PHILADELPHIA – The Eagles signed defensive end Janarius Robinson off the Minnesota Vikings practice squad Tuesday as a replacement for Derek Barnett, the veteran defensive end who was placed on injured reserve and is expected to miss the rest of the season after tearing the ACL in his left knee in Detroit.
Robinson, a 2021 fourth-round pick out of Flordia State, continues a recent theme for Howie Roseman of taking flyers on draft picks from last year who quickly flamed out in their original homes.
The trend started with a pair of waiver-wire pickups in quarterback Ian Book, a 2021 fourth-round by New Orleans out of Notre Dame, and running back Trey Sermon, a third-rounder by San Francisco out of Ohio State via Oklahoma.
Robinson was unable to make the 53-man roster in Minnesota after spending his rookie season on injured reserve with a leg injury. The Vikings are deep at edge rusher with two former Pro Bowl edge rushers in Danielle Hunter and Zadarius Smith, as well as backups D.J. Wonnum, who had eight sacks last season, and Pat Jones, a 2021 third-round pick.
At 6-foot-5 and 260 pounds, Robinson was drafted to be a defensive end in Mike Zimmer’s traditional 4-3 scheme but shifted this year to being an overhang player in the Vikings’ new defensive scheme under Ed Donatell, a long-time Vic Fangio lieutenant.
The Eagles also play a defensive scheme based on Fangio’s beliefs, which are heavy on zone principles on the back end while toggling between odd and even fronts.
Those into subterfuge note the calendar with Minnesota set to play the Eagles on Monday night at Lincoln Financial Field and assume the organization is trying to gain some intell by plucking Robinson off the Vikings’ PS. However, the two teams use virtually the same defensive systems so Philadelphia is already well-versed in what Donatell tries to accomplish defensively.
The Eagles just like the player and believe Robinson has some traits that could make him a good developmental prospect.
In the short term, Barnett’s injury should open up playing time for second-year DE Tarron Jackson, who was scratched as a healthy inactive for the season-opener in Detroit. The versatile Milton Williams could also garner more reps outside for Jonathan Gannon’s defense.