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Steelers All 90: Mark Robinson Ready to Show Offseason Growth



Steelers Mark Robinson

When the Pittsburgh Steelers drafted Mark Robinson in the seventh round of the 2022 NFL Draft, the team was not sure what type of player he would turn out to be. Through camp and the preseason, the team quickly learned that they drafted a prototypical Steelers inside linebacker.

Robinson is a run-stopping, hard-hitting inside linebacker which is similar to many former Steelers linebackers such as Vince Williams. During his rookie season, Robinson played sparingly but did record two starts which is rare for a seventh-round pick. He struggled at times with missed tackles as he finished the season with nine tackles and three missed tackles.

Robinson was not satisfied with his production last season and went to work to close the “gap” between himself and the veteran players because he does not want to waste his chance to stick with the team for years to come.

“Ever since the first day I walked in this building, I realized the gap in the guys who stay here and the guys who don’t,” Robinson said. “And it’s all about preparation for me, man. This is a dream come true and I ain’t trying to waste it.”

Robinson’s journey to the NFL has been nothing but a wild ride as he played running back for the first three years of his collegiate career before he made the switch to linebacker prior to his last season in school. During his lone season as a linebacker in college, Robinson adapted extremely fast and recorded a very good year statistically at Ole Miss.

The Steelers and Robinson both hope that he can make a similar jump in his second year in the NFL. One of the Steelers coaches noticed the growth that Robinson has displayed this offseason and commended him for it.

“I see a young player that’s going to be really good,” Steelers linebackers coach Aaron Curry said. “I see a young player that’s taking the time to develop himself professionally. He’s taking the time to detail out his work and his scheme. He comes with a natural skillset of speed and physicality and toughness. He’s a perfect fit.”

With Robinson’s skillset, he just has to work on the little things to become the player that he and the Steelers want him to be. Curry mentioned that he sees something in Robinson that he does not see in many other second-year players which is the thirst for knowledge and always trying to figure out how to improve.

“For a second-year player, he’s made tremendous progress,” Curry said. “I’ve seen other second-year players before, and the light bulb is still not on. His light bulb is coming on. What he’s done that’s really cool to me is that he’s changed and increased his study habits. [Robinson] takes really good notes. He asks really good questions. He challenges things that don’t make sense to him. He’s really focused on figuring this thing out.”

While the team signed Elandon Roberts and Cole Holcomb to be the starting inside linebacker duo this season, Robinson received first-team reps at the team’s OTAs and hinted at possible defensive packages that he may be featured in.

“We learn both spots (Mack and Buck), so I’m not sure exactly where I’ll play yet,” Robinson said. “I’m playing a bit more at the Buck spot, but I’m not sure what they have planned.”

Even if Robinson does not start in year two, he is likely to play an increased number of snaps in his second year as his only real competition for playing time behind Roberts and Holcomb is the newly-signed Nick Kwiatkoski. Depending on Robinson’s play in 2023, he should be in line to become the team’s top backup at the position by the end of the year.

93 • Mark Robinson, Inside Linebacker, Ole Miss
5-foot-11, 235 pounds, 23 years old, 2nd 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 seasonAfter 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.

Steelers ILB Mark Robinson

Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Mark Robinson (93) looks on during pre-game warm-ups before an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Terrance Williams)

Robinson received his first career start as an inside linebacker in Week 17 against the Baltimore Ravens. In that game, Robinson recorded 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.

Year GP GS Tackles Sacks FFs INTs DEF Snaps PFF Grade
2022 4 2 9 0 0 0 44 27.6

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 second year of his standard four-year rookie contract and will cost $898,089 against the Steelers’ 2023 cap space. His cap hit in 2023 includes an $870,000 base salary and a $28,089 prorated bonus. Robinson is signed with the team through the end of the 2025 season when he will become a free agent.

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