The Atlanta Falcons took Bijan Robinson with the No. 8 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft and since then, people have been waiting his first time on the field. Well, the day has come, and on Friday night the rookie saw playing time in the Falcons' preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Here is a look at his first carry in a Falcons uniform:
In his highly anticipated debut, he had four carries for 20 yards and a 6-yard reception, doing it all in one drive.
Bijan Robinson was a human HIGHLIGHT REEL in his first preseason game 😳— NFL Rookie Watch (@NFLRookieWatxh) August 19, 2023
Robinson ended the night with 4 carries for 20 yards and a reception for 6 yards.
And he did all in just one drive.
Robinson is still currently listed as the Falcons RB3 on their most recent depth chart.… pic.twitter.com/bpL4mT5dR9
The 21-year-old has a lot of hype surrounding him this season and currently occupies the top spot for best odds to win Offensive Rookie of the Year at +300, according to Caesars Sportsbook.
Ahead of the game, head coach Arthur Smith confirmed that Robinson would take the field.
"We're not going to go crazy, we just need the reps. We need to get our bread-and-butter concepts in there and he'll see his tracks. We're not going to sit there and show everything but we need to execute well," Smith said leading up to the matchup against the Bengals (via ESPN).
"I'm really excited," Robinson said ahead of his first NFL appearance. "Shoot, even last week, it was super fun just to support my teammates and be the best teammate I can be."
Smith said this is another step for Robinson and making the transition with him from college to the league, something the running back admits is a drastic change.
"We're not going to show everything with him. He just needs to get his feet wet," Smith said, adding that Robinson is handling the attention he's been getting in a mature way.
Robinson finished with 3,410 rushing yards and 33 touchdowns at Texas, with his career best in those categories coming last season with 1,580 yards rushing and 18 touchdowns. He was named a unanimous All-American in 2022.