Falcons rookie review: Bijan Robinson shines in Week 1

NFL: SEP 10 Panthers at Falcons

The Falcons are coming off their first season opening victory since 2017, and their rookies played a major role in the win over the Panthers. Let’s check out what the 2023 draft class did in their NFL debut

RB Bijan Robinson

What can I say about Robinson that hasn’t already been said? The superstar is already the face of the franchise and scored the first touchdown of the season for Atlanta. He took a swing pass and broke free from three tacklers en route to the endzone. On the day, Robinson totaled 16 touches for 83 yards from scrimmage — 56 rushing and 27 receiving yards. It’s going to be fun watching him play this season.

G Matthew Bergeron

Bergeron got the start at left guard, but it wasn’t clear if he won the starting job or was thrust into the starting role out of necessity with Matt Hennessy injured. Sunday was kind to the second-round pick. He took his lumps in pass sets but impressed in the run game, which is what was expected. He looked good against a world class interior defender in Derrick Brown. Overall, Falcons fans have to be happy with his performance.

DE Zach Harrison

I’ve never been more wrong about a player than Zach Harrison. The Ohio State product never developed as Buckeye like many thought he would as a highly-touted high school recruit. That expectation followed him to Atlanta, but he’s played himself in the rotation, logging 23 snaps or about 30% of the total defensive snaps. It was about a 2:1 ratio between the Falcons starting defensive line and reserves. Harrison looked good in limited action.

CB Clark Phillips III

Phillips didn’t log any snaps on defense, but that was to be expected.

S DeMarcco Hellams

Like Phillips, Hellams didn’t log any snaps, but that’s not surprising. The Falcons sixth-round pick did contribute on special teams, though, where he proved to be productive.

G Jovaughn Gwyn

Once again, no snaps for Gwyn.

Photographer: John Adams/Icon Sportswire

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