The Atlanta Falcons selected running back Bijan Robinson from Texas with the No. 8 overall pick in the NFL Draft.
Selecting a running back in the top 10 goes against today’s analytics because of the shelf life of a running back and the loss of financial advantage.
Meaning, a running back typically doesn’t play as long as other positions. The benefit of a rookie contract is lost because they don’t get paid as much either.
At a $5.5 million average salary, Robinson is already the 15th highest paid running back in the NFL. By comparison, the 15th highest paid wide receiver, Diontae Johnson of the Pittsburgh Steelers, makes $18.4 million.
Therefore, drafting Bijan Robinson with the No. 8 overall pick was a statement of intent by the Falcons. They’re going to make him a big part of their offensive attack early and often.
Pro Football Focus (PFF) agrees.
PFF released their Fantasy Football Dynasty Rankings this week, and Bijan Robinson was the No. 2 overall player behind Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson.
“The best running back prospect of the past five seasons lands in the perfect situation — with a run-heavy team and a top-five offensive line,” wrote Nathan Jahnke of PFF.
Dynasty leagues are also known as keeper leagues because a fantasy owners keep their players from years to year. Youth is prioritized in dynasty leagues the same reason is in the NFL, more years left on a career.
Robinson may become the focus of the Falcons’ offense his first season, but he will have plenty of help in order to extend his shelf life.
Tyler Allgeier is coming off a Falcons’-rookie rushing record. Cordarrelle Patterson is an excellent x-factor that can be used in a multitude of ways including running back.
Drake London and Kyle Pitts are young, talented weapons in the passing game. London checked in at No. 19 overall and WR10, and Pitts was the No. 1 ranked tight end and No. 22 overall.
However, with a first-year starter at quarterback in Desmond Ridder, the Falcons are likely to lean on their running attack and short passing game early in the season.
Robinson wasn’t drafted to be developed. He was drafted to contribute right away.
PFF sees him as a focal point of the Atlanta Falcons and gave him a lofty No. 2 ranking.
Expectations are high for Robinson heading into 2023. They should be having been drafted with the No. 8 pick.