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Bijan Robinson Eagles

Should Eagles Use No. 10 Pick On Bijan Robinson?

  • Justin Melo
  • March 21, 2023
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Texas running back Bijan Robinson is on a pre-draft visit with the Philadelphia Eagles, according to reports following a social media post. The Eagles possess the No. 10 overall selection (and No. 31) in the 2023 NFL Draft, which is prime Robinson territory. 

The Eagles should draft Robinson at 10th overall if he’s available. Positional value be damned—Robinson is a top-three overall player in the class. He’s truly generational and could make a profound impact in Philadelphia’s backfield.

Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni transformed his offense by embracing Jalen Hurts’ running ability. In 2021, the Eagles averaged a top-ranked 159.7 rushing yards per contest. In 2022, they took a minor step backward as a result of Hurts finding more passing-game success with the newly acquired A.J. Brown, but they still averaged a fifth-ranked 147.6 yards per game.

Running the football is a part of Sirianni’s DNA. There isn’t a player the Eagles could draft at No. 10 overall that would have a game-changing impact like Robinson would. And while it’s Hurts’ dual-threat abilities that have spearheaded Philadelphia’s ground-game success, adding Robinson would solidify Philadelphia’s backfield as the most dangerous in football. Defensive coordinators would be stressed beyond belief.

Hurts wasn’t Philadelphia’s leading rusher in 2022. That accomplishment belonged to Miles Sanders, who recently signed a four-year contract with the Carolina Panthers in free agency. Some will use Sanders’ departure as proof that general manager Howie Roseman doesn’t value running backs, but drafting a player like Robinson and utilizing him on a cost-controlled four-year rookie contract has to be tempting.

Speaking of Roseman, the most common counterpoint to drafting Robinson is that Roseman has never drafted a first-round running back. It’s true that the Eagles haven’t used a top-32 selection on a ball-carrier since Roseman took the reins in 2010. But has Roseman ever passed on a talent like Robinson when already possessing a Lombardi-worthy roster?

In 2011 as a second-year GM, Roseman passed on Mark Ingram to draft Danny Watkins. In 2016, when the Eagles clearly needed a quarterback, Roseman drafted Carson Wentz over Ezekiel Elliott. In 2019, the Eagles drafted Andre Dillard a few picks before Josh Jacobs. None of this guarantees Roseman is anti-running back in the first round.

Roseman doesn’t necessarily dislike first-round running backs—it’s a straw-man argument. Roseman has also never been in the luxurious position to draft an elite running back prospect with a 10th overall selection after qualifying for a Super Bowl. Plus, the Eagles wouldn’t be using one of their top-30 visits on Robinson if they wouldn’t seriously consider drafting him.

Yes, the Eagles signed Rashaad Penny to a low-cost prove-it deal. Penny is an intriguing addition that flashed high-level ability in spurts throughout 2021 and 2022. But Penny also has a lengthy injury history that includes a torn ACL and tibia fracture. I have a hard time seeing the Eagles entrust their backfield to a Penny bounce-back campaign.

The Eagles have lost several contributors in free agency. They could draft a defensive lineman like Bryan Bresee to replace Javon Hargrave. Roseman could draft a safety like Brian Branch to replace Chauncey Gardner-Johnson and/or Marcus Epps. None of them would impact the win column like Robinson can.

The Eagles are hosting Robinson on a private visit. Both sides will familiarize themselves with one another. The conclusion of their meeting? Philadelphia should feel comfortable drafting Robinson with the 10th overall selection.

Written By

Justin Melo