NFL Draft: Falcons make Bijan Robinson first top-10 running back since Saquon Barkley
Bijan Robinson did not have to wait long to have a team take a chance on him in the 2023 NFL Draft, as he was selected eighth overall by the Atlanta Falcons.
First-round running backs have grown increasingly rare in recent years, with the days of the position being viewed as a premium one long gone.
But Robinson's talent is such that he has long since been seen as an exception to the rule, and the Falcons made him the first top-10 running back since Saquon Barkley went second overall to the New York Giants in 2018.
There can be little doubt he has earned his selection with such a high pick.
Robinson racked up 1,580 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns on the ground in his final season with Texas in 2022. On top of that, he had 314 receiving yards and two further scores through the air. His 1,894 yards from scrimmage were second most in the FBS.
As a runner, Robinson wins with his scarcely believable change of direction quickness that allows him to evade defenders almost at will, along with contact balance to slip through tackles and field-flipping speed.
His X-factor is what he can do as a receiver. Robinson runs routes like a wideout and has shown the ability to go up and make outstanding grabs and the catch point.
Robinson can be a substantial weapon from anywhere in the offensive formation and, by adding him to a backfield that already included Tyler Allgeier - who went for over 1,000 yards in his rookie season -- the Falcons now arguably have one of the most dynamic running back rooms in the NFL.