By Andrew Erickson (FantasyPros), Fri, Sep 1st 2023, 10:35am EDT
Texas running back Bijan Robinson was the consensus No. 1 RB across all pre-draft publications and was selected 8th overall in the 2023 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons.
Robinson finished the 2022 college football season as PFF's second highest-graded rusher in the FBS, tallying 18 rushing TDs and 1,575 rushing yards en route to a 37% dominator rating in his final year as a Texas Longhorn. He forced 104 missed tackles (40% broken tackle rate) which has shown to be super predictive of success rushing at the NFL level. Compared to last year's running back class, only Breece Hall posted a higher dominator rating (40%). Factor in that Robinson also finished third among RBs in yards per catch (16.5) with zero drops and there's no question as to why he's the locked-in 1.01 for rookie drafts and top-3-ranked running back in season-long formats. At 5-foot-11 and 215 pounds, Robinson has the requisite size and all the tools to be a successful three-down running back in Arthur Smith's offense. Last season in Atlanta's offense, Tyler Allgeier finished as PFF's highest-graded rookie running back and 6th in rushing EPA as a former 5th-round pick. Allgeier also averaged nearly 18 carries and 96 rushing yards per game from Week 13 onward. If Robinson inherits that workload, he is easily projecting 300-plus carries and 1,500 rushing yards in an offense that ranked first in early down run rate and +13% in run rate above expectation.