The story of new Cardinals DL Darius Robinson and his ‘anaconda arms’

It’s in the arms baby, it’s in the arms.

That’s the case with Darius Robinson, the defensive lineman the Arizona Cardinals selected with the 27th overall selection in the first round of Thursday’s draft.

Most pre-draft projections listed Robinson as an edge player because that’s where he played last season at Missouri weighing 285 pounds on his 6-foot-5 frame.

However, the year before, he was at 305 and played on the inside.

At the NFL combine, Robinson said, “When I was at D-tackle, I was 305 my whole career. This past year, I got (down) to 285. (That) feels great right now, but like I told NFL teams, if you see me as a true edge, I can get even lighter, and if you see me going back inside, I’ll gain my weight back. At 285, I can continue to play everything.”

Head coach Jonathan Gannon said he loves Robinson’s “versatility” and “violence,” and referred to him as “a war daddy.” He concluded, “We will have a good plan for him.”

Robinson was enthused about being drafted by the Cardinals, and claimed he wasn’t “antsy” being in the green room at draft central in Detroit as the first round neared the end.

He said, “I knew AZ was the one for me since the beginning of this process. They were one of the first teams that met with me at the Combine and one of the first teams that met with me at the Senior Bowl, so I’m really excited to be there and ready to put the work in.”

Echoing Gannon’s comments about the plan, he said during his talks with the team, “I felt like they have a really good plan of action in how they want to use their defensive linemen in their defense, in their scheme, and to me it felt like I just fit in.”

Oh, yes, the arms, which measure 34.5 inches. Most important, he uses them well.

Georgia head coach Kirby Smart called Robinson “one of the hardest guys to block in our league.”

The Athletic’s draft analyst Dane Brugler couldn’t stop raving about Robinson’s physicality, writing that he has “large, violent hands to hammer blockers and physically break down their rhythm; displaces tight ends like rag dolls; (and is) a power-based rusher, (who) wears down blockers with his upper-body strength and aggressive hand usage, deploying his anaconda arms to swallow ball-carriers in the run game.”

Frankly, I’m trying to picture “anaconda arms” swallowing ball-carriers!

Most important is that the Cardinals ended the 2023 season with linemen Leki Fotu, Phil Hoskins, Naquan Jones, Roy Lopez and Ben Stille on the active roster. Dante Stills and L.J. Collier, re-signed as an unrestricted free agent this offseason, were on injured reserve. Fotu is now with the Jets, while Robinson and veterans Justin Jones, Bilal Nichols and Khyiris Tonga have been added to the group since March.

Noting that the depth on the line was tested last year, general manager Monti Ossenfort said, “You can never have enough big guys.”

Consider that mission accomplished.

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Story originally appeared on Cards Wire