Bijan Robinson was viewed as a future NFL talent as a five-star recruit in 2020. After three seasons with the Texas Longhorns, their star running back is now regarded as one of the best players in the 2023 NFL Draft class.
Robinson, 6-foot and 215 pounds, looked like a future NFL player as a freshman. He averaged 8.2 yards per carry in his first season with the Longhorns, turning 101 touches into 899 scrimmage yards and six touchdowns in nine games.
- Bijan Robinson stats (career): 3,410 rushing yards, 33 rushing touchdowns, 6.3 ypc
Related: 2023 NFL Draft rumors
He took over as the focal point in Texas as a sophomore. Leading the team in touches, Robinson eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark for the first time in his collegiate career with six 100-yard games.
Entering the 2022 season viewed as the best running back in college football, Robinson lived up to the hype and cemented his status as a first-round NFL talent. On an 8-5 Longhorns program, Robinson won the Doak Walker Award and earned unanimous All-American honors.
After dominating the Big 12 for three seasons, delivering 18 100-yard rushing games and three 200-yard performances, NFL teams are enamored with the top running back in the 2023 draft class.
NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah shared the evaluations many teams around the league have of Robinson. Multiple teams consider him a top-five talent and several others believe it would be reasonable if someone spends a top-10 pick on him.
- Bijan Robinson stats (2022): 1,580 rushing yards, 18 rushing touchdowns, 6.1 ypc
Related: 2023 NFL Draft running back rankings
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It’s becoming increasingly rare to see a running back drafted in Round 1. NFL teams have realized that starting-caliber running backs, even future All-Pro selections, can be found on Day 2 or even in the later rounds of the NFL Draft.
Related: 2023 NFL Draft picks by team
Breece Hall (36th overall) was the highest running back drafted in the 2022 NFL Draft. While Travis Etienne and Najee Harris were first-round picks in 2021, mid-round picks like Rhamondre Stevenson (120th overall) and Elijah Mitchell (194th overall) highlight the gems in Rounds 4-7.
Robinson even generating top-10 buzz is a testament to his talent and just how high NFL evaluators are on his future. While he might ultimately not be picked until the middle of Round 1, Robinson will be the overwhelming favorite to win Offensive Rookie of the Year.