Matt Ryan and Julio Jones long led the Falcons. They were faces of the franchise for more than a decade, but the club has been in limbo since both departed Atlanta. The Falcons have been searching for their next face, and it’s rapidly become apparent that Bijan Robinson is the next one up.
Atlanta’s new regime saw Robinson, the prospect, as an offensive weapon, not just a running back. His value on the field is obvious; anyone who watches him says he’s special. However, what sold the club on the Texas product was Bijan Robinson, the person. Terry Fontenot and Arthur Smith have raved about his character and other intangibles since draft night.
Taking a running back with the 8th overall pick, obviously, that player is talented. To be the face of an NFL franchise, that is a prerequisite. And Robinson possesses that in spades.
He’s the best prospect to come out of college in quite a long time, even better than Saquon Barkley, in my opinion. In a different era of football, Bijan Robinson would’ve been in the conversation for the 1st overall pick.
Secondly, you have to be marketable, which he is. Billboards around Atlanta will soon feature Robinson’s face, and #7 will become one of the most-sold jerseys in the NFL. And the number is another point; #7 is iconic for Falcons fans. However, Michael Vick had quite a tumultuous career in Atlanta, ending with him being sentenced to federal prison.
I feel safe in saying that won’t be the path Biajn Robinson takes. In fact, the reason he chose the number just adds to the Golden Boy mystique. “My reason was, it’s biblical, my faith is the biggest thing for me,” Bijan said, via the team’s website.
Robinson will absolutely live up to the number, not only because of his physical talent but, more importantly, because his character will ultimately lead to success in Atlanta. He’s a class act and will soon be the face of this franchise. And this latest story makes me even more confident because your teammates have to also sign off on their franchise leader.
Chris Lindstrom said following an OTA from Mercedes Benz Stadium that the rookie texted the offensive linemen shortly after being drafted, saying he was excited to work with them. Lindstrom noted that he couldn’t recall that happening before, adding that Robinson “has been amazing to have in the building.”
I had said it before and received a ton of backlash but stand by it: Bijan Robinson will be the biggest sports star in Atlanta, bigger than Ronald Acuna Jr. and Trae Young. I’m not saying he’ll be a better player than those superstars, but football is king. If Robinson performs on the field like I expect him to, the rest will take care of itself.
Photographer: Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire