It’s unusual to see a player who is considered a consensus Top-5 talent in the NFL draft not being discussed as a surefire Top-15 pick. However, in the modern NFL, the value of any one running back has decreased significantly, and many teams are hesitant to use a first-round pick on the position.
This is likely why Texas running back Bijan Robinson’s average draft position (ADP) is lower in mock drafts than his incredible talent level would suggest.
Per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, multiple teams consider Robinson to be the best player in the entire draft and even believe he could one day be a Hall of Famer. He is a versatile three-down back with exceptional vision, balance, lateral quickness, and receiving skills. Many pundits believe he is a better prospect than Giants’ running back Saquon Barkley was in 2018, when he was selected with the second pick of the draft.
In the case of the Baltimore Ravens, they currently have a strong backfield duo in Gus Edwards and J.K. Dobbins. However, Dobbins has expressed frustration with his lack of touches, is in the last year of his contract, and was working his way back from a major knee injury last season. While the Ravens may not need a running back right now, they may benefit from having a player like Robinson in the future.
On draft day, selecting Robinson may not be the most popular choice among fans and analysts. However, there’s also the feeling of excitement he would bring. The feeling Ravens fans had when quarterback Lamar Jackson was selected with the final pick of the first round in 2018.
Robinson’s impact on football games could transcend positional value and make him a game-changing addition to any team’s offense. While the Ravens may have more pressing needs at other positions, it wouldn’t be surprising to see general manager Eric DeCosta run the card up for a player who is most likely at the top of their draft board.