Apr 27, 2023; Kansas City, MO, USA; Texas running back Bijan Robinson with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected by the Atlanta Falcons eighth overall in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft at Union Station. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
The 2023 NFL Draft has concluded, and 5 University of Texas players were drafted: RB Bijan Robinson, RB Roschon Johnson, LB DeMarvion Overshown, DT Keondre Coburn, and DL Moro Ojomo. Let’s take a look at the teams they went to, how well they might fit there and what opportunities they have moving forward on their respective rosters.
Let’s start with Bijan Robinson. Robinson was the 8th overall pick in the draft, being selected by the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons’ run game last year was respectable as they had over 2,700 yards on the ground along with 17 TDs. The group was led by rookie RB Tyler Allgeier, who had just over 1,000 yards and 3 rushing touchdowns to go along with it, and RB Cordarrelle Patterson as well, who had over 600 yards and a hefty 8 TDs. This 1-2 punch just got a whole lot better with Robinson joining the mix. Robinson will be the day 1 starter and is their immediate RB1, but he definitely has some guys behind him to help with the Atlanta passing game and to give them different offensive looks. In 2022, Pro Football Network ranked the Falcons as the 10th best offensive line unit and it appears that much of the starting unit will be on the Falcons roster again this coming season. The QB position is still somewhat up in the air for Atlanta, though, as their projected starter is second-year QB Desmond Ridder, which may lead to Robinson getting more touches due to lack of confidence at the helm of the offense. He’s got the spot, the offensive line, and will see plenty of opportunities… so don’t be surprised if he shines and is in the running for offensive rookie of the year.
Let’s now look at the other RB who allowed Texas to have their own 1-2 punch this past season: Roschon Johnson. Johnson was selected as the 115th pick in the draft (4th round) to the Chicago Bears, and looks to have some potential opportunities for carries as the Bears saw 2022 starting RB David Montgomery hit free agency and sign with the Detroit Lions on a 3-year, $18 million deal. Chicago does also have running backs D’Onta Foreman, who signed a deal this offseason for one-year and $3 million after leaving the Panthers, and Khalil Herbert, who is now entering his 3rd year with the team and continues to show strong progression in his running. Regardless, Johnson should be involved with the passing game from the get-go and be given more opportunities if one of the backs ahead of him gets dinged up. The Bears offensive line in 2022 was a major problem, as they gave up a whopping 58 sacks on the season but rushed for over 3,000 yards as a team. Lots of those yards did not come from a RB though, as QB Justin Fields ran for over 1,100 of them. So, while Johnson should see the field a slight amount in his first year, don’t expect too much quite yet as the backfield is somewhat crowded and their starting QB is a big-time runner. Regardless, he’s a great pick for the Bears and a true leader on and off the field.
Shifting over to the defensive side of the ball, LB DeMarvion Overshown was drafted 90th overall (3rd round) to none other than “America's Team”, the Dallas Cowboys. DeMarvion will be able to keep wearing his cowboy hats with pride as he only has a short move to his new home, and the move will come with a big-time opportunity as well. Overshown is not projected to be a starter as it stands now, as the Cowboys have Jabril Cox, Leighton Vander Esch and Micah Parsons as their starting LB’s. But, Overshown will see the field as he’s listed as the immediate backup for the weak-side linebacker (WLB) position. Dallas’ defense is led by Micah Parsons, who had 13.5 sacks last season with 3 forced fumbles, and they also have playmakers such as newly added CB Stephon Gilmore, DeMarcus Lawrence, and their first round draft pick Mazi Smith. Overshown will be a nice addition to this squad, which gave up a respectable 320.2 YPG last year. He should have opportunities to showcase his talent in his hometown state immediately this coming season.
Sticking with defense, DL Keondre Coburn was drafted 194th overall (6th round) by the Kansas City Chiefs. Keondre will be joining the reigning Super Bowl champions and MVP QB Patrick Mahomes, but what will his role look like on this very talented roster? It’s obviously impossible to tell completely, but as it stands, he is 3rd on the depth chart for the left defensive tackle position behind Danny Shelton and Derrick Nnadi. This Chiefs defense has some big-time names on it such as Chris Jones, former Longhorn Charles Omenihu, Justin Reid and others that can all ball out, so Coburn should be surrounded by talent that can help him grow as a first-year player. That being said, I don’t expect Coburn to see too many opportunities in his first year with the team, but I like the spot for him as the Chiefs can use some more defensive fire power. Let’s see how he develops.
The last Longhorn to be drafted this year was DL Moro Ojomo, who went at pick #249 overall to the Super Bowl runner-up Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles defensive line, especially after this draft, is absolutely loaded with talent as they have Brandon Graham, Jordan Davis, Fletcher Cox, Josh Sweat and now first-round pick Jalen Carter as well. Ojomo is currently listed as the 4th-string left defensive tackle and will definitely need to prove himself worthy of a roster spot come training camp. Ojomo had 32 tackles and 3 sacks last season (both college career highs) and played in all 12 games for the 'Horns last season. He won’t have an immediate opportunity to play, but he has the potential to make the roster and provide some solid depth for the Eagles.
Lastly, DB D’Shawn Jamison was not drafted but did sign with the San Francisco 49ers after the draft concluded. He has a lot of upside as he is an all-around athlete and can be used on special teams as well.
Best of luck to all of the Longhorns now in the NFL!
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