The only thing more entertaining than the crazy rumors leading up to the NFL Draft are the wild overreactions in the days following. In reality, nobody wins or loses on draft night. We won’t know how good a team’s class is until a few years down the road. The development of these players is just as crucial as the evaluation of talent.
But in this business, people are paid to make rapid reactions, and one of the more well respected members of the draft industry is Todd McShay. He may not always be right, but Falcons better hope he is this time around, as he pegged Bijan Robinson as the best first-round pick by any team.
Running back Bijan Robinson to the Atlanta Falcons at No. 8. I just love the fit, positional value aside. He is my No. 2 prospect in this class and brings a whole new element to the Falcons’ offense with his power, pass-game traits and contact balance. He’s one of the best running backs I’ve evaluated in the past decade, and with Atlanta’s run-heavy scheme, he could really dominate right out of the gate. General manager Terry Fontenot is setting quarterback Desmond Ridder up well here.
For some teams, taking a running back 8th overall may be ridiculous. But McShay makes a fantastic point; the fit in Atlanta is seamless.
Nobody wants to run the ball more than the Falcons. It’s become their identity under Arthur Smith, and even if Desmond Ridder proves to be better than everyone thinks, the Falcons are still going to run it close to 30 times a game.
I know they have Tyler Allgeier, but Robinson is a superstar with MVP potential, and I don’t think it will take away too much from Allgeier’s role. He will still get a good amount of carries and having them both should help them stay healthy and prolong their careers. For the next 3+ years, there won’t be a better running back room in the league, and that’s a good thing to have when you plan on running the ball more than everyone else.
The Robinson pick also makes a lot more sense when considering how things played out in front of the Falcons. There wasn’t a lot of messing around. The elite guys were taken by the time Terry Fontenot and company were on the clock. This was the best player available, and I’m not even sure it was relatively close. The Falcons now have one of the better skill position groups in football, giving Desmond Ridder everything he needs to succeed.
Photo: Adam Davis/Icon Sportswire
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