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Steelers All 90: Mark Robinson Does Not Feel Pressure Despite Loaded LB Room

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Pittsburgh Steelers LB Mark Robinson

When the Pittsburgh Steelers took a flier on Mark Robinson in the seventh round of the 2022 NFL Draft, the team drafted a prototypical Steelers linebacker in terms of hard-hitting and physical. While he was expected to be more involved defensively a season ago after receiving first-team snaps in the team’s OTAs, it did not pan out that way and actually went in the opposite direction.

Robinson dressed for all 17 games in 2023 but recorded just two starts and 151 total defensive snaps. This came after the Steelers lost multiple starting inside linebackers due to injury. The room was so depleted due to injuries but the team did not feel confident enough to put Robinson onto the field so they were forced to get Myles Jack out of retirement to fill the hole.

Now, entering the third year of his NFL career, Robinson faces an uphill battle after the team signed Patrick Queen and drafted Payton Wilson. With those additions and the return of Elandon Roberts and eventually Cole Holcomb, Robinson is at the bottom of the pecking order in the linebackers room. With knowing that, Robinson said that he does not feel the pressure and that he is just enjoying the days as they come.

“No, I don’t feel no weight, I don’t feel no pressure,” Robinson told Steelers Now. “I just go out and practice and enjoy the days on the grass.”

Enjoying the days on the grass is what Robinson is appearing to do. At the team’s minicamp this week, Robinson popped Pat Freiermuth in the seven-shots drill which led to a friendly exchange of words between the two competitors.

“[Freiermuth] will be alright, man,” Robinson said as he laughed. “I barely touched the guy. He was just talking a little trash, all love though, it wasn’t nothing bad.”

While he is near the bottom of the depth chart as of now, Robinson said after two full seasons, he is comfortable playing in the defense and that he is just trying to familiarize himself with all of the moving pieces.

“I would say [it’s different this year,]” Robinson said. “A lot of stuff is easy for me but I am trying to familiarize [myself] even more.”

Once in-line to be a big-time contributor, Robinson will have to fight to prove his worth to the team now that they are loaded at the position. If he does not pop onto the scene this season, his time in Pittsburgh could be coming to an end sooner rather than later.

93 • Mark Robinson, Inside Linebacker, Ole Miss
5-foot-11, 235 pounds, 24 years old, 3rd Season

Acquired: The Steelers drafted Robinson out of Ole Miss with the 225th overall pick in the seventh round of the 2022 NFL Draft.

Last SeasonRobinson cracked the Steelers starting rotation at the end of his rookie season and it was expected for him to be a big part of the group in 2023. That was not necessarily the case for the young linebacker as he only received two starts and was passed up for playing time by guys like Kwon Alexander and Mykal Walker.

In 17 games, Robinson played just 151 defensive snaps and recorded 30 combined tackles, a sack and a forced fumble.

Robinson did have a standout performance in Week 18 against the Baltimore Ravens, recording five tackles, his one tackle for a loss, his one sack, a quarterback hit, and his lone forced fumble in only 13 defensive snaps.

CareerAfter the Steelers selected Robinson in the last round of the 2022 NFL Draft, he received high praise for his physicality during his first set of preseason games. Robinson made his regular season debut in Week 6 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as he finished the game with no official stats.

Robinson recorded his first career start as an inside linebacker in Week 17 against the Baltimore Ravens. In that game, Robinson logged six combined tackles in 26 defensive snaps. In total, Robinson played in four games and started two of them as he finished the year with nine combined tackles on 44 defensive snaps.

Steelers LB Mark Robinson

Steelers linebacker Mark Robinson against the Indianapolis Colts, Dec. 16, 2023 – Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

Year GP GS Tackles Sacks FFs INTs DEF Snaps PFF Grade
2022 4 2 9 0 0 0 44 27.6
2023 17 2 30 1 1 0 151 54.6

CollegeRobinson started his collegiate career at Presbyterian College as a running back. As a true freshman, Robinson played in 11 games and recorded 75 carries, 332 rushing yards, and five touchdowns. He led the team in rushing touchdowns and became the first Presbyterian player to rush for two touchdowns in a game since 2015.

Prior to the 2018 season, Robinson transferred to Southeast Missouri State and played in 13 games as a sophomore. Robinson carried the ball 74 times for 364 yards and four touchdowns.

Robinson appeared in all 13 games again in 2019 as he finished with 117 carries for 546 yards and seven touchdowns. In his second season for the Redhawks, Robinson’s workload increased and so did his stats because of it.

Year School GP Carries Yards AVG TDs
2017 Presbyterian 11 75 332 4.4 5
2018 Southeast Missouri State 13 74 364 4.9 4
2019 Southeast Missouri State 13 117 546 4.7 7

Following the 2019 season, Robinson decided to transfer to Ole Miss but had to sit out a year due to the NCAA’s transfer rules. Prior to the 2o21 season, Robinson switched his position to linebacker and excelled on the defensive side of the ball in his lone season playing for the Rebels.

In 2021, Robinson played in 13 games and started nine of them for Ole Miss. Robinson recorded 93 combined tackles, three sacks, and 8.5 tackles for loss. After a strong season as a linebacker, Robinson declared for the NFL Draft.

Year School GP Tackles Sacks TFLs
2020 Ole Miss 0 0 0 0
2021 Ole Miss 13 93 3.0 8.5

Salary cap and future: Robinson is entering the third year of his standard four-year rookie contract and will cost $1.01 million against the Steelers’ 2024 cap space. His cap hit in 2024 includes $985,000 in base salary and a $28,089 prorated bonus. Robinson’s deal will keep him with the team through the end of the 2025 season.

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