27. Buffalo Bills — Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas
Syndication Austin American Statesman
- The Philadelphia Eagles are the +275 favorites to select Bijan Robinson in the 2023 NFL Draft
- Texas Longhorns RB Robinson is expected to be the first player at his position to come off the board
- The Buffalo Bills (+450), Dallas Cowboys (+600) and Atlanta Falcons (+750) are all given odds shorter than +1000 to claim the Texas RB
Those who follow the NFL Draft the closest are pretty much in lockstep when it comes to Texas Longhorns running back Bijan Robinson. Draft pundits are certain that he’ll be the first RB off the board.
Which team is going to be the one claiming Robinson? Well, that’s where the paths of these experts diverge. There are five teams with NFL Draft odds at +1000 or shorter in the betting market for Robinson’s services. Just as many different teams show up next to Robinson’s name in the many mock drafts out there to peruse.
The NFC champion Philadelphia Eagles are the +275 favorites to claim Robinson with one of their two first-round picks. At +450, the AFC East champion Buffalo Bills are next in this betting line.
Odds to Draft Bijan Robinson
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers
|Kansas City Chiefs
|New England Patriots
|New Orleans Saints
|Las Vegas Raiders
|Los Angeles Chargers
|Los Angeles Rams
|New York Jets
|New York Giants
|San Francisco 49ers
|Green Bay Packers
Others considered to be in contention are the Dallas Cowboys (+600), Atlanta Falcons (+750) and Detroit Lions (+1000) in the NFL Draft odds. Robinson is anticipated to be selected in the 24-30 range of the first round. The first round of the 2023 NFL Draft is slated for Thursday, April 28 at 8 pm ET and is being broadcast on the NFL Network. Odds from March 1 at DraftKings Sportsbook.
Robinson a Dual Threat
It’s easy to see why NFL teams would cover the services of Robinson. He’s the prototype of the modern NFL RB. Robinson has been compared to New York Giants star Saquon Barkley.
Naturally, Robinson can run the ball. He rushed for 1,580 yards and 18 touchdowns. His rushing yardage total was sixth in the nation.
There have been 1,998 college RBs with 75+ carries in a season since 2014. Only one player has ever recorded 100+ forced missed tackles.
That was Bijan Robinson in 2022 pic.twitter.com/EJcdgWezAR
— Jack Brentnall (@Jack_Brentnall) February 20, 2023
The Longhorns’ back can also catch the football out of the backfield, such a vital element for a back in today’s game. Robinson caught 19 passes for 314 yards and two TDs. That works out to an average of 16.5 yards per catch.
Eagles Could Be Moving On From Sanders
On the surface, it might not make sense for the Eagles to be seeking a RB with their first pick of the NFL Draft. After all, they just went to the Super Bowl.
Miles Sanders paced the Philadelphia rushing attack last season with 1,259 yards and 11 TDs. Both totals put him in the top 10 of the NFL. He was selected to the Pro Bowl.
However, his rookie contract is up and Sanders is heading to free agency. Sanders also caught 50 passes for 509 yards. Over the past three seasons, though, his yards per target as a receiver of 3.8 are last among 73 NFL RBs with a minimum of 50 targets.
The 6-foot-1, 215-pound Robinson would be an ideal fit into Philly’s potent offensive talent pool. Historically, though, Eagles GM Howie Roseman isn’t one to pick an RB in the first round of the NFL Draft.
Bills Make Most Sense As Robinson Suitors
There is speculation that the Cowboys might opt to move on from both Tony Pollard and Ezekiel Elliott. That certainly would put Dallas in the Robinson conversation. Likewise, there’s talk that the Cincinnati Bengals are considering cutting Joe Mixon. At +2000 do they offer value?
Another team to consider could be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+1600). They just cut Leonard Fournette.
Bijan Robinson: RB1 pic.twitter.com/qmJI71JCsn
— PFF (@PFF) February 14, 2023
However, the team that makes the most sense as an ideal fit for Robinson is the Bills. A threat at RB is the one element absent from Buffalo’s explosive offense. Give QB Josh Allen a back he can count on and it might be the X-factor that’s keeping the Bills from getting over the hump and to the Super Bowl.
NFL teams love the RB-by-committee approach. Pairing Robinson with 2022 second-round pick James Cook would give Buffalo the kind of depth at the position the team’s been lacking for years.
Pick: Buffalo Bills (+450)
An industry veteran, Bob literally taught the course on the history of sports at Elder College. He has worked as a Sports Columnist for Postmedia, appeared as a guest on several radio stations, was the Vice President of the Society For International Hockey Research in Ontario, and written 25 books.