Bijan Robinson is the Lamborghini of running backs


Bijan Robinson enters the 2022 season with a large bullseye one him after having a breakout season in 2021. Robinson rushed for 1,227 yards on 195 carries and caught 26 balls for 295 yards. Robinson has cashed in from his success off the field with numerous NIL deals including a Lamborghini.

Robinson has many of the qualities of a Lamborghini: he’s smooth, powerful, and has excellent speed and quickness. Texas has vastly improved its offensive players around Robinson, which will only help him as he is RB1 and a probable first-rounder in 2023 for a position the NFL does not value typically that high.

It’s no surprise Robinson has had early success at Texas based on his high school film. Robinson was the No. 23 player in the country per 247Sports and rushed for over 7,000 yards and 114 touchdowns at Salpointe Catholic in Tucson, Arizona. As a freshman at Texas, Robinson started the final six games of the season (and Texas won 5-1) with Robinson getting 86 carries for 703 yards.

The first thing coaches and players say about Robinson when asked about what makes him so special is that he is a better person than he is a football player and how humble and grounded he is as a person. That’s not something you hear every day, especially when it comes to megastar talents like Bijan.

As we continue our summertime analysis of college football’s top players, it’s time to get into Robinson’s game. My son, Luke, is a linebacker on the Texas team so I watched or attended all of UT’s games in 2022 but still dug into the All-22 film for some advanced scouting on Robinson. I tabbed Robinson at No. 18 overall in my way-too-early 2023 Mock Draft in April.

STRENGTHS

  • The total package as a back with speed, power, vision and excellent hands that are a huge threat at any time that will be a huge factor at the next level. His size is also a big advantage as he has the frame at 6’0 220 to stand up to the punishment backs take but his fluidity in his lower half and explosiveness is what makes him special on the field.
  • Robinson in the open field is fun to watch as he routinely abuses defenders that take bad angles and can jump-cut, spin, or cut back to make them miss.


Robinson takes the outside zone handoff and makes something out of nothing as only he can. This is the play of his career so far and he gets down to the one-yard line.

  • Robinson is incredibly patient as a runner and as soon as a crease opens up he is able to accelerate to daylight.
  • It’s rare to see him take a loss as he always seems to find a way to make something out of nothing and almost always get positive yardage.
  • There were multiple games last season where he would take over large parts of the game as he was Texas’ only threat to do any damage. The TCU game last year he put the game on his back and refused to be denied a win.

Robinson basically puts the TCU game on his back in the 4th quarter and moves the chains on this zone seal cutback.

WEAKNESS

There are not many concerns from my end on what a positive influence Robinson can be both on and off the field at the next level.

  • Bijan will need to improve as a blocker in pass protection as that’s something the NFL will really want to keep an eye on.
  • I look at Robinson’s touches as a positive as he had virtually no wear and tear in high school and has less than 300 carries so far at Texas. He dislocated an elbow during the Kansas game that cost him a few games. Can he be the featured back at the next level and take the pounding that comes with toting the rock, catching the ball, and understanding and picking up protections?

IN SUMMARY

Bijan Robinson is a special talent and home run threat every time he touches the ball. I’d expect him to rush for over 1,500 yards this season and add over 500 in receiving yards. His hands are underrated and something Texas might rely on more this season as the Longhorns will be able to get Robinson one-on-one with defenders thanks to the bevy of weapons around him.

Texas has a nice stable of backs that can take the burden of Robinson getting too many touches with Roschon Johnson, Jonathon Brooks and Keilan Robinson. Don’t be surprised if Bijan Robinson can lead Texas to a Big 12 title this season and rack up some huge numbers along the way for him to be remembered among the Mount Rushmore of great Texas backs like Earl Campbell, Ricky Williams, and Cedric Benson .

His NFL comp is Saquon Barkley of the New York Giants. While Saquon won no. 2 overall, that’s not happening again any time soon for a running back. I’d put Robinson in the 20-32 range in the first round, a position undervalued on draft day.

Previous 2022 player Film Studies:

CJ StroudQB, Ohio State: What makes CJ Stroud among the best players in college football

Bryce YoungQB, Alabama: How Bryce Young can take another step

Will AndersonEDGE, Alabama: The scariest player in college football is getting better

Jalen CarterDT, Georgia: Georgia’s junkyard defense now belongs to Jalen Carter

Bryan BreseeDT, Clemson: Still a big tool missing from the long-hyped Bresee

Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State: The best Buckeye WR ever? JSN will make his case this fall

Tyler Van Dyke, QB, Miami: A budding superstar with QB3 potential in 2023

Josh Downs, WR, North Carolina: Josh Downs might have to be UNC’s one-man show in 2022

Paris Johnson Jr., OT, Ohio State: Former 5-star Paris Johnson. Jr. returns to his natural home

Peter Skoronski, OT, Northwestern: Is an inside move at the next level next for Peter Skoronski?

Ryan Hayes, OT, Michigan: Part of an elite o-line, but room to improve for Hayes

Blake Brockermeyer is a College Football Analyst for 247Sports. He was an All-American OT at the University of Texas and was a first-round NFL Draft pick by the Carolina Panthers in 1995. He was a defensive quality control analyst for SMU from 2018-2020. He has sons on the Texas (Luke) and Alabama (Tommy, James) football teams.

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