Vikings Draft Thermometer: RB Bijan Robinson
Welcome to the Vikings Draft Thermometer series, PurplePTSD‘s one-stop shop for all your 2023 NFL Draft needs. Throughout this series, we will be examining a number of prospects ahead of the 2023 NFL Draft, analyzing their strengths, weaknesses, what exactly their role could be at the NFL level, and most importantly, whether or not they could end up playing their first NFL snaps in a Vikings uniform. With that, let’s take a look at today’s prospect: Texas RB Bijan Robinson.
- Height: 6’0
- Weight: 215 pounds
- School: Texas
- Games Watched: Alabama (2022), Oklahoma (2022), Kansas State (2022), Baylor (2022)
- 2020: 86 attempts, 703 rushing yards, 4 TDs; 15 receptions, 196 receiving yards, 2 TDs (9 games)
- 2021: 195 attempts, 1127 rushing yards, 11 TDs; 26 receptions, 295 receiving yards, 4 TDs (10 games)
- 2022: 258 attempts, 1580 rushing yards, 18 TDs; 19 receptions, 314 receiving yards, 2 TDs (12 games)
There’s very little not to like about Bijan Robinson as a prospect, especially if he falls down into the latter half of the first round. He has ideal size for a workhorse RB in the backfield, and his athletic ability is off the charts. He adds a nice blend of power moves as well that allow him to fight through tacklers for extra yardage and has a knack for falling forward on his runs.
Despite his size, he doesn’t have any problem moving laterally, either. He makes very fluid cuts, making him surprisingly slippery despite his size.
Robinson’s skillset also extends into the passing game. He caught 60 passes out of the backfield over his three years at Texas, meaning opposing defenses will have to take that part of his game into account as well even if he doesn’t immediately get the ball out of the backfield.
It’s hard to find things to nitpick about Robinson, but if there’s anything that can bear improving as he comes into the NFL, it’s his blocking. Despite his size, he has some trouble staying in front of defenders when he tries to help in pass protection.
In addition, while teams will certainly have to keep Robinson’s receiving abilities in mind, it’s also worth noting that he relies on body catches a little too often. In order for the Texas product to develop his skillset as a whole, he needs to trust his hands more often. When he does, there are some big plays to be had.
- Draft Round: Mid First-Early Second
- Immediate Role: Workhorse RB1
- Best-Case Scecario: All-Pro
- Vikings Draft Thermometer: 15
We probably won’t see a running back go in the top 10 of the NFL Draft anytime soon simply because of how devalued the position has become in the past few years, but that doesn’t mean Bijan Robinson can’t be a star. He is immediately going to be one of the premier players in the draft wherever he goes, and while the Vikings probably won’t take him, it will be hard not to get excited about the offense if they do.
Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. He also earned minors in History, Human Biology, and Journalism. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys marathon training, playing video games, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. For more of his opinions, check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.