Where Does Brian Robinson, Jr. Fit into Washington’s RB Room?
Brian Robinson, Jr. is heading from the Capstone to the Capitol after being selected by the Washington Commanders with the 98th overall pick. The Tuscaloosa native spent five seasons at Alabama and served as the primary running back in 2021, rushing for 1,343 yards on 271 attempts as the Tide rolled all the way to another national championship appearance.
Robinson is the eighth member of the Crimson Tide to be drafted by Washington since 2015 and is one of five Crimson Tide alumni currently on the roster. He rounds out a running back room currently led by Antonio Gibson and JD McKissic and supported by Jaret Patterson and Jonathan Williams.
Gibson was the NFL’s sixth leading rusher last year with 1,037 yards and JD McKissic was thoroughly utilized as a pass catching back in an offense that struggled to stretch the field. So, where does Robinson fit into the game plan for Washington?
Robinson will likely take over as the primary power running back. Gibson and McKissic are both speedy guys that like to get to the outside, but struggle to push the line running up the middle. The lack of a power run game left the Commanders unable to run the game out to hold onto a lead multiple times last year. It also left them needing to lean on Taylor Heinicke attempting to push the ball down field in third and long situations much more than they would have liked. Heinicke struggled mightily in those moments. Robinson should fill that void quite well.
Robinson may also have an opportunity to take over as the feature back if Gibson’s biggest struggle continues to plague him. Last season, Gibson led NFL running backs with six fumbles. Gibson’s fumbles contributed to a larger turn over issue for the Commanders last season which hamstrung what was supposed to be a great defense. Robinson on the other hand had just three fumbles in his five seasons at Alabama and just one last year when he was the feature back.
Robinson’s ball security and power running style will be greatly appreciated in DC. Tide fans should expect him to become a major part of Washington’s game plan very quickly.