Which Penn State player is the biggest ‘boom or bust’ draft prospect?

If things go well, Penn State could have multiple players selected in the first round of the 2024 NFL draft when the draft kicks off with the first round later this week (Thursday, April 25). Offensive tackle Olu Fashanu has long been expected to be a lock for a first-round draft selection, and he could be joined in the first round by defensive end Chop Robinson. Robinson is projected to go anywhere from the middle to late first round or possibly very early in the second round depending on the mock draft you evaluate. But such a draft outlook suggests there is a high ceiling but some concern about what the future holds for Robinson.

USA TODAY’s Michael Middlehurst-Scwartz included Robinson in a list of draft candidates who should be considered high-risk, high-reward players in the 2024 NFL draft.

On the one hand, Robinson’s performance at the NFL combine shows he has some elite speed and skill to rely on at the next level. His showing at the combine has led to some comparing him to another former Penn State standout, and a former first-round pick, Micah Parsons.

The combine numbers speak for themselves. The 6-3, 254-pounder recorded the fifth-fastest 40-yard dash time (4.48 seconds) and 10-yard split (1.54) since 2003 of any player weighing 250 pounds or more, according to Next Gen Stats and ESPN. He continued to highlight his explosiveness with a 10-8 broad jump, tied for the best mark among all edge rushers. That elite package of physical traits has some envisioning the next Micah Parsons, Robinson’s predecessor at Penn State.

Comparing any player to Parsons, who was a unanimous NFL defensive rookie of the year and has already cemented himself as one of the NFL’s top defensive players, can be challenging for Robinson. And in the same breath of analysis, USA TODAY says Robinson doesn’t quite measure up to the gold standard that is Parsons.

Naturally, that lofty comparison falls short in several areas. Robinson didn’t produce at the same level that Parsons did for the Nittany Lions, recording just 9 ½ sacks in two years after transferring from Maryland. Whereas Parsons demonstrated he could disengage blockers to free himself up to make plays, Robinson still is too easily neutralized when he doesn’t beat linemen instantly with his first step. Still, he has all the trappings of a double-digit sack artist. For now, however, he projects as a high-upside pass rusher who could flash on one snap and disappoint on the next.

Check out the full story on USA TODAY Sports to see what other draft prospects fit the boom or bust category in the 2024 NFL draft.

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Story originally appeared on Nittany Lions Wire