NFC South Offensive Rookie of the Year Contender
Bijan Robinson, RB, Atlanta Falcons, Round 1, Pick 8
Someone forgot to tell the Falcons that you aren’t supposed to take running backs in the first round anymore. Or, someone told them, and they just don’t care. Regardless of how you feel about teams spending a premium pick on a ball carrier, what isn’t in question is Bijan Robinson’s talent or the opportunity for a monster year.
Arthur Smith is building a unit that could remind us of the Tennessee Titans’ offenses he coordinated in 2019 and 2020 that saw Derrick Henry run for 3,567 yards and 33 touchdowns in two seasons. Yes, you read those insane numbers correctly.
A unanimous All-American, Robinson, from the University of Texas, brings his 3,410 yards in three collegiate seasons along with his 2022 Doak Walker Trophy (top running back in college football) with him to the league. He should step immediately into Atlanta’s lead running back role.
Have I mentioned that Atlanta is starting an unproven second-year quarterback in third-round pick Desmond Ridder? The Cincinnati alum has thrown for all of 708 yards in the NFL, which could leave Smith leaning on the run game even more. Long story short – the highly talented Robinson will get the ball a lot.