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Falcons first-round RB Bijan Robinson dazzles in preseason debut

Cutting back before bursting through the line in a blur, the Atlanta Falcons' ballyhooed rookie back Bijan Robinson followed with a juke of an overmatched defender.

On his first preseason carry, Robinson gained 12 yards, a first down and showed just what all the hype has been about.

Robinson didn't deliver a gaudy stat line, but he delivered on the anticipation and offered up even more for the season ahead following his preseason debut Friday night in the Falcons' 13-13 tie with the Cincinnati Bengals.

"He operated fast, it certainly didn't look too big for him," Falcons head coach Arthur Smith said of Robinson.

Robinson's evening was an abbreviated one, running the course of just one drive and 11 snaps. He rushed for 20 yards on four carries and added a 6-yard reception. 

To see the No. 8 overall pick of the 2023 NFL Draft was to believe that the buildup was on point, though.

It was an exercise in futility for the first Bengals defender on the scene to tackle the Texas product. Robinson consistently made the first guy miss and seemingly made the most of each one of his touches.

The aforementioned first carry, on first-and-10 from the Atlanta 27-yard line, saw him gain 12 yards and galvanize social media. His quickness through the line after a backfield cut was eye-popping, and it preceded a beautiful juke and then a finish that saw him fall forward for an extra yard. On the ensuing play, he showcased his toughness, refusing to go down easy on a 4-yard carry. He later made a one-handed grab on a screen and shrugged off the first defender once more.

Shouldering ample hype and expectation, the Falcons' rookie running back was dazzling in his preseason debut. Robinson's explosion through the hole was and is something to marvel upon. Just as advertised, he was an enticing blend of speed and power that whet the appetite for Atlanta's season to come.

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