Atlanta Falcons 2023 rookie review & grades: Bijan Robinson

First-round pick Bijan Robinson was the leader of the Atlanta Falcons offense during his rookie season

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The Atlanta Falcons kicked off their 2023 NFL Draft by drafting running back Bijan Robinson with the eighth pick.

It was not a surprising pick as head coach Arthur Smith was looking to fill out an elite offense around starting quarterback Desmond Ridder. While much of the offense was a disappointment, rookie Bijan Robinson showed us everything we wanted to see from the generational running back.

Atlanta Falcons rookie RB Bijan Robinson's rookie review

The Atlanta Falcons were not overly successful on offense during what ended up being Arthur Smith's final season as head coach, but Bijan Robinson was the least of the worries for the offense. He was the most consistent playmaker on this talented, yet underachieving offense.


  • 17 games, 770/1,128 snaps played (68%)
  • 214 carries for 976 yds (4.6 avg.), 4 TDs
  • 58 receptions for 487 yds (8.4 avg.), 4 TDs
  • 4 fumbles, 3 lost

The good:

Bijan Robinson was the only consistent during the Falcons offensive season. While there was a lull in his production halfway through the season, much of it had to do with usage.

We saw everything we wanted to see from the top running back in the draft. We saw explosive runs, ankle-breaking ball-carrier moves, one-handed catches, yards after contact, yards after catch, and even a punt return.

One significant thing during his rookie season was his ability to stay healthy—something that rarely happens with RBs in the NFL. This was something he excelled at in college and seeing it translate into the NFL is great to see.

Nothing is stopping him from being the best running back in Falcons history and one of the greatest in NFL history.

The bad:

The big negative during Bijan's rookie season was his fumbles. He fumbled four times, losing three. This is something you often see from rookies as they become adjusted to the speed of the NFL. Even coming from a big program like Texas, Bijan wasn't used to having defenders sneak up on him from behind which is where you see a lot of fumbles in this league.

There were times when Bijan's vision and pass blocking weren't excellent but he is still learning and there is no reason to worry.



Bijan Robinson should be the motor of this offense for the next handful of seasons, even in an offense that has Kyle Pitts and Drake London. His overall skill set is something you rarely see in the NFL and we are saying that after his first 17 games in the NFL.

The fumbles need to be cleaned up (which is what pulls his grade down a bit) but we can already say that the sky is the limit for the Falcons' franchise playmaker.

Grade: B+

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