Falcons don’t land Bijan Robinson in Bleacher Report’s 2023 re-draft

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NFL teams haven’t even reported to training camp yet, and the vultures are already out making 2024 mock drafts. Believe it or not, there’s something even worse — a re-draft of the 2023 cycle. Yes, a re-draft of the one that took place a few months ago.

That’s exactly what Matt Holder of Bleacher Report did because it’s the deadest time in football. Mind you, these rookies haven’t even made it to their respective training camps, but Holder already has teams going in different directions, including the Falcons.

Instead of Atlanta landing Bijan Robinson, Holder has the club selecting former Northwestern and current Titans offensive lineman Peter Skoronski; however, it’s not because he bought into the “don’t draft a running back that high” narrative. No, he actually has Robinson going sixth overall to the Lions, who ended up landing Jahmyr Gibbs with the 12th pick, which originally belonged to the Texans but came into Detroit’s control via trade.

Here’s what Holder said about the Falcons new pick:

With Bijan Robinson coming off the board at No. 6 in this exercise, it would be tempting to just give the Atlanta Falcons the second running back selected in the draft.

However, with Tyler Allgeier rushing for over 1,000 yards as a rookie and veteran Cordarrelle Paterson serving as the third-down back, the Robinson pick felt more like a “best player available” decision for Atlanta.

Instead, the Falcons look to give their young quarterback, Desmond Ridder, more protection. They already have a couple of quality tackles in place with Jake Matthews and Kaleb McGary holding down the edges, but they could use some help on interior. That’s why they pass on Darnell Washington and opt for the more versatile Peter Skoronski.

Skoronski’s ability to play either guard or tackle is something that has already stood out to Tennessee Titans offensive line coach Jason Houghtaling during OTAs and minicamp based on the quote below.

“He’s the guy that he thinks he can play any position, and he’s repped different positions and is continuing to hone in on [those skills],” Houghtaling explained on the former Wildcat’s progress. “… He’s really trying to perfect his craft, whether it’s blocking a guy at a guard or tackle, wherever. … He’s played multiple positions. We knew that coming out of Northwestern and he continues to do that now.”

Theoretically, Skoronoski could fill in at guard for the Falcons for two years and then take over for Matthews ahead of the 2025 season when the latter will be 33 and could be cut with a post-June 1 designation to save the team $15.5 million.

2021 re-drafts are too soon. There was one recently that had the Falcons pivoting from Kyle Pitts and selecting Ja’Marr Chase instead. One underachieving season after a record-breaking, 1,000+ yard rookie campaign with the ghost of Matt Ryan doesn’t warrant Chase over Pitts, even if the former LSU Tiger is one of the best wideouts in the league already. Circumstances matter, and Joe Burrow is the second best quarterback in the league, while Pitts caught passes from Marcus Mariota…

Even still, development is never linear in the NFL, and a lot of players don’t break out until their third, fourth, and fifth seasons. It’s a silly exercise and even more so when done before these guys even play their first game as a pro. Hey, content never sleeps, so I get it. This is just wild, though. Hindsight is always 20/20, but are we far enough removed to even say that?

Photographer: Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire

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