Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Longhorns in the NFL

Assad Malik

Bijan Robinson, Atlanta Falcons

Assad Malik

In an era of NFL football where the running back has never been less valuable, Atlanta’s decision to select former Texas Longhorn Bijan Robinson with the eighth overall pick in this year’s draft raised some eyebrows. However, three weeks into the season, the selection has paid dividends. Robinson flashed his versatile skill set in training camp and has parlayed it into the season, racking up over 300 composite yards in three games. Splitting time with Falcons’ tailback Tyler Allgeier, who rushed for 1,000 yards as a rookie last season, Bijan hasn’t stepped into a true workhorse role but has displayed the combination of size, speed and elusiveness that made him a top 10 pick. Though he was stifled in week 3 by Detroit, Robinson has already proven himself as one of the most talented offensive players in the league and should be the frontrunner for Offensive Rookie of the Year honors.

Roschon Johnson, Chicago Bears

Courtesy of Texas Athletics

Robinson’s running mate for Texas, the Bears selected Roschon Johnson in the fourth round of the 2023 Draft, and though he hasn’t put up the numbers Robinson has, he’s shown promise. Despite playing for a dismal Chicago team that is struggling to get anything going offensively, Roschon looks to be a keeper for the Bears. Johnson quickly jumped fellow Longhorn D’Onta Foreman on the depth chart, and out-touched starter Khalil Herbert in week 3. He displayed the hard-nose running style that complemented Robinson for Texas, and as the season wears on, he has the potential to be a bright spot for a Bears team hurtling toward a top-five pick.

Andrew Beck, Houston Texans

Angela Wang

While fullbacks are verging on extinction in the NFL, Andrew Beck, among a handful of others, is helping to keep the position alive. Heading over from San Francisco, first-year Texans head coach DeMeco Ryans saw the value in the position in one of the league’s best, Kyle Juszczyk and this offseason brought one on in Beck. The undrafted free agent spent his first four years with the Denver Broncos, appearing primarily on special teams, but offers versatility with his ability to line up at tight end. He’s not an every-down player for Houston but has brought stability to a rookie-led offense that is exceeding expectations thus far. He made the play of his career this past weekend against Jacksonville, fielding a kickoff, fumbling it, recovering it and proceeding to rumble 80 yards to the endzone for a momentum-shifting touchdown that helped Houston upset the Jaguars.

Quandre Diggs, Seattle Seahawks

Andrew Torrey

One of the more underrated defensive backs in football, hard-hitting safety Quandre Diggs, despite his age, continues to put together a solid career. Diggs was drafted in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL Draft and spent four full seasons with Detroit, developing into a quality starter. Near the 2019 trade deadline, Seattle swindled the Lions, sending them a 2020 fifth-rounder for Diggs and a future seventh-round pick. The half-brother of former Texas standout Quentin Jammer, Diggs has made three straight Pro Bowls and was rewarded ahead of the 2022 campaign with a three-year, $39 million extension. Though it appears he’s lost a step in his age 30 season, Diggs offers veteran leadership to a scrappy Seattle team.

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About the Contributor
Assad Malik, Photo Editor
Assad Malik is a sophomore RTF major at UT and serves as the Photo Editor for The Daily Texan.