2023 NFL Draft: ESPN’s best playmaker fit for Falcons

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The Falcons have taken big time playmakers with their first round picks in back-to-back NFL Drafts. The new regime made Kyle Pitts the highest drafted tight end in history. Then, they turned around and took the first reciever off the board in Drake London. With a third top ten pick in as many cycles, the Falcons will have a chance to land another blue chip prospect, and Bijan Robinson is a popular target.

Matt Bowen of ESPN picked out the best fits for 15 of the best offensive skill prospects, factoring in skill sets, scheme, team needs and value in this draft. And it’s no surprise that the Texas product was a seamless fit in Atlanta.

Why he fits: Robinson is one of the best overall prospects in the 2023 class, and I wouldn’t argue if some teams had him graded out as the No. 1 guy on the board based on his outstanding tape. We know he doesn’t play a premium position in terms of draft value, so it’s still very much up in the air where he actually gets picked. And maybe No. 8 ends up being too high. But I really like the fit for Robinson as the lead back in Arthur Smith’s offense.

I see him as an all-purpose playmaker — a prospect who can produce in any game situation. Simply put, he has all the traits, and it showed in his 1,580 rushing yards and 18 TDs on the ground last season at Texas. No other team ran as much as the Falcons last season (51.1% of offensive plays), so Robinson would see consistent volume in their zone-blocking schemes, while also upgrading the pass game for second-year quarterback Desmond Ridder as a versatile target.

You don’t need to be a football expert to see how perfect this pair could be — one of the most run heavy offenses in football with a generational running back.

Robinson is the perfect combination of size and skill to be the bell cow runner in Arthur Smith’s offense. He was a unanimous first-team All-American and won the Doak Walker Award, given to the best running back in college football. In his 2022 campaign, he posted 1,580 yards and 18 touchdowns on the ground while adding 314 yards and two scores through the air.

Robinson is reliable as a runner, blocker and receiver. Regardless of the facet of his game you’re analyzing, he’s elite. As a runner, Robinson has incredible contact balance and vision with the acceleration and burst to turn any carry into an explosive play. He can line up wide or in the backfield as a receiver and be productive. Versatility is understatement. The Falcons offense would be able to utilize Robinson and Cordarrelle Patterson interchangeably as receivers and runners in a variety of alignments.

Bijan Robinson is in the same conversation as Saquon Barkley and Todd Gurley coming out of college. If you haven’t seen him play, you don’t understand how talented the young man is. There are probably only a handful of blue chip prospects in the 2023 draft class, and Robinson is undoubtedly one of them.

He would be a legitamte MVP candidate in the Falcons offense. Taking a running back in the first ten selections isn’t very popoular because of positional value, but you can’t argue with how fun it would be in Atlanta.

Adam Davis/Icon Sportswire

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