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Bijan Robinson Falcons

How Should Falcons Best Use Bijan Robinson?

  • Justin Melo
  • May 16, 2023
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The Atlanta Falcons cast positional value to the side by drafting former Texas running back Bijan Robinson with the No. 8 overall selection in the 2023 NFL Draft. The Falcons are now tasked with utilizing Robinson in a manner where the production matches the value. Robinson should be used as a do-it-all weapon in Atlanta’s backfield. The early returns from head coach Arthur Smith indicate just that.

“He [Smith] uses me everywhere, from running back to receiver,” Bijan Robinson, who recently participated in rookie minicamp, said.

Smith prefers to oversee a run-heavy offense. Expect Robinson to replace Tyler Allgeier as Atlanta’s early-down runner. The Falcons averaged a third-ranked 159.9 rushing yards per contest last season. 

That ground-game success was largely a result of Atlanta leading the league in rushing attempts with 559 (32.8/game) last season. The sheer volume indicates Allgeier, who rushed for 1,035 yards as a rookie, will continue to be involved. There are plenty of touches to go around for both Robinson and Allgeier, even though Robinson projects as the new focal point of Smith’s offense.

But replacing Allgeier as Atlanta’s primary between-the-tackles runner isn’t the only way Robinson will be involved. Robinson is a dynamic athlete that offers a rare skill set that’s equally as effective as a rusher and as a receiver coming out of the backfield. A legitimate dual-threat option, Robinson recorded 60 receptions for 805 yards and eight receiving touchdowns throughout an illustrious three-year career at Texas.

Robinson is an excellent route-runner. Smith can locate advantageous matchups against overmatched linebackers by having Robinson run wheel routes and option routes. Robinson can even motion out to a wide receiver alignment due to his refined nuance in that area. The Falcons lack depth at wide receiver behind Drake London. Robinson will be a safety blanket for sophomore starting quarterback Desmond Ridder, who enters the season with just four career starts under his belt.

Robinson should handle the bulk of Atlanta’s passing-down work—the sky’s the limit for Robinson’s passing-game production at this next level. Allgeier, who only accounted for 16 receptions last season, won’t serve as a roadblock to Robinson’s passing-down snaps.

As Allgeier can occasionally replace Robinson as a runner, Cordarrelle Patterson can offer Robinson a rest in the passing game. Patterson remains under contract as an electric do-it-all offensive weapon. Patterson earned 165 total touches last season despite being limited by injury to 13 regular-season appearances. Patterson was at times overworked. Robinson’s presence should keep Patterson fresh and available.

At 5-foot-11 and 215 pounds, Robinson possesses a prototypical build to develop into a three-down workhorse back. Robinson is a patient runner that scans the line of scrimmage before identifying developing rushing lanes. Robinson’s athletic traits are legitimately special. His elusiveness and lateral agility allow Robinson to play with ideal tempo. Robinson is a violent runner with the contact balance necessary to defeat defenders in confined spaces.

The Falcons’ high-volume rushing attack now rosters three capable running backs. Patterson and Allgeier are intriguing compliments to Robinson’s all-around abilities. Expect Robinson to spearhead Atlanta’s offense moving forward.

Written By

Justin Melo