Did the Falcons make a home-run pick with Bijan Robinson? | PFF 2023 NFL Draft Show

The Pro Football Focus live draft show breaks down the Falcons’ decision to grab the former University of Texas RB with the eighth pick in this year's draft.

Video transcript

- This team's not afraid to go get players that they just think are playing good and that one this year is Bijan--

- It's got to have something to do with Ridder, though, too, don't you think? I mean, you've got a couple of different things going. You got Arthur Smith who came over from Tennessee. They want to run the football, they want to do it just like they did in Tennessee. And almost as a way of taking some pressure off a young quarterback maybe is what they're thinking with this one, but he is that good a player. And the other factor with him is his ability to split out. I mean, there are plays that he made this year-- split out, running routes-- you would have thought-- if you didn't know that was a running back out there, you just thought it was a slot receiver making a-- he had a post pattern, he made a big over his head catch and came down with it.

So this is a talented, talented young man. There in a conference-- or in a division that they have a chance to win now. Right now they could win that division, as could anybody in that division. He's a special player. The word I got from some of the GM's and coaches was he's not Saquon, but he's a special player with some receiving ability, a lot-- very patient. I think you'll see a little bit of Le'Veon Bell in his running style. He's very patient getting in there. But he can go from the A gap to the outside in a heartbeat and make big plays. And he can finish them, he's fast.

- Steve Sarkisian, the head coach at Texas, said he had the best hands on the Texas football team. Like, he said, my wide receivers-- who are still there, by the way-- he was, like, they're going to hate me, but Bijan had the best hands in the team. Like, that's how good they think he can be as a receiver. I think he's better than Saquon Barkley. He's less flashy. But the way he wins is-- it's deceiving because it doesn't look like Saquon looks, where it's bouncy, explosive, it's, like, flashy.

Bijan makes everything look so smooth. And I think it suckers some people sometimes where either you go, oh, he's, kind of, overrated, the hype is getting a bit out of control. That guy broke over 100 tackles last year and half of them didn't look like he was doing anything. It's just an easy cut here, an easy move there, a spin. He reminded me of LaDainian Tomlinson, he reminded Mike Renner of Edgerrin James. Like, the only people that come to mind are, like, Hall of Famers.

- The part that I would push back on with the saying that he is not Saquon Barkley is I think that people would say he's not Saquon Barkley just from the overall athleticism and probably the long speed is what a lot of people are referencing if they say he's not Saquon. How often in the NFL do you have the ability to even show that kind of speed? It's much more common that you get the fancy footwork, the fantastic vision, the cut on a dime ability, right, like the contact balance. Those things show up more on a play-by-play and a carry by carry basis than someone who might have a little bit better long speed.

- Right.

- So think that Bijan is a fantastic player.