Arguments for the Eagles to draft & ignore Bijan Robinson tenth overall
Though no one can deny Bijan’s talent, taking him at the tenth-overall selection may not be the slam-dunk theory some believe it to be.
You’ve heard the arguments time and time again. Availability is a skill. That skill is often one that tailbacks can’t guarantee. If the Eagles are hesitant about taking Bijan Robinson, the most obvious reason why might be one we’re all tired of repeating. You’ve probably uttered the words a time or two yourselves.
1. No one needs to be reminded of how much punishment running backs take and how short the shelf life is.
Running backs play the NFL’s most punished position. Even the most gifted prospects often enjoy short careers or fizzle out quickly (normally after enduring the punishment earned during career seasons). Sadly, those who tend to hang around miss a ton of time with injuries.
As a result, the value NFL teams seemingly place on tailbacks declines with each passing season. It’s only going to get harder for them with an 18-week, 17-game schedule. Bijan could be the exception to that rule, but after 539 collegiate carries, no one would be shocked if Philly went the route of taking someone they felt might stand a chance at being around longer.
2. This is a deep class with a lot of great running backs. If the Eagles don’t take Bijan at ten, there are a ton of consolation prizes.
If the Eagles don’t take Bijan Robinson at ten, believe it or not, there are other options, and many of them could be found on Day 2 and start for Philly immediately.
There’s a possibility, if the Eagles have their hearts set on taking a tailback in Round 1, that Jahmyr Gibbs (Alabama) could be available at the 30th-overall selection.
If that doesn’t work out or if Philly isn’t interested Zach Charbonnet (UCLA), Devon Achane (Texas A&M), Zach Evans (Ole Miss), and Kendre Miller (TCU) are all viable options on Day 2. All could walk into the Eagles lineup and start immediately.
3. Shouldn’t a top-ten choice possess more breakaway speed?
While Bijan showcased a nice 40-yard dash time at the most recent NFL Combine (4.46 seconds) and he displayed some big-play ability at the NCAA level, the chances of him running away from people at the pro level are slim. There are a ton of guys that run 4.4-second 40s. Some are faster.
Sure, Robinson left the Big 12 in the dust, but no one plays defense in that conference, do they? At the professional level, some of those open-field runs have a high chance of ending with him being tracked down from behind, and if you’re exhausting a top-ten choice on a tailback, you’d like to know those runs are going to end in TDs, not long-gainers.
4. There’s a lack of depth at some of the other position groups where the Eagles have need.
While Philly will have solid options at tailback after Round 1 that are also potential starters, that isn’t necessarily the same scenario they’ll face at other positions. If they want an edge rusher, cornerback, or safety that they can rely on for years to come, they may want to invest in those positions early.
Solid reserves can be found along the offensive line and at the interior of the defensive line if they wait. That doesn’t mean that they will, but at least they know what their options are.
Here’s something to chew on: With this offensive line, it may not matter who the Eagles place in the backfield at tailback.
Regardless of who the Birds choose, if they take a tailback at all, that prospect will have the confidence of knowing he has the NFL’s best offensive line ahead of him. Jeff Stoutland University continues to prepare its students properly. Having a game-changer in the backfield isn’t a bad thing, but this O-line will hide a ton of deficiencies if there are any.