Texas Football: Falcons getting All-Pro-caliber RB in Bijan Robinson

Bijan Robinson, Texas football Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Bijan Robinson, Texas football Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

The moment Texas football fans were waiting for came earlier than expected on the night of April 27. All-American junior running back Bijan Robinson was picked up by the Atlanta Falcons with the eighth overall pick in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft.

This makes the former Longhorns superstar the highest NFL Draft pick among Texas Exes since two players from the program were picked in the top seven in 2006. The Oakland Raiders picked safety Michael Huff seventh overall and the Tennessee Titans picked quarterback Vince Young third overall in the first round of the 2006 NFL Draft.

It’s also worth noting that Bijan is the highest-picked Texas running back in the NFL Draft since the Chicago Bears picked Cedric Benson fourth overall in 2005.

Moreover, the Falcons clearly decided to prioritize talent and immediate impact ability over positional value in the modern NFL by selecting Bijan in the top 10 of the 2023 draft. Many considered the Falcons could be the first team in the first round of the draft that would be willing to select Bijan.

And it didn’t take them long to pull the trigger to make Bijan the highest-picked running back in the NFL Draft since the New York Giants took Saquon Barkley second overall in 2018.

What the Falcons are getting in All-American Texas football RB Bijan Robinson

To put it simply, the Falcons are getting the best running back in the draft and maybe the best prospect at the position in the NFL in the last half-decade in Bijan. The 6-foot and 215-pound stud running back has elite change of direction and an insane amount of lower-body strength that allows him to make defenders miss and break tackles seemingly with ease.

Bijan’s footwork and field vision are also exceptional, allowing him to come up with positive plays even when it doesn’t look like there are any gaps present.

The good news for Bijan, though, is that he will be running behind one of the better offensive lines in the NFL. Pro Football Network ranked the Falcons’ O-Line as the seventh-best in the NFL ahead of the 2023 season.

We’ve seen elite running back talents have All-Pro seasons during their rookie campaigns when running behind solid offensive lines in the last couple of decades (i.e. Ezekiel Elliott, Barkley, and Adrian Peterson).

Getting to run behind that good of an offensive line should see Bijan translate into a Pro Bowl-caliber running back right away at the next level. There’s no doubt in my mind that Bijan will have the chance to be one of the top 10 rushers in the NFL as soon as his rookie season in 2023.

Just think, the Falcons were able to boast a 1,000-yard rusher last season in breakout rookie running back Tyler Allgeier. The former BYU Cougar and fifth-round 2022 NFL Draft pick was able to average nearly five yards per carry for the Falcons last year.

Imagine what Bijan will be able to do with this group of stout offensive linemen blocking in front of him this fall.

Moreover, I would be remiss to not mention the threat Bijan poses as a receiver out of the backfield. He showed at Texas last season that he can be a threat in multiple phases of the game, reeling in 19 catches for a career-high 314 receiving yards and two touchdowns.

All around, Bijan is a potential generational talent at the running back position. The type of impact he could have on the Falcons’ offense should make him well worth the pick in the top 10.

Next. Final UT 2023 NFL Mock Draft. dark

Bijan was the first former Longhorn to hear his name called in the 2023 NFL Draft. We expect around four or five more Texas Exes to come off draft boards in the next few days, with senior linebacker DeMarvion Overshown and senior running back Roschon Johnson two likely candidates to be the next name called on Day 2 or early on Day 3.