With the NFL Draft a week away, Texas running back Bijan Robinson has added fuel to rumors the Buccaneers might take him at No. 19 overall.
It’s officially time to start parsing through NFL Draft rumors to determine what’s going to stick to the wall and what will slide off.
One of the most persistent rumors throughout the offseason has been the idea that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will use the No. 19 pick on Texas Longhorns running back Bijan Robinson. He’s far and away the best player at his position in this year’s class, and is already drawing comparisons to guys like Saqoun Barkley.
That’s undeniably attractive when thinking about how the Bucs might use their first round pick this year.
Rachaad White was recently bumped up to RB1 with the departure of Leonard Fournette, and there’s a lot of excitement about what he can do in the role. Having him at the top of the depth chart should preclude the Bucs from drafting Robinson, rather the history of taking a back in the first round almost never working out should be.
Of course, anomalies exist and those who are in the camp that believes Robinson is a stud who cannot be passed on will argue this point.
Regardless of how anyone feels about the idea of the pick, it’s starting to sound like it’s legitimately on the table for when the Bucs go on the clock at No. 19 next Thursday.
Bijan Robinson hints Buccaneers might draft him with No. 19 pick
While appearing on The Dan Patrick Show, Robinson noted that only two teams have officially brought him in for a visit and the Bucs were one of them.
“I’ve been to two teams for official visits,” Robinson said. “The Eagles and Buccaneers are the two teams I met with, but I’ve been talking to a lot of teams on Zoom and stuff and on calls, but those are the only two places I’ve been.”
So much for the idea that the Robinson rumors might die down as the NFL Draft approaches next week.
Alright, let’s do this. If the Buccaneers are seriously considering Robinson at No. 19 it’s better to start getting on board with it now than fighting what could be inevitable.
For the many reasons that have been stated over the last month about how unwise it is to draft a running back in the first round, there is some serious upside to adding Robinson to the offense.
Dave Canales took over as offensive coordinator this year, and he comes from a Seattle Seahawks system that absolutely loved to utilize running backs. Pete Carroll collected them in the draft like they were rare coins, but it’s easier to troll his logic than it is to bash the results.
Last year the Seahawks had Kenneth Walker III running his way near the top of the Rookie of the Year race and there are more random reasons for other backs not working than tangible ones. Rashaas Penny, for example, didn’t flame out because he wasn’t good rather he just couldn’t stay healthy.
If the Bucs land Robinson and Canales can turn him into Walker III, or realize the potential so many have in comparing him to Saquon Barkley, then there’s a lot to love about the pick regardless of historical data on such a decision.
There’s also running backs coach Skip Peete to consider in this decision as well. He comes over from the Dallas Cowboys after having turned Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard into the best running back duo in the league. If he can do that for the tandem of White and Robinson then all of a sudden one of the worst rushing attacks in the league becomes one of the best.
One thing working against Robinson is that he doesn’t fill an obvious position of need for the Bucs. It’s hard to see the team passing on a top tackle if he’s on the board to draft Robinson, and the Eagles have a pick before Tampa Bay and could take him instead.
But if Robinson is the pick, there’s plenty of reasons for Bucs fans to love it and accept it than fight it like the trolls will likely try to suggest.