A team that found a 1,000-yard running back in Round 5 last year just spent its No. 1 pick on … a running back. A team forever lacking defensive linemen could have taken a massively gifted lineman from Georgia, only to take … an offensive player from Texas. A team that exercised its first choice on skill players the past two Aprils has landed … another skill player.

And I’m OK with it. I’m OK with all of it.

The latest conventional wisdom holds that running backs are a dime a dozen. Exhibit A: Tyler Allgeier, the 151st pick in April 2022, already a 1,035-yard gainer as an Atlanta Falcon. Why jam another onto a depth chart that includes last year’s steal, not to mention the still-useful Cordarrelle Patterson?

Because Bijan Robinson is the exception. He’s a running back, but he’s not just a running back. He’s a special one. He’s a major talent in the way Kyle Pitts (No. 4 overall in 2021) and Drake London (No. 8 in 2022) are major talents.

We think in terms of franchise quarterbacks, but there are different ways to build a franchise. The Falcons believe their Round 1 runners and catchers will elevate Desmond Ridder, their Round 3 quarterback.

On the night Robinson went eighth, three of the top four picks were quarterbacks. If you get the right guy, it’s the fastest way to build. But how many right-guy quarterbacks are there in the NFL? Ten? Twelve? Of Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud and Anthony Richardson, how many will pan out? One? Any? How much would it have cost the Falcons to trade up for one of the above? Lots.

In 2019, Arthur Smith coached the Titans’ offense. It had a serviceable quarterback (Ryan Tannehill), the NFL’s most imposing runner (Derrick Henry) and a 1,000-yard receiver (A.J. Brown). The Titans reached the AFC title game. They ranked third in rushing yards. They ranked first in yards-per-pass, which stat folks insist is the number that matters most.

Know who led the NFL in passer rating in 2019? Patrick Mahomes? Nope. Aaron Rodgers? Guess yet again.

Ryan Tannehill.

Arthur Smith now coaches the Falcons. We wondered if he’d seek a big-name quarterback – Lamar Jackson or Justin Fields or one of the available draftees – this offseason. We have our answer. The Falcons opted to ensure that Ridder, the 74th pick of 2022, has all the help he needs.

It’s possible he doesn’t need much. In his four NFL starts, he looked pretty good. With Robinson, Pitts and London as options 1, 2 and 3, he’ll look better.

Brock Purdy, the last player taken in 2022, guided the 49ers to the NFC title game. Think of the players San Francisco has collected to augment its bargain-basement QB. Think of Christian McCaffery, Deebo Samuel and George Kittle. Think of a top-shelf RB, WR and TE working in tandem. Think now of Robinson, London and Pitts.

Robinson was among this draft’s five best players. The Falcons got him at No. 8. Value shopping! As for offense over defense: The team hired a new coordinator and landed a half-dozen useful defenders in free agency. There was only one defender available at No. 8 who ranked ahead of Robinson. That was Carter. There’s a reason he was available.

We know the grim story all too well. Hours after Georgia celebrated a second consecutive national championship, Carter was racing another vehicle in Athens. They were headed to Waffle House. The other vehicle crashed. Its driver, recruiting analyst Chandler LeCroy, died. A passenger, offensive lineman Devin Willock, died. Carter pleaded no contest to misdemeanor charges of reckless driving and racing.

Alongside life and death, the NFL draft is a petty concern. Still, it’s noteworthy that Carter, who might have gone No. 1 overall, slipped to No. 9 – and the Eagles, who traded up to draft him, reportedly spent much of Thursday trying to convince themselves that Carter would profit from being reunited with former Bulldogs Jordan Davis and Nakobe Dean.

Carter might well be a fit in Philly. I’m not sure he would have been in Flowery Branch. The memory of those lives lost in the early hours of Jan. 15 will never fade. (Willock’s father just filed a lawsuit against the university. It doesn’t figure to be the last lawsuit filed.) A fresh start in a distant city should benefit Carter.

As for the NFL team based in this city: Smith and general manager Terry Fontenot have unveiled their grand design, which isn’t at all grandiose. It’s based on the basics – run the ball, spread the field, throw off play-action. If the talent around your quarterback is top-shelf, you don’t need Patrick Mahomes. The Falcons don’t have Mahomes, but they should score bunches of points.

I’m more than OK with this. I’m excited. Seriously.