Texas running back Bijan Robinson presents NFL teams with a unique challenge in the 2023 NFL Draft. While the value of running backs slides down draft boards, he is a dynamic athlete and game changer akin to Saquon Barkley and Christian McCaffrey. Robinson isn’t in the conversation for a top-three pick like Barkley, but he’ll potentially be the highest-drafted RB since 2018. Below, we’ll look at what Bijan Robinson NFL Draft odds say about where he may land April 27.
Bijan Robinson NFL Draft Odds: Team To Draft Him
Click on odds in the table below to place a bet.
Running Backs And The NFL Draft
Five years ago, Robinson might have been selected inside the top five, with talks of him being the first pick off the board. In today’s NFL, running backs don’t carry as much value in the draft, largely being seen as an expendable position. This past year, the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs posted the sixth-best rushing success rate behind a stable of backs that included Jerrick McKinnon and Isiah Pacheco. Success with multiple backs or with a unique approach (i.e. Philadelphia Eagles) further pushes RB down the priority ladder at the draft.
Some of the league’s top talent at RB didn’t make the Round 1 cut. Jonathan Taylor came off the board in the second round, as did Derrick Henry. Last year, no team selected a RB in the first round of the draft. The three previous years, no RB was drafted inside the top 20.
Will Robinson Be Drafted In Round 1?
Robinson isn’t a run-of-the-mill prospect. He’s an dynamic athlete, exceptional pass catcher, and explosive runner. Robinson’s game-changing ability forced him into the first round conversation. In 2022, he rushed for 6.1 yards per attempt – including 4.2 after contact (second-best nationally) – and averaged 16.5 yards per reception (most among non-service academy RBs, min. 10 targets).
Sportsbooks traditionally release over/under totals on how many players of a certain position will be picked in the first round. With Robinson and Alabama’s Jahmyr Gibbs in the draft pool this year, that number for RBs likely comes out at O/U 1.5, with the over likely juiced heavily.
NFL Insider Daniel Jeremiah released his Mock Draft 3.0. In it, Jeremiah projects Robinson to land with the New England Patriots at No. 14 overall. ESPN’s Todd McShay slotted Robinson 10th overall to the Eagles just after the NFL Combine closed. Mel Kiper sends Robinson 27th to the Bills in his latest mock draft.
Despite no real consensus existing for a precise landing spot, Robinson almost assuredly goes Round 1.
Which Team Drafts Bijan Robinson?
No one team stands alone on odds boards. At DraftKings Sportsbook, the Washington Commanders, Los Angeles Chargers, and Dallas Cowboys sit as frontrunners, all between 4-1 and 11-2. The Eagles and Falcons round up the teams with shorter than 10-1 odds.
The Chargers and Cowboys make a lot of sense in terms of positional need. Austin Ekeler reportedly is seeking a trade, making either Joshua Kelly or Isaiah Spiller the current leader in the backfield. Dallas cut Ezekiel Elliott despite him reportedly be willing to take a pay cut this year and Tony Pollard suffered a serious injury in the NFL Playoffs. That injury reportedly “won’t impact” his future availability, however.
Throughout the offseason, the Chargers and Cowboys both have been popular landing spots for top wide receiver prospects.
The favored Commanders (+400) are led by Brian Robinson Jr. and complement the rising sophomore with Antonio Gibson. Given other, more pressing roster holes, it’s unlikely the Commanders draft Bijan in the first round.
The Lions also lost goal-line superhero Jamaal Williams in free agency and have two picks in the first round, after signing some defensive pieces this offseason.
An NFL Draft Odds Longshot To Consider
The Cincinnati Bengals sit at +1000 to draft Robinson. According to Jay Morrison of The Athletic, Joe Mixon could be cut by the Bengals as a cap space casualty. Mixon would create $5.5 million in dead cap, but that number drops to $2.75 million after June 1. Cutting Mixon would save the Bengals over $10 million in cap space, per Over The Cap.
Backup Samaje Perine signed with the Denver Broncos this offseason. Behind Mixon on the depth chart is Trayveon Williams, who had just six carries all last season. Free agent options exist, namely the aforementioned Elliott, but those options are expensive.
The biggest barrier – the Bengals draft at No. 29. That’s behind popular Robinson landing spots like Buffalo and the likelihood Robinson falls to 29 is what’s keeping the Bengals a 10-1 longshot.
Though Cincinnati is reportedly unwilling to trade him, Tee Higgins is a valuable asset that could change their standing in the draft. Should either the Bengals secure a higher draft pick or Mixon be cut, their odds are going to fall. If nothing else, this is a strong value play.
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