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Road to the Draft

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TWENTYMAN: Combine Day 1 observations

Pork Chop: How did Penn State edge rusher Chop Robinson get the nickname? It turns out it was shorted to Chop from Pork Chop, the nickname his mother originally gave him after he weighed in at 14 pounds at birth. The third youngest of 10 children, Robinson said when he got older and started to slim down a bit, he couldn't go by Pork Chop anymore and shortened it to Chop.

Lions lineage: Former Lions defensive lineman Luther Elliss has another son, Jonah Elliss, who is hoping to follow his father's path to the NFL. He is one of Luther's 12 children, with older brothers Kaden and Christian also playing in the NFL. Jonah had 12.0 sacks and 16.0 tackles for loss playing for Utah last season and is considered a Day 2 pick.

"It's very important for me to continue that legacy," Jonah said Tuesday.

NFL Player Team Report Cards: The 2024 edition of the NFLPA report cards as voted by the membership was released Tuesday. The Detroit Lions earned a B grade overall and finished 13th among the 32 teams. Head coach Dan Campbell received an A+, joining Kansas City's Andy Reid and Minnesota's Kevin O'Connell as the only head coaches to earn the mark. Detroit earned its lowest grades in the food/cafeteria (C) and nutritionist/dietician (C+) categories.

Path to Combine: Canton, Mich. native Darius Robinson was given two choices in high school: Either get an athletic scholarship to college or join the military, which his family has a rich history of serving. Knowing he wasn't trending toward getting a basketball scholarship at the time, Robinson moved schools and started playing football as a junior. He earned a scholarship to Missouri and now could be a first-round pick in April. The journey to Indianapolis and the Combine is unique for everyone.

Dual role: Byron Murphy II (6-1, 308) might be the first defensive tackle to hear his name called in April's NFL Draft. He's going to make a lot of money sacking quarterbacks and tackling ball carriers, but he'd love a chance to touch the football on offense if a team would allow it. Murphy played a little offense at Texas. They threw him one pass and handed it to him once. Both ended up being 1-yard touchdowns. Murphy said he grew up playing running back. He was probably a load to bring down.

Boxing and football: Former River Rouge graduate Ruke Orhorhoro out of Clemson said not enough football players watch boxers and UFC athletes to cross-train technique. He said when it comes to hands technique, boxers and UFC athletes are great to watch for defensive linemen because you never see their hands dip below their waist. They are always active.

Long road: Florida State edge rusher Jared Verse got exactly zero scholarship offers coming out of high school as a 6-foot-3, 200 pounder. He ended up redshirting his freshman year at Albany. After two seasons at Albany – his second winning the conference Defensive Rookie of the Year award – he transferred to Florida State where he recorded 18.0 sacks and 29.5 tackles for loss the last two seasons combined for the Seminoles. Verse is now a 6-foot-4, 250 pounder who has a chance to be the first edge rusher taken in the draft.

Darts or putting: The Chicago Bears have an interesting exercise here at the Combine where they have the prospects they formally meet with begin the interview by either throwing darts or doing some putting.

"We'll take them into the room. In this particular case, I'll ask them if they want to darts or putting," Bears head coach Matt Eberflus said Monday. "I like putting. I'm pretty good at both. But, yeah, they'll decide that."

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