NFL Coaches, Execs Rank Atlanta Falcons Star Bijan Robinson

ESPN Reveals how NFL Coaches and Execs rank Atlanta Falcons running back Bijan Robinson among his peers in the league.
Atlanta Falcons running back Bijan Robinson is poised for a productive 2024 season.
Atlanta Falcons running back Bijan Robinson is poised for a productive 2024 season. / Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
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FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Atlanta Falcons running back Bijan Robinson has been a professional for just over 14 months, but he's already made quite the impression.

The 22-year-old Robinson was ranked as the NFL's sixth-best running back by league coaches and executives in a poll collected by ESPN - and he received at least one first-place vote.

"If he gets to the second or third level, he's incredibly hard to tackle," an anonymous NFL offensive coach told Jeremy Fowler on ESPN+. "Deceptive speed once he gets loose. He reminds me of LeSean McCoy. Very elusive. Really hard to touch him."

Robinson, who was drafted No. 8 overall in 2023, had a stout rookie season, taking 214 carries for 976 yards and four touchdowns. He also produced as a receiver, ranking second on the team with 58 receptions while accumulating 487 yards and four additional scores.

Despite finishing 10th in the NFL in yards from scrimmage last year, the external perception around Robinson is these numbers, while illustrative of his versatility, are just the start of showcasing his skill level.

"The production is not all him - he's a top-five talent at the position right now," an NFL personnel evaluator told ESPN.

In 2024, Robinson is expected to be a cornerstone piece of Atlanta's new-look offense, which is headlined by quarterback Kirk Cousins and offensive coordinator Zac Robinson.

The former Texas Longhorns standout said he plans on being used in a role similar to San Francisco 49ers star Christian McCaffrey, who led the NFL with 2,023 yards from scrimmage and 21 rushing/receiving touchdowns last season.

It's a role new Falcons head coach Raheem Morris feels is fitting, and Morris said if Robinson produces anywhere near the numbers McCaffrey does, Atlanta will be excited.

"It’s, 'Get the ball to Bijan as much as you can in as many ideal situations that you possibly can,'" Morris said during minicamp. "He’s so talented. You don’t want to limit the things that he can do, but you also don’t want to water it down so much that he’s not doing anything that he can do great.

"When you get the ball in his hand, he makes people miss, he gets extra yards, he’s able to fight for extra yards, he breaks tackles, he’s fast, he’s explosive, he’s strong. He can do so many things you can get overwhelmed sometimes maybe as a play caller or even as a designer."

The Falcons' new staff is high on what Robinson can do this fall, as is he - and evidently, others around the league feel the same way.

Daniel Flick


Daniel Flick is an accredited NFL writer for Sports Illustrated's FanNation. Daniel has provided boots-on-ground coverage at the NFL Combine and from the Atlanta Falcons' headquarters, among other destinations, and contributed to the annual Lindy's Sports Magazine ahead of the 2023 offseason. Daniel is a co-host on the 404TheFalcon podcast and previously wrote for the Around the Block Network and Georgia Sports Hospitality Media.