The Falcons have selected skill players with three straight top 10 draft picks, but the best of the bunch has only played two games thus far.
In his NFL debut, Robinson put up 83 total yards on 16 touches and a touchdown — 56 yards on 10 carries and 27 yards on a team-high six receptions. That pales in comparison to what he did last week. The 21-year-old rushed for 124 yards on 19 carries and caught four passes for 48 yards, including a pivotal third down reception and fouth-and-1 rush.
He’s on pace to eclipse 1,500 yards on the ground, which would shatter Tyler Allgeier‘s rookie franchise record of 1,035 yards that he set last year. He’s accumulated 255 total yards from scrimmage, which is nearly 40% of the Falcons’ 667 total yards. Robinson has garnered 39 touches through two games, and his 255 scrimmage yards are tied for fourth in the NFL.
I don’t think it’s ridiculous to say he’s already in the conversation for the best player at his position. Dan Orlovsky pointed out the similarities between how the 49ers use Christian McCaffrey, who is widely regarded as the NFL’s best running back, and the Falcons use of Bijan Robinson.
— Dan Orlovsky (@danorlovsky7) September 22, 2023
If you didn’t catch that, Arthur Smith has used Robinson all over the field; he’s taken 56 snaps from the backfield, 18 from the slot, 10 on the boundary, and even seven from an in-line tight end position. Smith and Robinson have given positionless football an entirely new meaning.
Defenses are stressed trying to account for Robinson as a receiver and runner while still marking two other top 10 draft picks. Oh yeah, that doesn’t even mention Tyler Allgeier, Cordarrelle Patterson, who has yet to make his 2023 debut, and Jonnu Smith.
This Falcons offense may not be the typical modern day offense that throws it all over the yard, but it’s effective in what it does. Much of that has to do with Bijan Robinson’s versatility.
Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire