The Falcons added a dynamic running back to Arthur Smith's offense.
Atlanta selected Bijan Robinson with the No. 8 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.
The top running back entering the draft, Robinson offers a rare combination of size, elusiveness, power and vision. He's capable of running through tackles on the inside as easily as he can cut and hit the speed button on the outside.
In three seasons at Texas, Robinson generated 1,580 rushing yards on 539 carries with 33 touchdowns and added 60 catches for 805 yards and eight more scores. In his final season with the Longhorns, he earned 1,580 yards on 258 carries with 18 TDs and 19 catches for 314 yards and two scores.
At 5-foot-11, 215 pounds, the Doak Walker Award winner profiles as a three-down back in the NFL with very few weaknesses. Robinson brings scheme versatility as an inside and outside runner with vision and instincts that make him a potential Day 1 starter.
Robinson's ability as a pass catcher sets him apart as someone who brings dynamic playmaking ability to the position. In the modern NFL, the RBs who stand out (and ultimately get paid) are the dual-threat weapons -- i.e., Christian McCaffrey, Alvin Kamara. Robinson owns that ability, entering the league with sticky hands, elusiveness and solid route running for a rookie.
Like most first-year backs, Robinson needs to improve in pass protection, but the enticing skill set as a runner and receiver out of the backfield made him one of the top prospects of the entire draft.
The Falcons found Tyler Allgeier in the fifth round last season and still have Cordarrelle Patterson, but Robinson brings a different, dynamic element to the running back room. In Smith's offense, which sports big-bodied pass-catchers Kyle Pitts and Drake London, Robinson can serve as a game-breaker out of the backfield.
The Texas product should make life easier for second-year quarterback Desmond Ridder as an outlet and tote the load if needed.
There was plenty of debate about whether any club would use a top-10 pick on a running back, given Robinson's dynamic ability. The Falcons answered that question with emphasis.
Bonus for Falcons fans: You can celebrate the pick by buying Robinson's gourmet mustard brand, Bijan Mustardson.