Baltimore Ravens: To Bijan Robinson Or Not To Bijan

Every NFL draft cycle, there is always a polarizing player that people just cannot seem to place. Whether it be a lack of production in college but a terrific combine performance or the measurables weren’t as prototypical as one might prefer despite, there are always prospects that divide the draft community in half. This year, that prospect is Bijan Robinson. While no one can deny his talent, most question the position he plays. So where will Robinson settle in the draft? Some have linked him to a team that could certainly use his services: the Baltimore Ravens.

This link in itself has caused quite a stir in the Ravens Flock community. We weigh the pros and cons of Baltimore drafting the highly touted prospect out of Texas with the 22nd overall pick.

The Case Against the Ravens taking Bijan Robinson

Photo Credit: Austin American-Statesman/USA TODAY NETWORK

As the old adage goes: never draft a running back in the first round. No matter the talent, no running back is immune to the brutal wear and tear the position calls for. Every great running back has, at one point or another, hit that wall that they cannot run through, whether it be due to age or the physicality of the position.

When a team drafts a running back, they can only expect a short period of time where that player can realistically be considered an effective piece of the offense. Bijan Robinson, with all of his talent, is not immune to this.

As for the Ravens themselves, they already have an effective stable of running backs in place. JK Dobbins came into the league with high expectations, and it’s safe to say he is meeting them.

From Weeks 14 through 17, Dobbins led the league in rushing and yards per carry, becoming Baltimore’s most effective offensive weapon with Lamar Jackson missing time. With a 5.9 YPC average over his entire career, Dobbins should be mentioned as one of the most effective runners in the league.

Behind Dobbins sits the ever reliable Gus Edwards. Despite an injury, Gus “The Bus” is still a physical runner who is reliable in short yardage situations.

The biggest reason the Ravens won’t be selecting Bijan Robinson is the construction of the current roster. The team simply has too many holes. Wide receiver, a constant thorn in the side of the franchise, is a glaring need that must be upgraded.

Another outside corner to pair with All-Pro Marlon Humphrey is needed, especially if perennial fan favorite Marcus Peters isn’t brought back. And of course, the looming future of Lamar Jackson will certainly decide the direction of the franchise for years to come.

Couple that with the fact that the Ravens current do not hold a second round pick in this year’s draft. With so many needs and fewer draft picks than usual, it is difficult to argue for using a pivotal first round selection on a position that is hardly a need for the team. As talented as he is, drafting Bijan Robinson would be a questionable — at best — move for the Ravens.

The Case For the Baltimore Ravens Drafting Bijan Robinson

Photo Credit: Tim Warner/Getty Images

With the departure of Greg Roman as offensive coordinator, many believe that his replacement, Todd Monken, will implement a heavier passing attack. While that may be true, a major reason Monken was hired is because he won’t deviate greatly from the offensive scheme the Ravens have in place.

The Ravens won’t stray too far from what has brought them success the last few years: an elite run game. Robinson would be an immediate superstar in Baltimore’s intricate ground attack, and he would take pressure off of Lamar Jackson as someone who can be consistently relied upon to make plays. Bottom line, Robinson can be an elite bell-cow for the Ravens’ rushing attack.

One of the cases against the Ravens drafting Bijan Robinson could also be a case for drafting him: JK Dobbins. While Dobbins has been one of the most effective runners when on the field, getting him on the field has been his biggest issue.

A torn ACL just prior to the 2021 season kept the former Buckeye on the sidelines for the entirety of that year. It’s clear the Ravens are cautious about his health. In fact, Dobbins has had more than 15 carries in a single game just once in his career. That’s not exactly a strong vote of confidence in the young back.

Beyond the roller coaster of availability of Dobbins, depth at the position could be light. Gus Edwards is a prime candidate to be released, as that move would would free up nearly $4.5 million for the cash-strapped franchise according to Spotrac.

Not to mention both Kenyan Drake and Justice Hill will be headed to free agency, as well. The cupboard for Baltimore’s vaunted rushing attack could look very bare by mid-March.

Of course, there is Bijan Robinson himself. The Longhorn runner is an elite playmaker as both a runner and a pass catcher. A patient runner who waits to find an opening, he can accelerate and use his exceptional agility to make a big play in a flash.

Given his size (6’0, 220 lbs), it’s difficult to grasp just how Robinson can be so explosive. Aside from Lamar Jackson, the Ravens don’t have an offensive player close to the caliber of Robinson. He would be an immediate play-making threat for an offense that simply lacks many at all.

With that said, it is impossible to discount the Raven approach to “best player available.” Though it seems overused, the Ravens have built their identity around this mantra — to grand success. There is no denying that, regardless of position, Robinson is a top-5 talent in this draft. Just because the Ravens don’t necessarily need a certain position, that hasn’t stopped them from addressing the position regardless. Look back to their 2001 draft.

Despite having Hall of Fame tight end Shannon Sharpe, the Ravens weren’t swayed from taking Arizona tight end Todd Heap. That move worked out fairly well for Baltimore. The Ravens have done this countless times over the years. Who is to say they won’t do it again in 2023? Robinson may just be too talented for the Ravens to pass up.

A more recent example occurred just this past year. The Ravens boasted two first round picks in 2022 NFL Draft and selected safety Kyle Hamilton and center Tyler Linderbaum. Neither position is considered to be a premium position to use a first round draft pick on, but the talent for both was too good to pass up on. Not to mention, with Marcus Williams and Chuck Clark already on the roster, safety was hardly a position of need.

However head coach John Harbaugh and general manager Eric De Costa repeatedly stated Hamilton was at the top of their big board and were elated when he fell into Baltimore’s lap. Yet more proof that the Ravens overlook position and need when it comes to drafting top-level talent.

Bottom Line

Photo Credit: Tim Warner – Getty Images

From a pure talent stand-point, it’s hard to argue against the Ravens drafting Bijan Robinson 22nd overall. He would be an exciting addition to an offense that seems to be constantly lagging behind. However, there are too many holes on the roster that could be filled with the Ravens first pick.

Cornerback and receiver are much more pressing needs that the Ravens must address early. Pair that with the on-going drama over Lamar Jackson’s contract, a first round selection of a running back may be too rich for a franchise that can’t seem to afford it.

But with the Ravens and high level-talent, you can never say never.

Bijan Robinson: The unquestioned RB1 for the 2023 NFL Draft?

Is Bijan Robinson RB1 for the 2023 NFL draft?
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Bijan Robinson was an absolute legend at Texas. Robinson capped off his brilliant collegiate career with a stellar 2022 season; landing him ninth in Heisman Trophy voting and winning the prestigious Doak Walker award. Now, with Bijan Robinson likely turning his eye to the 2023 NFL draft, his name seems to be the only one that comes up when discussing who will be the top running back off the board. 

The value of the running back position has dropped precipitously in recent years, with many teams electing to ignore the position in the first round completely. In 2022, only three running backs were taken in the first two rounds, with none coming off the board until Breece Hall at pick 36 to the New York Jets. 

Robinson has been mocked anywhere from the top ten picks to the late second round. But, in every mock draft, one thing always remains the same: He’s the first running back selected. Every time. Is Bijan Robinson the clear best player at his position for the 2023 NFL draft? Does anyone even come close?

Tale of the tape

Photo Credit: Texas Athletics

Games watched: Alabama (2022), Iowa State (2022), Kansas State (2022)

The first thing that immediately jumps off the screen with Bijan Robinson is his size. He’s listed at 6-0, 222 pounds on the Texas official roster (the real numbers will be revealed at the combine). When bent in his stance, Robinson looks more like a linebacker than a running back. The size of his legs alone serve as a sign to defenses that it’s going to be a long day. 

Robinson is so remarkably hard to tackle. He easily sheds would-be tacklers time and time again. Whether it’s a stiff-arm or just simply bouncing off of them, Robinson rarely goes down on first contact and typically requires multiple tacklers. He also couples these extra yards with elite vision. If a hole appears, the chances are rather high that you might find number five in burnt orange bursting through it. Robinson keeps the Longhorns on schedule repeatedly with his meat-and-potatoes running style. 

While he doesn’t possess elite long speed, Robinson does have the requisite quickness and fluidity to find the hole and also hit those cuts to the outside. He has countless reps where he hits the edge and picks up some yards. His strength and contact balance make him a nightmare for defensive backs to come up and tackle.

While being one of the best runners in the country, Robinson had a surprisingly impactful role in the passing attack. He’s not a crisp route runner like Christian McCaffrey, but he is a diabolical weapon in the screen game with his ability to get downhill, follow his blockers, and shrug off tacklers. He can also catch the ball and turn up-field quickly.

Where he stands to improve in the pass game is in pass protection. He lacks instincts there and could use some work. However, there are some encouraging reps, including one against Alabama where he delivers a powerful blow to Will Anderson. 

Biggest Competitor to Bijan Robinson for NFL Draft RB1

The 2022 running back class looks like a deep one, but there seems to be a drop off after the first two names. That other name is Jahmyr Gibbs, originally a Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket who transferred to Alabama prior to the 2022 season. Gibbs is a player who has the potential to be an elite weapon in the passing game.  

Gibbs excels at those angle/Texas routes out of the backfield, and also spent a good portion of his time lined up out wide and working the middle of the field. He has also shown some nice reps in pass protection. While not perfect in that area, he is good enough to make him one of the better third down backs in the 2023 NFL draft class. 

As a runner, Gibbs is incredibly dynamic. He has good vision and does a nice job following his blockers to find the green grass. His explosiveness and speed make him a threat to score on every play. Speedy guys typically don’t fight for extra yards, but Gibbs showed many times that he never quits on a play and can lower his pads to power through for extra yards. 

What’s the verdict?

Almost everyone you ask will have Bijan Robinson as the top running back in the 2023 NFL draft class. There is certainly good reason to do so. Robinson may have the highest ceiling in this class. He should without a doubt be the first running back taken. How high should that be? 

Many draft websites have him as a top five player in the class. That means he almost certainly gets taken in round one. Whether or not that is wise to do so is up in the air. Najee Harris and Travis Etienne went in the first in 2021, and Robinson looks like an unquestionably better player than both. Could he go in the top 20, which no running back has done since Saquan Barkley in 2018? We shall see.

Alabama vs. Texas: Game Recap & NFL Draft Prospects Review

Alabama vs. Texas Week 2
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Michael Thomas

In spite of all of the freak injuries, Alabama vs. Texas was a great matchup of NFL draft prospects on Saturday. Both teams played stout defense throughout, not allowing either offense to show much explosiveness.

Although the situation looked dire for the Crimson Tide late, the team managed to stave off a potential upset due, in part, to the heroics of their Heisman-winning quarterback. Alabama would take a narrow 20-19 victory over the Longhorns, despite the efforts of the latter’s defense. 

The first drives for both teams ended with a field goal, giving the teams a dead tie. Alabama managed to chip away at the Longhorns’ defense with their rotation of running backs, but came up short. For Texas, transfer quarterback Quinn Ewers looked as good as advertised, making some incredible deep passes. 

Alabama would score again on their second drive with an 81-yard Jace McClellan touchdown run. Ewers would continue his efficient passing on the Longhorns’ second drive before suffering a shoulder injury on a throw-away pass. Alabama EDGE Dallas Turner would get called for a roughing the passer penalty after falling on Ewers in a freak incident. 

Backup Hudson Card would replace Ewers, but also would struggle with an apparent injury through the game. In any case, the Longhorns would finish the drive with a touchdown from Bijan Robinson. 

Neither team would score again in the first half, with the next score coming from Texas on a Brett Auburn field goal. After stopping Alabama’s offense, the Longhorns would score from another field, goal bringing the score to 16-10. 

Down six at the beginning of the fourth quarter, the Crimson Tide would march down the field and score on a Jahmyr Gibbs touchdown reception. With the score now 17-16, the Longhorns would respond with a 49-yard field goal giving Texas the lead late into the fourth quarter. 

With 1:29 left of the clock, Alabama quarterback Bryce Young would orchestrate a masterful drive to set up the game-winning field goal. 

Alabama vs. Texas NFL Draft Prospects Review 

It goes without saying that the star of the show Saturday was Bryce Young. Despite not having an incredible statistical outing, the final drive was nothing short of remarkable. Young was surgical with his passes, but also showed off his athleticism, escaping a cornerback sack with a simple duck-and-run. Young is the clear-cut QB1 right now, and it may not be close if he continues on his current track. 

It was a relatively quiet day for Will Anderson, as well. He had a few off-sides penalties, but made up for it with a key 3rd down sack late in the four quarter. 

His teammates Jaylen Moody and Henry To’oTo’o also looked solid in the box. However, the real stars this weekend in the trenches were the Crimson Tide defensive line. DJ Dale and Byron Young did a great job establishing leverage and made some nice plays in the backfield. 

For Texas, Bijan Robinson looked solid but could never find the right crease to run through. Even with a touchdown, it was not the star performance on-lookers would’ve expected. The same could be said for his running mate in Roschon Johnson, who also struggled versus the Alabama front. 

The stars of the Texas offense were wide receivers Xavier Worthy and Jordan Whittington. Worthy shined early with a couple big catches, but trailed off in the second half. Whittington, however, was a consistent safety blanket for Card, doing plenty of damage in the middle of the field. 

On defense, linebacker Jaylan Ford made a few nice plays in-between the tackles. He looked sharp as he flowed to the football, and was the most impressive player on the Longhorns defense. DeMarvion Overshown was quiet, but still made a few stops here and there. 

Similarly to Alabama, the Longhorn’s defensive line had a few nice plays. EDGE Ovie Oghoufo had a great sack for Texas in the first quarter using his first step quickness. T’Vondre Sweat would have had a safety, but was ruled an incompletion on a weird third down play. Sweat, along with Moro Ojomo and Keondre Coburn, were excellent at stopping the run on Saturday — save for the McClellan touchdown. 

2023 Recruiting Class Update: Spring

How will the early reports of 2023 compare to the 2022 class?

The 2023 recruiting class is in full swing, and were already starting to see highly touted recruits make their commitments.

Sitting pretty:

Leading the pack thus far is the Notre Dame Fighting Irish headlined by five star defensive end Keon Keeley. First year head coach Marcus Freeman is hitting the recruiting trail hard ahead of his first campaign at the helm. Look for more big time commits in the coming weeks with playmakers like wide receiver Carnell Tate (IMG Academy, FL) and Braylon James (Del Valle, TX).

The next team having a surprisingly good start to the cycle is Tennessee. Coach Heupel’s second class at the helm is headlined by five star quarterback, Nicholaus Iamaleava (Long Beach Poly, CA) and four star tight end, Ethan Hill (Collins Hill, GA). The Vols are also in the top 5 schools for wide receiver Carnell Tate(IMG Academy, FL).

The final up-trending team is one completely out of left-field, currently sitting at the number two spot at this time. The Texas Tech Red Raiders are making a splash in the recruiting scene with four 4 stars committed to Joey McGuire’s program thusfar. They’re still in the mix for 4 star safety, Ryan Yaites (Denton, TX). Keep a close eye on this Texas Tech class as they look to load up for the new Big 12.

Off to a slow start:

The first team in this category will not be here for long, the Alabama Crimson Tide are currently 33rd in the nation for the 2023 class. Now we all know how this goes, Bama gets off to a slow start and then dominate the national signing days.

The Tide are in the mix for current consensus number one recruit Arch Manning (Isodore Newman, LA). They are also in the mix for the top 2 running backs, 3 of the top 5 receivers and the top 2 offensive tackles in the class. Don’t expect Saban and company to stay this low for too much longer with kids taking their official spring visits.

The second team off to a slow start is the Texas Longhorns. The ‘Horns are currently sitting at 25th in the national rankings, but are in the mix for some big name recruits. Targets for Texas are headlined by 5* quarterback, Arch Manning (Isodore Newman, LA), but also include 4* receiver Johntay Cook (DeSoto, TX) and 5* running back Reuben Owens (El Campo, TX). Sarkisian and company are off to a slow start, but just like Alabama, will not stay here for much longer.

On life support:

Jumping over to the west coast for the first time today, we spotlight Oregon for our final breakdown of the day. Coach Lanning is off to a very slow start with his first class at the helm. Cristobal leaving for Miami has hurt the Ducks recruiting class as they dropped out of the top 15 for the 2022 class after his departure.

Lanning looks to build his class from the ground up, but sitting at 45th in the nation he is going to need to build momentum and quick. They are in the mix for 5* defensive back Javien Toviano (Martin, TX) and 5* athlete Nyckoles Harbor (Arch Bishop Carrol, D.C.).


The 2023 recruiting class has barely started taking shape and there is still a lot of time between now and Early Signing Day in December to make moves. Be ready for all teams to really hit the recruiting trail hard after the spring and into the summer for camp and 7 on 7 showcase season.

As always be sure to follow on Twitter @Sam_WaltonFB.

Key Defensive recruits for the Texas Longhorns in the 2023 cycle.


With the 2022 class wrapped up and the 2023 class starting to take shape. I am going to take a deep dive into the key 2023 defensive recruits. Just like in my offensive target breakdown I am going to choose one or two players for each position group to highlight. I will be linking film if I can find it and if not I will be linking their 24/7 Sports account.

Malik Muhammad Final 12 courtesy of Hayes Fawcett on Twitter

If you have not read my first article talking about the impact of the 2022 class on the 2023 class, start HERE. If you want to look into the 2023 offensive recruits, look HERE.

Defensive Line:

First up for the defense is David Hicks Jr. (Allen, TX). The 6’4″ 250 pound defensive linemen has fantastic speed and power that makes him difficult to handle on the line. He has a good frame that he could add mass to at the next level. His track background makes him very explosive off the ball, and his motor allows him to make plays downfield. He has fantastic awareness that allows him to read and make plays even when the ball isn’t coming his way. Hicks will probably move to the inside of the line when he makes the jump to college.

Closing out the defensive line is Ashton Porter (Cy-Ranch, TX). Porter is 6’3″ and 240 pounds and he uses his size to his advantage. He possesses great athleticism that allows him to get off of blocks quickly and great patience that allows him to always be ready to make a play. Porter’s speed and had usage will allow him to play anywhere on the line. Also, he is a guy that will probably play the edge and has the skillset to make an early impact if we land him. Be on the lookout for a verbal from him soon.


At the linebacker position, Anthony Hill (Denton Ryan, TX). The 6’2″, 225 pound linebacker from Ryan Texas is the top rated linebacker in the nation. Besides his size, his vision and instinct gives him a clear advantage at the start of the play and his physicality and nose for the ball allows him to shut down offenses. He is very good in pass coverage as well, with speed to keep up with backs and tight ends. He has a very high ceiling with room to grow. Currently, Hill plays both inside and outside and has the versatility to play both at the next level. Furthermore, Hill is a guy that could come in and make an immediate impact on the defensive side of the ball.

5-star linebacker Anthony Hill Jr. – 2021 Highlights

I’d like to start the cornerback targets off with one of the best in the class in Malik Muhammad (South Oak Cliff, TX). The 6’0″ 170 pound corner is fast and physical. I think he would be a great fit in Pete Kwiatkowski’s defense as he can play in both man and zone coverage successfully. Also, he is a great tackler and very good at getting through blocks to make plays. He also has great hands that allow him to go up and win 50/50 balls. Furthermore, Muhammad possesses the traits that lead to longevity at the position and has the frame to add mass at the next level.

Finally, I’d like to talk about five-star corner, Javien Toviano (Arlington Martin, TX). Javien is 6’0″ and 185 pounds and is one of the most versatile guys in the nation. He continuously makes plays in both man and zone coverage. Toviano has great speed and he always seems to meet the receiver as they are attempting to make the catch. As well as cornerback, Javien also plays running back, and is an electric kick and punt returner. Toviano has the makings to be the next big time Texas defensive back to make the league. Be on the lookout for Toviano’s recruitment to heat up throughout the summer!


This brings us to our final prospect, Jamel Johnson (Seguin, TX) is the first safety on our list. As the number nine safety in the class, Johnson has fantastic length and athleticism. His reaction time is off the charts which allows him to transition well in coverage. As well as zone, he excels in press coverage, using his height and length to his advantage. Finally, he has great play recognition skills and he seems to always find the ball in the run game as well. Jamel is a player that could play almost anywhere in coach P.K.’s defense and make a huge impact on the game. Since he has already committed to Texas be on the lookout for him to recruit other players over the next cycle.

As always be sure to follow us on Twitter here and check out our most recent episode of Around The Horns here. Also, check out our most recent articles below!