2023 NFL Draft Review: Grading the Atlanta Falcons picks with realistic expectations

2023 NFL Draft - Round 1
2023 NFL Draft - Round 1 / David Eulitt/GettyImages
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The Atlanta Falcons had a very interesting slate of selections during the 2023 NFL Draft. The draft definitely looks like someone just taking the best player sitting on their board based on potential plans for their usage. They got a beastly playmaker in Bijan Robinson in the first round and then decided to spend the rest of the draft filling out depth and building up the roster. People will have lofty expectations for the team, but individually, need to keep those expectations realistic.

Round 1: RB Bijan Robinson, Texas

The Atlanta Falcons kicked off their draft showing that they want to build an offense with matchup problems. Bijan Robinson may not have been the smart pick for positional value, and with Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter on the board, they may have missed out on a stud there. However, Robinson is a blue-chip talent and a true stud himself. This pick just makes sense for what the Falcons want to do on offense and to help develop the young quarterback Desmond Ridder.

Robinson has shown that he can play well for the Falcons while he was playing in college. He will be a position-less player who can play in the slot, out wide, at running back, or anywhere else on the field. The Falcons are building some matchup nightmares to build their offense around. They're also building a running game to take a ton of the pressure off of Ridder so that he can learn the offense and grow in his confidence. This wasn't a slam dunk because of position value and because of the Carter question, but it was definitely a good pick and the overall grade reflects that.

Realistic expectations for year 1: 175 carries, 800 yards, 40 catches, 350 yards, 10 total touchdowns

Grade: B+