Welcome to the Fantasy Six Pack 2023 NFL Draft Profile series, where we kick things off with the top running back in the class, Bijan Robinson.
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My first order of business is writing up a profile on the number one running back in the 2023 NFL Draft class, Bijan Robinson. He's an athletic specimen with tremendous size, strength, speed, and some of the best footwork I have ever seen. There's no doubt he has the skill set to compete at the next level and be a day-one contributor.
The hype is real when it comes to Bijan, and rightfully so. That said, I'm equally as hyped to write his draft profile. So let's dive right in!
2023 NFL Draft Profile: Bijan Robinson
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- College: Texas
- Position: Running Back
- Height: 6'0"
- Weight: 220lbs
- Age: 21 years
Coming out of Salpointe Catholic High School, Bijan Robinson averaged 13.7 yards per carry and amassed 2,000 yards three times. As a result, he was ranked the number one running back prospect in the country in 2020 and, ultimately, the highly sought-after five-star recruit committed to the Texas Longhorns.
Bijan burst onto the scene immediately as a freshman, despite seeing limited action his first year, rushing for 703 yards on 86 attempts and had an eye-popping 8.2 yards per carry. He would run for over a thousand yards each of the next two seasons as the Longhorns' full-time starter. He finished his collegiate career with 3,410 yards (6.3 ypc) and 33 rushing touchdowns while adding another 805 yards and eight touchdowns through the air.
Bijan ranks top-five all-time in Longhorn history in rushing yards, total touchdowns (41), rushing touchdowns (33), and career 100-yard rushing games, including a streak of seven straight, the third-longest in program history.
Bijan heads into the 2023 NFL Draft as the clear top dog at running back. He should hear his name called toward the end of the first round or the beginning of the second round. However, it wouldn't be surprising to see him go as early as the mid-first with how unique of a talent he is at the position.
The 200-pound back offers an elite blend of strength, speed, vision, and hands. His ability to reroute carries and see the whole field. Robinson has drawn comparisons to Barry Sanders, while other experts tout him as the best all-around running back to enter the draft since Saquon Barkley in 2018. The Texas product is a do-it-all type of back; however, his strength, power, and relentlessness may be his best attributes.
On film, you rarely see him go down on first contact, and he is seemingly always busting through tacklers to fight for extra yards or turn potential losses into gains. The 21-year-old has excellent vision and a great first cut, allowing him to quickly identify the correct hole and an impressive enough burst to get to the next level. He won't be a constant big-play threat in the NFL, but for a back his size, he possesses excellent straight-line speed, lateral movement, and the stop-start ability to make defenders miss.
In addition, he's constantly falling forward after contact against even the biggest defensive tackles, making him excellent in short-yardage situations. His moves in the open field are at the top echelon of this 2023 RB class. He has an unbelievable stutter step, a gorgeous spin move, and the strength to shield off defenders with his stiff arm. Despite being a larger back, Bijan Robinson can still stop on a dime and make defenders miss in space. He will be a true workhorse at the next level.
Robinson is as well-rounded of a running back prospect as you'll find. However, he does have some minor flaws in his game he could work on cleaning up. For starters, he can be impatient and indecisive at times.
He doesn't always wait for his blocks to develop and runs into dead ends instead of staying North-South. He can do too much with the ball instead of running the play that was called and taking what the defense gives him. He tends to run upright and will be much more effective in the NFL if he can learn to get his pad level down.
He could get away with those mistakes in college because he was the most athletic and explosive player on the field nine times out of ten. However, in the pros, he won't be able to get away with as much wasted motion and effort.
One of the most significant adjustments for young players is adapting to the NFL's speed. Bijan, like most rookies, will have growing pains and will have to get used to being unable to dominate every time he touches the ball.
While he has excellent speed, it's not elite, and he won't be as consistent of a home run threat in the NFL. In addition, he sometimes uses his body to catch passes instead of relying on his hands, which can pose a problem against NFL-caliber defensive backs.
Lastly, he can get lazy on blocking assignments. He depends on his size and strength a little too much, and his technique needs improvement. He has to keep his pads low to drive through the defender and sustain the protection.
Fantasy Football Outlook
Bijan is the consensus 1.01 in Dynasty rookie drafts, and he'll be a highly coveted Fantasy Football prospect in dynasty startups, redraft and best ball leagues. Let's highlight two potential landing spots with different potential Fantasy Football outlooks.
Miles Sanders is a free agent this offseason, along with Boston Scott, and the team likely isn't set on Kenneth Gainwell being able to be a featured back due to his slight frame. Therefore, the Philadelphia Eagles could look to the draft to add to their high-powered running attack. Inserting a dynamic power back like Bijan would be lethal.
Interestingly, the Eagles have two first-round picks in the upcoming draft. They acquired the number ten pick from the New Orleans Saints, then they'll pick again at 30. It would be surprising to see them use a top-10 selection on a running back, with how much teams have devalued the position over the years. However, Bijan has the skill set and body type to be a generational talent, so it's certainly possible.
Fantasy managers would be getting the lead back in a high-scoring offense that plays with a lead more times than not. Not to mention, he would be running behind the best offensive line in the NFL. An offensive line that aided Miles Sanders in producing a career-high 1,269 yards and 11 touchdowns this past season.
There are better fits, but considering Bijan in this Eagles offense is fun food for thought.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
This would be a terrible landing spot for Bijan Robinson's Fantasy Football outlook. However, from a logical standpoint, it makes sense. It's widely reported the Bucs plan to move on from veteran back Leonard Fourtnette. Rachaad White showed promise as a rookie, but I'm not sold on him being a true RB1.
Robinson could come right in and give this offense something to look forward to. What better way to sell tickets after losing a Hall of Famer like Tom Brady than drafting the most polarizing player in this years class? Unfortunately, Robinson won't be the answer to all the Buc's problems.
Their offense was anemic last season, and now they have a glaring hole at quarterback (among other things). So, while he could be a solid core piece to build their offense around for the future, the arrow would be pointing down for Bijan Robinson in fantasy football if he lands with the rebuilding Bucs.
Unfortunately, they pick at 19. Right in the range, I project teams to consider adding Bijan's talents.
Bijan Robinson is a well-polished 21-year-old running back prospect with a mid-to-late first-round grade. He's an impressive athlete through and through, with unbelievable size, strength, and elusiveness. He has all the makings to be a true three-down workhorse in the NFL. His potential at the position should be unmatched, and he will undoubtedly be the first running back off the board in the 2023 NFL Draft and should find himself the 1.01 in Dynasty rookie drafts.
Check out our latest 2023 NFL Mock Draft