Hello and welcome to the inaugural edition of the 2023 NFL Draft Focus. In this series, we will look at the incoming prospects hoping their names will be heard on draft night. Be sure to check often as we will produce content until the event’s start.
Bijan Robinson is an RB prospect out of Arizona. He had one of the most storied careers in Arizona high school football. He ended his high school career with 7036 rushing yards and 114 TDs. After his senior season, he was awarded the Arizona Gatorade Football Player of the Year. According to Rivals, he was a five-star RB prospect and the top RB of his class. He committed to play for the Texas Longhorns.
As a freshman, Bijan was able to get reps early on in his career. In 86 carries, he was able to rush for 703 yards and four TDs. His best performance came in the Alamo Bowl where he won MVP for his performance. In his sophomore season, they let him loose even more when he ran for 1127 yards and 11 TDs. This was his best pass-catching year as he caught 26 passes for 295 yards and four TDs. He was named First-Team All-Big 12.
2022-2023 COLLEGE CAREER
The Texas RB ended his career with an even more impressive season. He ran for 1580 yards and 18 TDs as a junior. His best game against a ranked opponent came against 13 Kansas State when he ran for 209 yards in 30 attempts and a TD in a 34-27 win. Against unranked opponents, he saved his best against Kansas where he ran for 243 yards and four TDs. He was awarded the Doak Walker Award, for the best running back in the country. He also was awarded an unanimous All-American.
Bijan Robinson can do many things well. This is what he banked on throughout his college career and what he will use in the NFL. His mix of size and strength makes him a powerful runner and can make short gains into long runs. He has a lot of moves that will make him a difficult runner to tackle for defenses. His pass-catching is decent since his hands are good. He can be a three-down back in the NFL.
WEAKNESSES: Lack Of Elite Speed
With everything that supports him as the top RB, it’s very difficult to find a weakness in his game. One aspect that isn’t his strong suit is his lack of elite speed. He can also be impatient at times as he doesn’t let the blocks happen before he makes a move. If he can learn to be more in control, he has a chance to be an elite RB in the NFL.
PLAYER COMPARISON: Saquon Barkley
TEAMS WHO COULD DRAFT HIM
Modern analytics suggest it’s not worth it to draft an RB in the first round. Bijan Robinson, however, is an exception to that. His talent and skill make him an intriguing prospect. Looking over different mock drafts, experts are split on where he’ll land but many have him as a pick in the 20s. Some have mentioned Baltimore as a potential spot but my favorite pick was Philadelphia at 30th, especially with Miles Sanders‘ impending free agency.