Terry Fontenot and Arthur Smith described drafting Bijan Robinson 8th overall as an easy decision.
From an off-the-field perspective, it’s been a home run. He’s a role model, reliable, and extremely (maybe most importantly) marketable. The Falcons found the face of their franchise, regardless of who is under center.
However, what has everyone across the league buzzing is what he does on the field.
In his NFL debut, Robinson put up 83 total yards on 16 touches and a touchdown — 56 yards on 10 carries and 27 yards on a team-high six receptions. That pales in comparison to what he did last week. The rookie rushed for 124 yards on 19 carries and caught four passes for 48 yards, including a pivotal third down reception and fouth-and-1 rush.
He’s accumulated 255 total yards from scrimmage, which is nearly 40% of the Falcons’ 667 total yards. He’s on pace to eclipse 1,500 yards on the ground, which would shatter Tyler Allgeier‘s rookie franchise record of 1,035 yards that he set last year.
Robinson is the team’s leader in targets, receptions, and rushing. It’s safe to say the Falcons are happy with their decision to draft him, who is Jeremy Fowler of ESPN’s top rookie performer through two weeks.
I’ll pick out Atlanta running back Bijan Robinson, who entered the league with much fanfare and has delivered. There’s little doubt about his star power through two games. Something magical can happen on each carry. Making linebackers miss is a way of life for him. The Falcons might have trouble getting Drake London and Kyle Pitts the ball consistently, but Robinson has controlled the pace with 39 touches through two games, and his 255 scrimmage yards are tied for fourth in the NFL.
The only rookie that could challenge him is Puka Nacua, who ranks second behind Justin Jefferson in receiving yards (266) and third in the league in scrimmage yards (270) behind Jefferson and Christian McCaffrey.
Nacua has been sensational, and he deserves praise, but I have a hard time believing that production is sustainable in Los Angeles because Cooper Kupp is set to return eventually. Now, if he doesn’t, then Nacua has a real chance to take home the Offensive Rookie of the Year award at the end of the season.
Because of his consistent touches, Bijan Robinson has to be considered the favorite, though.
Photographer: John Adams/Icon Sportswire