This Mizzou D-lineman met with Chiefs, hoping NFL career can be like Chris Jones’

Missouri defensive lineman Darius Robinson — originally from Michigan — said he won’t be disappointed if the Kansas City Chiefs select him in the upcoming NFL Draft.

“That’d be awesome. I love Mizzou. Man, that’s my second home,” Robinson said Wednesday at the NFL Combine. “I tell people I’m from Michigan, and I’m from Missouri.”

There’s potentially even more reason to be excited about that possible union now. Robinson revealed Wednesday that he had met with Chiefs coach Andy Reid, defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo and defensive line coach Joe Cullen at the Combine.

“It was a great interview. Seeing Andy Reid, he’s a GOAT (greatest of all time). The DC ... GOAT. The D-line coach ... GOAT,” Robinson said with a smile. “They have a great program over there.”

The Chiefs certainly have grounds to be interested in Robinson — especially if the offseason plays out in a way where free agent Chris Jones doesn’t return to KC.

Robinson, at 6-foot-5 and a most-recent weight of 285 pounds, boasts some of the same type of versatility Jones has. In fact, the confident Robinson repeatedly told reporters that he was comfortable playing anywhere from nose tackle to edge rusher on an NFL team’s D-line.

“I play physical. I’m going to run. I’m going to hit somebody. I can do everything,” Robinson said. “I just want an opportunity to put my cleats in the ground and play as fast as I can.”

When asked if he modeled his game after any NFL players, Robinson mentioned the Las Vegas Raiders’ Maxx Crosby before citing the Chiefs’ Jones.

“He’s very strong on the inside. He never gets blocked,” Robinson said of Jones. “Just a great player.”

So does he see similarities in their games?

“Definitely,” Robinson said. “He’s who I want to ... five years from now, I want them to be like, ‘Darius is like Chris Jones.’ That’d be an awesome accomplishment. But he’s just a great player, man. I just watch a lot of his tape.”

The Chiefs, if they like Robinson enough, could have plenty of competition for his services. The defensive lineman is listed as the 27th pick in ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr.’s latest mock draft (the Chiefs pick 32nd) while also ranked as the 45th overall player on Pro Football Focus’ big board.

It’s been a recent rise for the fifth-year senior and All-SEC first-team selection. Robinson stood out during drills at the Senior Bowl earlier this month, with data at showing his expected draft position has gone up about one full round over the last four weeks.

Robinson agreed that his Senior Bowl performance had improved his stock.

“But it’s funny: I tell everybody if you watched our tape from the whole season, I was the same guy every week,” Robinson said. “So for people to just now realize ... it’s ‘STP’ at Mizzou, ‘Something to prove.’ I’ve been the same guy the whole season.”

Robinson’s morning interview Wednesday was the first for many Tigers at this week’s events in Indianapolis. Eight Mizzou players earned invitations to the Combine following an 11-2 season, which culminated with a Cotton Bowl win over Ohio State.

“I’m glad our whole group of seniors left the impression of how Mizzou is,” Robinson said. “It’s up to our new team to hold the standard, because we’re on the map now. So just keep it up, keep going and keep working.”

As for Robinson, he hopes this week in front of NFL teams that he can “just continue to show why I’m the best defensive lineman in the draft.”

His journey, he said, has been a distinct one. He didn’t take up football until junior year of high school, and if he hadn’t earned a scholarship with the sport, he said he likely would’ve followed his family’s military tradition and joined the U.S. Marines.

Instead — with how it’s turned out — he’s now a top prospect and potential Day 1 NFL Draft pick.

“It’s a blessing to be here, but the job’s not done yet,” Robinson said. “My story’s just starting.”