Bijan Robinson Continues To See Draft Stock Rise
There’s an unwritten rule in the NFL Draft – don’t draft a running back in the first round. This came about for a few different reasons. Firstly, there was the move towards the passing game as well as the evolution of the modern “dual threat” quarterback. Why burn a first-round pick on a running back when you can take a Lamar Jackson? Secondly, with a plethora of strong collegiate running talent, teams can wait on running back and still pick up an elite player. Dalvin Cook, Miles Sanders, and Jonathan Taylor were all second-round picks.
In the last five drafts, there have been seven first-round running back selections. All but one (Saquon Barkley) were made at the 20th pick or later. They have combined for five Pro Bowls and three Super Bowl rings (one for Clyde Edwards-Helaire, two for Sony Michel). However, there is a prospect in the 2023 NFL Draft who might be about obliterate the league’s under-appreciation for the running back position.
Bijan Robinson Is A Blue Chip Running Back
Let’s talk numbers first and foremost. Robinson rushed for 3410 yards and 33 touchdowns in three seasons and 31 games at Texas. He also added 805 receiving yards and 8 receiving touchdowns during his career. That gives him a college career average yards from scrimmage of 7.0. His best trait is his elusiveness, possessing an uncanny ability to disappear under a mass of defenders and appear 40 yards upfield seconds later. By comparison, Saquon Barkley had rushed for 3843 yards and 43 touchdowns in his three seasons at Penn State. Bijan showed out at the NFL Combine, posting a 4.46-second 40-yard dash.
So where is Bijan going to go? Among draft experts, it’s a foregone conclusion that he is a first-round pick. The question is how long will he have to wait. The Ringer has him going at #8 to the Falcons. He is also projected to the Falcons in the SB Nation Community Draft. Pro Football Focus has him falling all the way to the Chargers at #21. Meanwhile, the NFL’s Maurice Jones sees him going at #10 to the Eagles. Despite his elite status, it’s safe to say we know how much NFL teams respect Robinson until his name is called.