Explosive Playmaker Visits Eagles: ‘As Good as Advertised’

Bijan Robinson

Getty Bijan Robinson celebrates a 2021 touchdown for Texas.

The masses went into hysteria on Monday night when Bijan Robinson posted a picture from outside Lincoln Financial Field. The consensus top running back in the 2023 NFL draft seemed to be telling everyone that he was meeting with the Philadelphia Eagles for a pre-draft visit. Well, Robinson was indeed in town for a quick business trip.

NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo confirmed a pre-draft visit was scheduled. The 5-foot-11, 215-pounder has been rising up the board following an impressive showing at the NFL Scouting Combine. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.46 seconds, with a 10-yard split of 1.52. He was “as good as advertised” (via ESPN’s Jordan Reid) and did nothing to diminish his stock as the top rusher in this year’s draft class.

The Eagles would likely have to take Robinson at No. 10 overall if they really wanted him. It’s unlikely he’ll be there at No. 30, although don’t put anything past general manager Howie Roseman. He has proven to be a savvy manipulator of the big board over the years, causing some to speculate that he could move a few spots down to accumulate an extra pick and still land Robinson.

NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah has him pegged at No. 14 to New England in his latest mock, adding the caveat that he “makes a ton of sense” for Philly. Vice versa, ESPN’s Todd McShay has Robinson going to the Eagles at No. 10.


Don’t Mistake Pre-Draft Visit for Interest

Robinson must be high on the Eagles’ radar, right? Maybe. Truth is, teams are allowed up to 30 pre-draft visits which serve as a way to further evaluate the player. On-field workouts are not permitted; however, doctors and trainers can perform medical evaluations while coaches are allowed to review game film with the player.

It’s just another layer of the draft process, one that doesn’t necessarily indicate how strongly the team wants the player. Sometimes, they want to create an illusion of interest to alter the draft board.

 

Or maybe the Eagles really want to draft Robinson. They certainly have a need for the position after losing Miles Sanders in free agency. And the Doak Walker Award winner — given annually to the top college running back — was an explosive playmaker at Texas: 3,410 rushing yards and 41 total touchdowns in 31 games, plus 805 receiving yards on 60 catches. He’s considered a plug-and-play starter in the NFL after finishing ninth in Heisman Trophy voting.


Robinson Shares Jalen Hurts Agent, Idolizes Barry Sanders

Here’s an interesting nugget for those desperately looking to connect the dots: Robinson is represented by Nicole Lynn of Klutch Sports, the same sports agency working on a long-term deal for Jalen Hurts. The two players have no doubt talked at some point. Robinson told reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine that he had met LeBron James — another Klutch Sports client — so it stands to reason he has access to their full Rolodex of superstar athletes.

Meanwhile, one guy he hasn’t had the chance to meet is Hall of Famer Barry Sanders. Arguably the greatest running back to every play, Robinson considers Sanders his idol and studies his tape in an effort to mimic his movements.

“Barry Sanders is probably the best running back, in my opinion, to ever do it and, for me as a kid, I’ve always just enjoyed watching his highlight tapes,” Robinson told Stacey Dales. “There’s a couple of games on YouTube but I’ve always set out to try and mimic his moves and eventually try and become like him.

“If you’re able to just change direction from being at a low position … if you can make two moves and still get north and south without losing momentum, and without losing your speed, then I think it just sets free everybody.”

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