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Falcons select Bijan Robinson in 2023 NFL Draft, making RB a top-10 selection

Atlanta adds a dynamic presence in the backfield early.

Featured Session: Bijan Mustardson & the Future of NIL Partnerships - 2023 SXSW Conference and Festivals
Bijan Robinson speaks onstage during the 2023 SXSW Conference and Festivals at Austin Convention Center on March 12, 2023 in Austin, Texas.
Photo by Errich Petersen/Getty Images for SXSW

The Atlanta Falcons have continued to add firepower to their offense, taking running back Bijan Robinson with the No. 8 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. The Falcons have gone with an offensive skill position at the top of the draft for three years in a row now, with Kyle Pitts and Drake London being their picks in 2021 and 2022.

Taking a running back in the first round has become a risky proposition, but taking one with a top-10 pick might be putting one foot into crazy town. The Falcons, in case everyone has forgotten, still don’t have a quarterback of the future. Desmond Ridder didn’t do much to inspire confidence in his four games.

This doesn’t take away from Robinson, who is a fantastic athlete. However, he’s going to need balance to avoid loaded boxes and that balance would come from a quarterback capable of consistently beating defenses through the air. Robinson was excellent in college but is he going to have the same holes in the NFL?

Using a top-10 pick on a running back, especially local star defender Jalen Carter sitting there, is questionable. Robinson vs. Carter will be a debate among fans for a while now, but running back production is easier to replicate in later rounds than star defensive linemen. We’ll see if this move works out for the Falcons, who have surrounded their quarterback with plenty of talent. Given who they plan on starting at quarterback, all that talent might not matter.