SI has bold prediction for Bijan Robinson: “Vintage Todd Gurley”

NFL: SEP 17 Packers at Falcons

The Falcons are gearing up for an exciting 2024 campaign because, in part, they finally have a reliable presence under center.

Under Arthur Smith, Atlanta trotted out a combination of Marcus Mariota, Desmond Ridder, and Taylor Heinicke across two seasons. It was a constant “What are we going to get this week?” type of quarterback play. Not anymore.

The Falcons went out and signed Kirk Cousins to the largest free-agent deal of the offseason, inking the veteran to a $180 million contract. The acquisition answered the biggest question mark on the roster.

Cousins is expected to help maximize the team’s talented, yet underachieving roster, none more than their three top 10 picks. Kyle Pitts and Drake London will obviously benefit from catching passes from a consistent thrower like Cousins, but it’s Bijan Robinson in Zac Robinson’s offense that has one pundit excited.

Connor Orr of Sports Illustrated had a bold prediction for Atlanta’s 2023 first-round pick:

28. Bijan Robinson will top 2,000 total yards on offense

While I’m less optimistic about seeing the Kyle Pitts train rolling, I don’t think it’s an accident that Raheem Morris brought an offensive coordinator with him from the Los Angeles Rams. The Atlanta Falcons’ run game is going to be exotic, and it’s going to be created specifically to get Robinson the most opportunities humanly possible. I wouldn’t rule out a vintage 2017–18 Todd Gurley–type performance.

Todd Gurley still ranks among the leading scorers in the NFL and hasn’t played since 2020, which was ironically with the Falcons. That’s because he totaled nearly 4,000 total yards of offense and 40 total touchdowns in the 2017 and 2018 seasons, or as Orr dubbed it, “Vintage Todd Gurley.”

Bijan Robinson has all of the talent in the world, more than enough to be the kind of player that Gurley was for the Rams some years ago. In fact, Robinson had a comparable rookie season as Gurley.

The Texas product recorded 1,463 yards from scrimmage and 8 total scores, compared to the UGA legend’s 1,294 scrimmage yards and 10 total touchdowns. The Falcons are expected to feature Robinson this season, but eclipsing 2,000 yards of total offense will take a lot more than that.

Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

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