2022 Draft Class Review – ILB Mark Robinson

Another year has come and gone, with another draft on the horizon. It’s the perfect time to take a step back and reflect on the year that was, especially with respect to the most recent draft class. The Pittsburgh Steelers made seven selections in the 2022 NFL Draft, one in each round except for the fifth (zero) and the seventh (two).

The top of the draft marked one of the most momentous decisions in decades, as they used their first-round pick on the quarterback they hope will be the long-term successor to the retired Ben Roethlisberger. And they used much of the rest of the draft to find him weapons, marking the second year in a row they used each of their top two picks on offense.

Only two defenders were drafted, including a defensive lineman in the third round, the first time they have taken a lineman on that side of the ball earlier than the fifth round since Javon Hargrave in 2016. They also added an inside linebacker in the seventh round, who is the only holdover at the position from last season.

Over the next week, we will be looking at each of these players one by one and examining how their rookie season went and what we can expect from the moving forward, both during the 2023 season and potentially for the long term. But we’ll discuss each briefly below.

Player: Mark Robinson

Position: ILB

Draft Status: Seventh Round (225th overall)

Snaps: 44

Starts: 2 (4 games)

Mark Robinson was a fringe roster candidate the moment he was drafted in the seventh round a year ago. A former running back with limited playing experience, his reputation went little beyond a big man who likes to hit.

And the Steelers had bodies at the position already. They had Devin Bush and Myles Jack and Robert Spillane at the top, with Ulysees Gilbert III and Buddy Johnson and Marcus Allen and Tegray Scales and other names to boot.

They ended up carrying five inside linebackers, Robison being one of them, but he spent most of the season inactive, a healthy scratch. The Steelers knew that he was a developmental project and would need time.

But they found some time for him at the end of the season, and not throwaway snaps, either. They were still fighting for their playoff lives, yet they decided to play Robinson over Bush in the last two games of the season.

And he didn’t look altogether without hope. Sure, there were his moments where he looked like a rookie running back trying to play linebacker in the NFL, but there were also indications of the sort of player they saw when they drafted him.

With Bush, Spillane, and Jack now gone, and Allen unsigned, there is an opening for Robinson. The Steelers already brought in Cole Holcomb and Elandon Roberts from the outside, and they might add another linebacker in the draft. But for now, Robinson at least has a good shot of making the team, and maybe a chance for more.

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