Bijan Robinson Thinks Two Running Backs In Draft’s First 12 Picks Could Be Sign Of Things To Come

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KANSAS CITY — Texas running back Bijan Robinson was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons with the No. 8 selection in the first round Thursday night.

But, but running backs aren’t valuable, draft experts exclaimed.

Alabama running back Jahmyr Gibbs was selected by the Detroit Lions with the No. 12 selection in the first round.

But, but running backs, the experts pouted!

Running back Bijan Robinson
AUSTIN, TEXAS – NOVEMBER 25: Bijan Robinson #5 of the Texas Longhorns runs the ball in the fourth quarter against the Baylor Bears at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on November 25, 2022 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

The 2023 NFL draft just showed running backs are going to be picked in the first round and early on. As long as, you know, they’re great prospects.

“Oh-ho, let’s go, OK,” Robinson said in celebration when learning Gibbs joined him in the first round. “Obviously what me and Jahmyr can do when it comes to running the football and catching the ball out of the backfield or pretty much from anywhere on the offense it shows the value it holds.”

For the Lions the value of picking Gibbs in the first round is astounding.

Running Jahmyr Gibbs
FAYETTEVILLE, ARKANSAS – OCTOBER 1: Jahmyr Gibbs #1 of the Alabama Crimson Tide runs the ball during a game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium on October 1, 2022 in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The Crimson Tide defeated the Razorbacks 49-26. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

They were expected to address their defense. Instead, they spent their highest pick on a running back since they selected Barry Sanders in 1989.


“I was just talking to my friends when the call hit me,” Gibbs said, “and I was shocked.”

But maybe this marks a turn back to NFL teams valuing running backs even in the first round. Robinson definitely believes so.

“I think for guys that are coming after us and running backs it shows that their value is worth something if they do it the right way and know how to use their skillset fully,” Robinson said. “To see that there’s two guys that went 8 and 12, I think that’s a blessing to see that.

“Everything they say about the running back position, it’s coming up to what it is right now, today.”

The idea of Robinson being drafted in the top 10 is a reward following a highly productive career at Texas.

Robinson played in 31 games (28 starts) over three years for the Longhorns. He totaled 3,410 rushing yards on 539 carries (6.3 avg.) and 33 rushing touchdowns. He also added 60 receptions for 805 receiving yards and eight receiving touchdowns.

So what’s his upcoming role in Atlanta under coach Arthur Smith?

“He wants to use my skillsets to the full, man,” Robinson said. “He wants to line me up wherever the mismatches are and get me in open space and do things for the right way for the offense … I know it’s going to be pretty special.”

Follow on Twitter: @Armando Salguero

Written by Armando Salguero

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