Bijan Robinson is a universally beloved running back prospect in the upcoming NFL Draft. He’s by far the most-taken 1.01 in all formats of rookie dynasty drafts. In Superflex, he’s likely 1.01 above Bryce Young and CJ Stroud. Robinson had an outstanding college career at Texas. His stat sheet is littered with outstanding metrics, numbers, and awards. Robinson is a generational running back prospect, the best since Saquon. Don’t be surprised when he puts up RB1 numbers to start his career and doesn’t stop for nearly a decade. Please, Football overlords, keep Bijan healthy. He’s an X-Factor running back in the NFL and fantasy football, especially on your devy or dynasty team.
- School: Texas
- Year: Junior
- Position: Running Back
- Hometown: Tucson, Arizona
- Age: 21
- Height: 6’0″
- Weight: 220 pounds
- Draft Prediction: Guaranteed First-Round, potential Top-10
Robinson had one of the best careers that a college running back can have. He entered college after being voted the best high school football player in Arizona and a five-star recruit. Robinson was the No.1 high school running back recruit. He won Bowl MVP, numerous All-American or Big-12 Teams, was ninth in Heisman voting, and put his name in numerous record books at Texas. He finished third in Texas history with touchdowns, 100+ yardage rushing games, and fourth in UT history in total yards. Bijan was fourth all-time in rushing yards and total touchdowns. Plus, he won the Doak Walker award for the best college running back.
That’s not all, as his 2022 season was a masterpiece. He had the most forced missed tackles (104), zero drops, fourth in yards after contact (1,071), and had a PFF 96.1 rushing grade. According to PFF, he has a career 39% forced missed tackle rate, which is the best since they started tracking it in 2014. Robinson was one of the best all-around players at any position in college football during his time. The only issue was that he missed multiple games due to back, shoulder, and elbow injuries. However, he finished the ’22 season healthy. He’s a bell-cow running back ready to dominate in the NFL. Pretty much every NFL team could use Robinson.
Robinson has an insane lateral ability with ankle-breaking moves. He bends, twists, stops on a dime, and manipulates his way through the first and second lines before using a second burst to reach full speed. Oh, and his first-line burst is elite. Robinson explodes through whichever path he takes, blowing by interior defenders or edge rushers.
Often, his burst is enough to get past the second level as well. He’s a one-cut-back with a toolbag of moves he can pull out whenever he wants. Robinson plants his foot and takes off like he’s running track. He’s not scared to take contact, which allows him to break tackles or gain extra momentum when he launches off a tackler. Seeing just how fast Robinson gets when he moves upfield or gets past a defender is exciting. It’s highlight reel after highlight reel. One thing to also note is that Robinson doesn’t mind driving a pile using his powerful legs.
Robinson has elite speed but isn’t always the fastest on the field. He’s got breakaway speed, but he doesn’t maintain it all the time. It can be aggravating seeing defenders get close to him. This is because NFL defenders are much faster than college guys. Yet, Robinson has enough speed to immediately be one of the fastest running backs in the draft. I’m more worried about him maintaining his speed throughout the NFL season, as his game speed can be slow at times.
Yet, there are many examples of Robinson just putting his foot on the ground and using his speed to blow past defenders. He is a threat to take it to the house based on his speed, let alone his tool case of moves. However, I do hope that his game speed improves, as I’m worried that it will be the single tool of his that holds him back from true greatness. Robinson is a tremendous competitor, though, so I’m sure he’ll find the extra gear to make me look foolish for even doubting his speed.
Robinson spots the hole and blasts through it without any second-guessing or worry. However, he’s still patient enough to scan the whole field and decide the best route. He lets blocks develop. He isn’t afraid to follow the wide-open hole using his athleticism to beat out any defenders he doesn’t foresee. Robinson will use his head or feet to make it appear that he’s breaking into the A-Gap before bouncing it outside. He’ll do this to trick a defender into moving the wrong way. He likely has the best vision in the draft, once proving that he’s the most deadly and elite running back in this draft and in years.
Robinson will occasionally miss an inside lane that he could’ve taken, but he’s talented enough to make up for it using his agility and speed. He’s probably the best outside zone rusher that I’ve scouted yet. He somehow has the spatial awareness to know where every defender on the field is, especially in the second and third levels. This allows Robinson to frequently use cutback lanes to avoid being tackled and obtain even larger gains. He’s a fantasy football team’s dream running back. More yards equals more points.
Robinson has the best contact balance of any running back in the draft. He maintains his progress without getting off-kilter or knocked down. He’s like a rubber ball and bounces off defenders while staying on his feet and moving to the end zone. Robinson doesn’t ever fall down. He laughs if a guy tries to knock him off using his arms. He’s explosive through contact and doesn’t slow a beat, even when there’s so much contact that Robinson should fall down. He won’t be Derrick Henry’ing defenders, but he will undoubtedly break a ton of tackles. It’s tough to bring him down, especially when he uses his shiftiness and Madden-like moves.
Robinson is an extremely talented receiver. The one huge worry about him is that he relies too much on body catches. It’s not a huge issue, but it can cost him some catches or yardage. Still, he’s probably the best receiving back in this draft, if not the second-best behind Gibbs. Robinson was used a ton in the receiving game, as evidenced by his 60 career receptions for over 800 yards. There are no worries about Bijan facing tough coverage, as he’s elite at finding ways to get open and has strong body control.
As soon as Robinson has the ball in his hands, that absurd running back ability takes over. He’s a huge threat to go the distance every time he’s thrown the ball. He is going to have a large number of yards after the catch. It’s the best of both worlds. Robinson is a Konami code in the passing game, ensuring he will see a ton of targets. The slippery and elusiveness below are hilarious. Watching defenders just lose grip of him or fail to tackle him as if he was coated in butter. It will be exciting to watch him face NFL defenders, although I have a feeling he’ll win most of the time. Robinson has unlimited moves to shake defenders easier than Anakin Skywalker in the Battle of Coruscant.
Robinson can run every kind of route out of the backfield. They aren’t always clean, but he gets the job done. He does them so well usually that Texas started putting him in the slot. Check out below, how good he is on this reception through contact and a strong post route. Robinson holds onto the ball well and catches it out in front of him with his hands. That helps alleviate some of the concerns that he can only body-catch. At Texas, Robinson was used in various ways, from motioning out of the backfield to wheel/swing routes to everything else. Robinson is entirely ready for an NFL workload and route tree. He won’t have any growing pains learning and performing all the various routes/scheme plans that the NFL will demand.
Let’s start by naming what Robinson needs to fix when it comes to his blocking. He needs to identify the player he’s supposed to block quickly. However, when he blocks someone, he’s elite with it for a running back. Robinson effectively stops pass-rushers in their tracks and buys his quarterback time. He stands his ground and will push them back for a reasonable amount of time. Robinson excels at chip blocking. He routinely knocks defenders off their rushing lane. He’s elite at stopping free runners that come off the edge or through the line. This will allow Robinson to stay on the field for all three-downs. NFL coaches will not have to worry about Bijan when it comes to any blocking assignments.
I’d say that Robinson is the best blocking running back in the draft. This only adds to his appeal of him. He is an elite football player. His strengths are endless, and he has few, if any, true weaknesses. Robinson will be a full-time three-down player with strong blocking and receiving skills.
There have been multiple instances of Robinson fumbling or not maintaining good ball security. NFL defenders will try to punch the ball out or do whatever it takes to cause a fumble. He will see the bench early to start his career if he isn’t careful when holding onto the ball. Robinson has six career fumbles, but I’ve noticed multiple times when he can be lazy while carrying the ball. NFL defenses will force him to fix that.
However, I doubt that will be an issue. First, defenders have actually to get to him. Next, he doesn’t fumble the ball like Ronald Jones. He has good ball security, but it’s his weakest skill. Overall, Robinson has hardly any concerns. Perhaps some interesting arm injuries from the past might worry teams. However, I see zero reasons for a team to be concerned. If he holds onto that ball tightly, he’ll be fine. He has to remember to secure it first before making any splash moves.
The Wrap Up
The All-American and Doak Walker Award-winning running back will be the first running back taken in the NFL Draft and dynasty rookie drafts. He’s the 1.01 by far for me, especially since I don’t trust any of these quarterbacks as much. Robinson is a generational-type running back in the same tier as Saquon Barkley. He’s the best we’ve seen since him. All Robinson did at Texas was be a cheat code and perform exceptionally well. He is a First-Round talent and will be far better than his uncle Paul. He’s my favorite for the Offensive Rookie of the Year.
If you need a running back for your dynasty team or even if you’re rebuilding, you need Robinson. He’s only 21 years old and young enough to be the focal point of your team when you’re ready to contend in two-three years. Robinson’s extremely young for a running back. He’ll be one of the best talents in the NFL for nearly the next decade, at least. Buy him now. He’s only going to get more expensive. And Robinson is the type of player you build around. Get him before it’s too late. Robinson has future dynasty overall RB1 written all over him. He’s number three in my overall running back dynasty rankings, and he doesn’t have a team yet!
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As always, May the Force be with You…