The Falcons were by far the most controversial team after the first round of the draft. Atlanta made Bijan Robinson the highest-drafted running back since Saquon Barkley went 2nd overall. It was quite the polarizing selection.
Part of the criticism is tied to Robinson’s position, and it’s fair. Running back is a luxury pick for a club on the cusp of a Super Bowl, which the Falcons certainly are not. Moreover, the team returns a 1,000+ yard runner in Tyler Allgeier, one of the most mentioned arguments against the pick.
I have a little pushback for those people. As good as Allgeier is and will be, he’s not as talented as Robinson as a runner or pass catcher. In addition, that receiving ability will give Arthur Smith the flexibility to have both of them on the field at the same time.
Another point is the workload. In no way, shape, or form can Tyler Allgeier assume a cowbell-type role like Derrick Henry. The combination of Robinson and Allgeier will keep each one fresh and lengthen their careers. The Falcons ran the ball 559 times in 2022, with Allgeier handling 210 carries; there are plenty of opportunities to go around.
Arthur Smith explained the difference to the media following Thursday’s first round:
#Falcons coach Arthur Smith described Tyler Allgeier as a sledgehammer and Bijan Robinson as a contact/balance guy. pic.twitter.com/B9teEUmYrk
— D. Orlando Ledbetter (@DOrlandoAJC) April 28, 2023
The city of Atlanta might be split on the Bijan Robinson pick, but they won’t be when they see him play. The Falcons are throwing it back to ’90s smashmouth football during a time when defenses are going lighter to handle the pass-happy NFL.
Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire
You must log in to post a comment.