower, less athletic tackles in college, but that won’t be the case in the NFL.

Robinson had three sacks and 26 total pressures in an injury-abbreviated 2023 season, but the metrics don’t concern me as much as the fact that his speed-rush game doesn’t always work — he can be eclipsed out of the rush by tackles and more persistent tight ends. As long as he’s set up in the NFL as a speed end as opposed to a do-it-all guy, he’ll be fine. In that regard, he’s a lot like Shaquil Barrett, who was an undrafted free agent out of Colorado State. The 2015 Denver Broncos took a flier on Barrett, and after a couple of seasons putting it together, Barrett had his first of four seasons of 10 or more sacks with the Broncos, and later, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. – Farrar

Considering Barrett went undrafted, Robinson, Farrar’s 30th-ranked player, is definitely the better prospect. However, peak Shaquil Barrett is probably what we can expect Chop Robinson’s ceiling to be at the next level. When Robinson gets his name called on draft day, the team and situation will be something to consider.

The NFL draft begins Thursday, April 25, at 8 p.m. ET in Detriot.

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Story originally appeared on Nittany Lions Wire