2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Bijan Robinson

  • Bijan Robinson, 6-0/214

  • Running Back

  • Texas

  • Bijan Robinson Scouting Report
    By Charlie Campbell

  • Instinctive, natural runner
  • Elusive; excellent moves in the open field to dodge tacklers
  • Decisive runner
  • Fast to the hole and explosive
  • Speed to break off long runs on any carry
  • Threat to score on any carry
  • Starts games fast; doesn’t need carries to get in a groove
  • Rare acceleration
  • Tough, physical runner
  • Power back who can run over defenders
  • Picks up lots of yards after contact
  • Keeps feet going after contact
  • Excellent vision
  • Great feet
  • Cutting ability
  • Ideal build and size
  • Finishes runs well
  • Capable of creating for himself
  • Capable of controlling games
  • Runs well in the second half
  • Quality short-yardage back
  • Rare shiftiness for big back; will juke defenders
  • Has a second gear in the open field
  • Nice, soft hands
  • Receiving ability
  • Excellent route-runner
  • Willing blocker in blitz pickup, has potential to be very good
  • Hard-nosed runner between the tackles
  • Has a nose for the end zone
  • Superb, powerful stiff arm
  • Wears down and intimidates defenses
  • Excellent knee bend
  • Runs behind his pads
  • Perfect fit for a zone-blocking system
  • Perfect fit for a man-blocking system
  • Ball security
  • Durable
  • Good character
  • Hard worker
  • Loves football

  • Weaknesses:
  • Good speed, but not elite like a Chris Johnson or Todd Gurley

  • Summary: Robinson was one of the top recruits in the country, and he immediately showed special ability at Texas. In 2020, Robinson flashed his big-time skill set recording 703 yards on only 86 carries – 8.2 average – and four touchdowns. He also took 15 receptions for 196 yards and two scores that season. As a sophomore, Robinson was one of the best players in college football regardless of position. He averaged 5.8 yards per carry in 2021 for 1,127 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also caught 26 passes for 295 yards and four scores.

    In 2022, Robinson averaged 6.1 yards per carry for 1,580 yards and 18 touchdowns. He also notched 19 receptions for 314 yards and two scores. Team sources have been blown away with his talent, and he is loved throughout the scouting community.

    As we reported in the Hot Press, sources from a number of teams have Robinson graded higher than other recent top-five running back prospects of Saquon Barkley, Leonard Fournette and Ezekiel Elliott. Here is what one area scout shared with WalterFootball.com:

    “It’s rare that the best pure runner is also the best pure receiver; that’s what makes Bijan unique,” said an area scout. “He can legitimately go run routes like a true receiver. His skill set is more Marshall Faulk than any of those guys. Saquon can obviously win in the passing game, but he’s not out running routes like Reggie Bush (Bijan does). His ball skills are as good as the top receivers in this class.

    “There are other runners on his level or even a notch better, but you’re talking about the elite of every class, even on that alone. You can realistically run the offense thru him because he’s in on every situation as your RB1, 1-2nd Down, 2 minute, 4 minute. He’s more advanced all around than [Reggie] Bush, Joe Mixon, Saquon, Zeke. McCaffrey would have been like that had he been 215 pounds like Bijan. You have to go back to Faulk to find an elite runner and receiver like Bijan.”

    Robinson is a flat-out stud running back. While he has a very good skill set with size and speed, Robinson’s instincts and natural running ability makes him a dominant back. Thanks to incredible vision and feel, Robinson seems to be a step ahead of the defense, and that that leads to him making defenders look silly in their tackling attempts on a routine basis. Robinson has incredible cutting ability, changing direction in an instant. It is rare to see a big back who is so sudden in his movements to out-cut defensive backs and second-level defenders, but Robinson jukes and cuts by them with shocking ease. With his feel, Robinson can be a one-cut downhill zone-rushing runner or function in a man-blocking scheme who can create on his own. Robinson has a superb jump cut that leaves defenders grasping at air. With his natural ability, Robinson is capable of carrying his offense and his team to a win.

    To be an effective running back in the NFL, an athlete has to have speed, and there is no doubt that Robinson has the gas to be effective. He has a quick first-step and hits the hole quickly. With a second gear, Robinson can accelerate to the next level, and he is fast enough to break off long runs. Despite Robinson lacking Chris Johnson- or Todd Gurley-type speed, he is plenty fast enough to be a good pro back.

    Robinson completes the skill set with NFL power. He has a strong build and breaks a lot of tackles to pick up yards after contact. Utilizing natural knee bend, Robinson runs behind his pads and keeps his legs churning after contact. With Robinson’s developed upper body, defenders have a hard time of controlling him to get him on the ground. He also uses a wicked stiff arm to push tacklers away and continue to gain yardage. Robinson has some highlight-reel stiff arms on tape that made defenders look ugly in their tackling attempts. Robinson’s size and power makes him an asset in short-yardage situations as well.

    In the passing game, Robinson is going to be an asset and a mismatch weapon. He is a phenomenal receiver, and team sources saying see him run routes like a wide receiver is jaw dropping. Robinson runs superb routes to create separation and gets open for his quarterback. He has soft hands and tracks the ball well. Robinson has made some amazing highlight-reel catches, contorting his body and adjusting to the ball in ways that have not been seen from a big strong running back.

    As a pro, Robinson will be a dangerous mismatch weapon as a receiver with his speed and shiftiness in the open field. He could have the ability to line up in the slot and run routes like other talented receiving backs such as Alvin Kamara and Christian McCaffrey. Robinson is also a willing blocker in pass protection and will dish out some good hits. Once he learns his protection assignments in the NFL, he should be a devastating three-down starter.

    On top of his skill set, team sources rave about Robinson as a person. They say he is a super hard worker, loves football, is a great teammate, and is not a partier. He is low key and calm off the field, so coaches will not have to worry about him getting in trouble.

    Robinson is potentially the best player in the 2023 NFL Draft, and pro teams think he has rare ability and superstar potential. He is a lock to go in the top half of the first round. In the NFL, Robinson could be a franchise player who makes a huge impact on leading his team to wins. He could be a Pro Bowler as early as his rookie season and possesses the talent to be one of the best running backs in the league during his rookie contract. Robinson is a generational talent who could go on to a prolific and legendary NFL career.

    Player Comparison: Saquon Barkley/Christian McCaffrey. Robinson is a mix of Barkley and McCaffrey. As a running back, Robinson is similar to Barkley. Barkley is maybe a tick faster, but Robinson is more elusive and tougher. They are both instinctive and dynamic runners. As a receiver, Robinson is like McCaffrey. Like McCaffrey, Robinson is a tremendous route runner with fabulous hands, ball adjustment, and mismatch potential.


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