NFL and Falcons records Bijan Robinson can break in 2023

NFL: AUG 04 Atlanta Falcons Training Camp

The Falcons have had a ton of success drafting skill position players under the new regime. Kyle Pitts, Drake London, and Tyler Allgeier have set franchise records, and Bijan Robinson is likely next.

Kyle Pitts broke several franchise records, including yards by a tight end and receptions by a rookie, the latter of which Drake London broke the following season. In that same year, Tyler Allgeier broke the franchise record for rushing yards by a rookie.

Here are some franchise records that Bijan Robinson could challenge in 2023:

Rushing yards by a Falcons rookie
  • Tyler Allgeier (2022) 1,035 yards

I think most people expect Robinson to eclipse this mark in 2023, even with Allgeier still involved in the offense. The club didn’t draft Robinson 8th overall to limit his carries. I think he hits the ground running and garners around 300 touches, including more than 220 carries. That would mean Robinson needs around 4.7 yards per carry to break Allgeier’s record.

Rushing yards by a Falcons player

The rookie rushing title isn’t such a tall task, but this one is going to be. Depending on how many carries Robinson receives, the Falcons’ 8th overall pick would have to average some eye-popping yards per carry. Let’s say he totes the rock 250 times, which is more than 150 fewer than Anderson, Robinson would have to average over seven yards per carry. That’s a tall order.

Receiving yards by a Falcons rookie running back

The running back position has changed over time, and this seems as attainable as the rushing record for a rookie. I believe Robinson will garner 80-ish targets. If he hauls in about 60 of those, he would need to average around 6.67 yards per catch to eclipse Keith Jones’s record. I could see Robinson topping 600 receiving yards in 2023.

Receiving yards by a Falcons running back

Andrews hauled in 81 receptions during that 1981 season, which is a ton. I predicted Robinson would be targeted that many times, and there’s no chance he catches every single one. More than likely, he’ll be around 60 receptions and would have to average over 10 yards per catch to challenge this record.

Yards from scrimmage by a Falcons player
  • William Andrews (1983) 2,176 total yards — 1,567 rushing yards and 609 receiving yards

This one is going to be close. It’s a lot of rushing yards. I pegged Robinson to garner around 220 rushing attempts, which would mean Robinson would have to average around seven yards per carry. The receiving yards seem much more reachable. This is one of the more difficult ones.

Yards from scrimmage by a Falcons rookie
  • William Andrews (1979) 1,332 total yards — 1,023 rushing yards and 309 receiving yards

I really think this record is as good as broken, as is our next one.

All-purpose yards by a Falcons rookie
  • Byron Hanspard (1997) 1,375 total yards — 335 rushing yards, 53 receiving yards, 987 kick return yards
  • Tim Dwight (1998) 1,349 total yards — 19 rushing yards, 94 receiving yards, 973 kick return yards, 263 punt return yards

Hanspard and Dwight are the top two but a lot of their total came from special teams. Even still, Bijan Robinson should absolutely break this record with just rushing and receiving yards. If he breaks Allgeier’s rushing record and Jones’ receiving record, Robinson will break the all-purpose record.

All-purpose yards by a Falcons player
  • Jerious Norwood (2007) 2,207 total yards — 613 rushing yards, 277 receiving yards, and 1,317 kick return yards

All-purpose will be challenging because Robinson likely won’t appear on special teams, but this one should still be within reach for the Texas product.

Now, let’s get to the NFL records that Bijan Robinson could break.

Rushing yards by a rookie

These are going to be more and more difficult for Robinson to break. Eric Dickerson’s mark hasn’t been challeneged in recent years for a reason. Even Zeke, whose 1,631 yards ranked third, was a couple of hundred yards away and played in more games. Dickerson’s performance during that 1983 season was one of the greatest for a running back ever, not just a rookie. Robinson’s chances of breaking that aren’t great, but if he did, he’d likely be in the conversation for the league MVP and rushing title.

Receiving yards by a rookie running back

This one might also be pretty difficult for Robinson to break, but he could flirt with it. If hauls in 60 passes, averaging close to 15 yards per reception would break the record. That’s a bit of a stretch, but if he garners more than 80 targets, everything should experience an uptick in production. This isn’t out of the realm of possibilities, but it’ll be challenging.

All-purpose yards by a rookie running back
  • Gale Sayers (1965) 2,272 total — 867 rushing yards, 507 receiving yards, 901 special teams yards

Gale Sayers is one of the greatest to ever strap it up. Robinson should eclipse both of these figures — 1,000+ rushing and 600+ receiving yards — but his yards on special teams are what makes this one hard. This would make the Falcons rookie’s 2023 campaign one of the greatest first seasons in league history.

All-purpose yards by a rookie
  • Tim Brown (1988) 2,317 total yards — 50 rushing yards, 725 receiving yards, 198 kick return yards, 444 punt return yards

Once again, Robinson’s all-purpose yards are going to be hurt by his lack of usage on special teams. However, much like the all-purpose yards record by a running back, this one should be within reach.

Yards from scrimmage by a rookie
  • Eric Dickerson (1983) 2,212 total yards — 1,808 rushing and 404 receiving yards

Robinson should get close to 2K in yards from scrimmage, but this one is going to be difficult because he won’t garner the carries necessary to gain that many rushing yards. Still, it’s worth monitoring. This one seems more attainable than the actual rookie rushing title.

Photographer: Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire


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