Texas RB Bijan Robinson likely to be only first round running back taken
Running backs are rarely in high demand during the first round of the NFL Draft and this year is no different. Bijan Robinson is the only running back expected to be picked in the first round and he is a robust -10000 to be the first running back selected.
In fact, the odds for a second RB to be taken in the first round are quite slim, with DraftKings Sportsbook showing Over/Under 1.5 Total Running Backs at +400 on the Over and -550 on the Under. Jahmyr Gibbs is a huge favorite to be the second one taken at -1600, but it seems like that will come in the second round, though Tyjae Spears might not be a bad gamble at +3500.
In any event, let’s focus on Robinson, who might be the first RB taken higher than 24th since Saquon Barkley went second overall back in 2018. No running back was taken in the first round last year after two (Najee Harris and Travis Etienne) were taken in 2021 with picks 24 and 25.
Odds on Which Team Drafts Bijan Robinson (DraftKings)
(odds as of April 27, 10:30 a.m. PT)
- Atlanta Falcons +150
- Philadelphia Eagles +300
- Houston Texans +500
- Chicago Bears +500
- Dallas Cowboys +1000
- Washington Commanders +1200
- Detroit Lions +1200
- Tennessee Titans +1300
- All others +1500 or higher
The Falcons are an interesting favorite because they pick eighth in the first round. Arthur Smith wants to run the ball and Robinson would be an excellent fit in that scheme. He’s no Derrick Henry from a size standpoint, but his combine results were spectacular with a 4.46 40-yard dash and Smith knows what it’s like to have a tough, physical runner from his days as the Titans OC.
For Robinson to go to Atlanta, he’d have to be taken in the top 10, or the Falcons would have to trade down or finagle their way into another first-round selection.
Perhaps the Cowboys are even more interesting because they don’t pick until 27th. Could Robinson possibly fall that far? The value of running backs on draft day has certainly dwindled over the years, but it does seem like Dallas would need to move up in order to get Robinson. If anything, perhaps they’re a team to look at for Jahmyr Gibbs if you think they go RB. That could cash that Over 1.5 prop.
The Eagles own picks 10 and 31 in the first round. They have some greater needs than running back, but are said to really like Robinson and he’d certainly be a great fit alongside Jalen Hurts. Given that Miles Sanders is now with the Panthers, Robinson would fill a void.
The Texans have a plethora of needs. They do own picks 2 and 12 in the first round and have the second pick of the second round and the second and 10th picks in the third round to use as trade ammo if they want to be active on draft day.
Many feel like Robinson will go in the top 20, so a team like the Chargers (22nd) would have to move up. The Lions do have two first-round picks (6 and 18), so they could be a player if he’s there at 18. Taking him at 6 might be a stretch. The Commanders need to fill about 100 other needs and the Bengals don’t pick until 29th, so much like the Cowboys, they’d need to move up.
Bijan Robinson scouting report
Robinson came in at 5-foot-11 and 215 pounds. The Doak Walker Award winner ran a sub-4.5 40 and had a broad jump over 10 feet, so he graded well with the tests he participated in at the combine. Over three seasons at Texas, Robinson rushed for 6.3 yards per carry and 3,410 yards with 33 touchdowns. He also caught 60 passes and had over 13 yards per reception. He’s an explosive player and a workhorse of a running back who got better with more volume.
The one knock on his game seems to be pass protection, so putting him with a mobile QB in a place like Atlanta with Desmond Ridder (or Lamar Jackson?!) or Philadelphia with Hurts absolutely makes a ton of sense.
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