Big 12 News

Bijan Robinson Selected No. 8 by Atlanta Falcons in NFL Draft

Former Texas running back Bijan Robinson is headed to the Atlanta Falcons as the No. 8 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft Thursday evening in Kansas City.

Robinson has all the intangibles to be a day-one starter and brings elite athleticism to the Falcons. With that, naturally the former Texas running back sparked a lot of conversation in the lead-up to the draft, including immense praise from former NFL quarterback and ESPN’s Robert Griffin III.

In a recent segment of “Fact or Fiction” on ESPN’s Get Up, RGIII was posed with this statement: Bijan Robinson the best player in the draft.

“That’s a Snapple cap fact right there,” Griffin said. “Bijan Robinson does everything from the running back position. He can catch the ball out of the backfield, run inside and outside. He had 183 broken tackles over the last two years in college football. The next closest guy had 123. Bijan Robinson is the real deal Holyfield.”


Meanwhile, Texas running backs coach Tashard Choice compared Robinson to NFL all-time great Barry Sanders.

It came as part of a discussion between his grandfather, Cleo, Eric Eager, the vice president of consumer strategy for SumerSports, and Choice, as provided in an article by ESPN’s Hallie Grossman.

“I would love to be in that position to make the position as valued as it used to be,” Cleo says.


“There are a lot of smart people who would call that a fool’s errand,” Grossman wrote. “That he’s wading into a debate that he became the face of but had no hand in creating…Can he do it? Should he do it? Is there room for a running back at the top of the draft, even if he’s the absolute best the position has to offer? Like so much else about the NFL, the two sides are decidedly not understated.”

“Short of your team literally having no needs other than running back, I don’t see a point,” Eager says.

Then came the kicker.

“Sometimes you can’t pass up those guys,” Choice said. “You can’t pass up Barry Sanders if he’s sitting there.”


It’s a comparison that obviously will have people chatting about its merits. After all, Sanders finished his NFL career fourth in the all-time rushing department, with 15,269 yards. Before that, he won the 1988 Heisman Trophy at Oklahoma State.

Robinson is esteemed in his own right coming out of the collegiate game. He just finished up a marvelous career on the Forty Acres in which he racked up 3,410 yards and 33 touchdowns on 539 carries. He added another 805 yards and eight scores on 60 receptions out of the backfield. And now he’s set to bring all that production to Atlanta.

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