Bijan Robinson | Texas 5’11” 215 lbs. | 01/30/2002 (21)
Bijan Robinson was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons, becoming the first running back and eighth overall player in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Robinson comes into the 2023 NFL Draft as the most coveted running back prospect since Saquon Barkley. During his freshman season, he split time with Roschon Johnson in Texas’ backfield, earning 101 opportunities to Johnson’s 88. Robinson averaged an astounding 8.2 yards per carry to go along with his 703 rushing yards and four touchdowns. He was named the 2020 Alamo Bowl MVP, as he produced 183 rushing yards and a touchdown on just 10 carries. He followed that season with his first 1,000-yard-plus season, as finished sixth in the Big 12 with 1,127 yards on the ground. His most dominant season came last year. He accumulated 1,580 rushing yards, 19 receptions, 314 receiving yards, and 20 total touchdowns. His efforts earned him the Doak Walker Award (top running back in the nation), and he was named a unanimous All-American as well.
He comes into the league as an immediate three-down back who shows great hands and versatility out of the backfield. Nightmare matchup one-on-one against linebackers. Runs with authority but shows patience when necessary. Twitchy, has fast feet and is able to switch directions by altering his pace and directing power at the point of attack. Rips through leg and arm tackles and finishes his runs leaning forward and driving his legs at a consistent rate. Superb vision, which compliments so well with his rare contact balance and variety of footwork tools. Above-average top-end speed is the icing on the cake to what looks like one of the best running back prospects we’ve seen in the last 20 years.
There aren’t many weaknesses here. Could sharpen his craft as a pass-protector. Occasionally takes plays off and doesn’t fully finish through the play. His durability could become a concern early in his career, as he finished his collegiate tenure with 599 carries and a season-ending dislocated elbow during his 2021 season.
At the NFL Combine, Robinson measured in at 5’11” and 215 lbs. Which equates to a BMI of 30. He ran a solid 4.46 40-yard dash, equating to a 108.7-speed score. Both figures landed him in the 86th percentile or higher. Robinson also displayed a 124.9 burst score (82nd percentile) and a college dominator score of 36.8 percent (86th percentile).
Robinson shows elite speed and athleticism. He showcased solid leaping abilities with a 37” vertical and a 124” broad jump. He finished inside the top-6 amongst the running back participants in all four events he participated in. Robinson finished sixth in the 40-yard dash, sixth in the vertical jump, fourth in the broad jump, and third in the 10-yard split. He doesn’t display any red flags at this point. Robinson is a rare prospect!
Rapid Reaction to Draft Capital: Good
Rapid Reaction to Landing Spot: Excellent
Robinson was selected with the eighth-overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft by the Falcons.
Although Tyler Allgeier topped 1,000 yards rushing last season, that didn’t stop the Falcons from selecting the best running back prospect since Saquon Barkley. Atlanta wants to run the ball more than any other team in the league, and Robinson will now become their “Bell Cow” back. He becomes the third-straight skilled position player selected by the Falcons in the top eight in the last three seasons (joining Kyle Pitts and Drake London).
It doesn’t matter if your Dynasty league is a Superflex or single-quarterback format, Robinson SHOULD go first overall in your rookie drafts. He projects to be a 300-plus opportunity running back right away. He’s a dynamic pass-catcher who should excel in PPR leagues. This may be the perfect landing spot for fantasy purposes. Atlanta head coach Arthur Smith wants to run the ball WAY more than he wants to pass. This team will ride on the wheels of Robinson, and he may turn into the top dynasty running back overall sooner rather than later.
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