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Bijan Robinson NFL Draft 2023: Scouting Report for Texas RB

BR NFL Scouting DepartmentContributor I

AUSTIN, TEXAS - OCTOBER 15: Bijan Robinson #5 of the Texas Longhorns runs the ball while defended by Anthony Johnson Jr. #1 of the Iowa State Cyclones in the first half at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on October 15, 2022 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Tim Warner/Getty Images

HEIGHT: 6'0"

WEIGHT: 222

HAND: TBD

ARM: TBD

WINGSPAN: TBD


40-YARD DASH: TBD

3-CONE: TBD

SHUTTLE: TBD

VERTICAL: TBD

BROAD: TBD


POSITIVES

— Great size. Thick, muscled-up frame capable of taking a full workload of touches.

— Elite acceleration with good top speed. Can go zero to 100 in an instant and has nice breakaway ability.

— Very good stop/start explosiveness for his size. Can cut and redirect, even through contact, with great effectiveness.

— Outstanding flexibility and change-of-direction skills. Maintains speed while turning the corner or changing directions.

— Above-average contact balance. Makes him hard to hit clean, and he has enough size/strength to brush off iffy tackle attempts.

— Good pass-catching back. Great hands for a running back and can run vertical routes in addition to standard underneath routes.

— Functional in pass protection; saw slight improvements in 2022. Decent eyes and willing to get chippy.


NEGATIVES

— Vision is not bad, but he is prone to a couple moments of hesitancy per game. Type of runner who can search too hard for the "perfect" lane.

— Straight-forward power is just fine. Not concerning, but slightly underwhelming for a player his size.

— Could still use work in pass protection to go from adequate to a legit difference-maker.


NOTES

— Minor neck strain and season-ending elbow injury in November 2021

— Minor shoulder injury vs. Alabama in September 2022

— 2021 first-team All-Big 12. 2022 first-team All-American


OVERALL

Bijan Robinson is an ideal blend between efficiency and high-end athletic traits for the position.

Robinson is a thick, balanced runner at 6'0" and 222 pounds. He plays with a low and springy rushing style that gives him the flexibility to change direction and mitigate contact from any angle at any time. Moreover, Robinson has a unique skill for navigating tight spaces. Not only does he have the strength and balance to stay upright, but he's very comfortable playing with short, choppy steps to filter through cluttered spaces without just freezing up in front of the pile. He also generally plays with good vision between the tackles, even if he can have a few plays per game in which he tries to be too perfect. Though not a Steven Jackson-style bulldozer, Robinson has all the traits of a back who regularly earns more than is blocked between the tackles.

Outside the tackles and in space, Robinson shines with wonderful acceleration and flexibility around the corner. Robinson can hit his top speed almost instantly if he needs to and rarely loses any of that speed when he's turning the corner on perimeter runs like outside zone or pitch plays. Robinson also has great stop/start ability for a larger back, giving him yet another tool to find extra yards at the second level and in space.

Robinson is also a weapon on passing downs. He has soft, natural hands and can run more than just the typical checkdown routes expected of a running back. Robinson flashed the ability to get vertical, particularly against Alabama, and still has some potential left untapped for the pro level. In pass protection, Robinson isn't yet elite, but he's promising. Robinson's eyes can lead him astray from time to time, but he's a willing and active blocker with plenty of strength to hold his own.

Robinson checks just about every box for an elite running back prospect. He should step in right away and be able to carry the workload for a rushing offense, as well as contribute in the passing game. Robinson has the potential to be a multi-time Pro Bowler and one of the better backs in the NFL.


GRADE: 9.0 (Top-10 Prospect)

OVERALL RANK: 4

POSITION RANK: RB1

PRO COMPARISON: Supercharged Breece Hall


Written by B/R NFL Scout Derrik Klassen