The Falcons received wildly polarizing reviews when they drafted Bijan Robinson with the 8th overall pick. It’s the highest a running back has been selected since the Giants took Saquon Barkley 2nd overall in 2018.
Typically, the position is considered a luxury pick, given the value, prompting most media pundits to bash Atlanta’s regime. Spending three top 10 picks in a row on a tight end, wide receiver and running back isn’t exactly the blueprint to build a sustainable winner. However, there’s a rhyme to Atlanta’s reason.
Bijan Robinson isn’t just a running back; he’s an offensive weapon that can beat defenses in a variety of ways. He is a big play waiting to happen, responsible for 45 plays of 20+ yard gains in his career at Texas, including eight carries of 50+ yards.
14 of those 45 explosive plays were through the air. Robinson can run the entire running back route tree but also effectively work out of the slot. He’s as versatile as Christian McCaffrey, Alvin Kamara, and Austin Ekler. Moreover, he isn’t resting on his laurels either, refining that receiving ability with one of the best in the business — Ja’Marr Chase — this offseason while also studying Davante Adams’ release package off the line of scrimmage.
Bijan Robinson said he’s watching a lot of Davante Adams and learning how he gets off the line.
Bijan added that he views himself as a running back, first and foremost, with the ability to do a lot of different things. pic.twitter.com/pRc4EzTAeT
— Daniel Flick (@DFlickDraft) July 31, 2023
Expect Arthur Smith’s offense to use Bijan Robinson in a variety of ways — out of the backfield, in the slot, in motion, on the boundary, etc. There aren’t many things this guy can’t do on a football field. Not only is he physically impressive, but he’s constantly looking for ways to improve, both on and off the field.
Photographer: Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire