Following a trade with the Arizona Cardinals, the Detroit Lions selected University of Alabama running back Jahmyr Gibbs at 12th overall in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Following in the footsteps of a long line of running backs coming out of Tuscaloosa, Gibbs is a big-time athlete, capable of taking it the distance anytime he touches the ball. In 2022 Gibbs totaled 1,370 yards from scrimmage (926 on the ground and 444 through the air) for the Crimson Tide, and ran a 4.36 40-yard dash at the NFL combine.
Gibbs’ ability to operate in space makes him an ideal running back for today’s game, and pairing him with newly-acquired running back David Montgomery will give the Lions a potent one-two combo for at least the next few years.
Beyond the typical usage associated with running backs, Gibbs also spent plenty of time in the slot—making him a more refined route runner than many of his counterparts in the college game. Whether it is out of the backfield, or split out as a receiver, Gibbs will immediately become a dynamic option for Lions’ quarterback Jared Goff. An important detail to keep in mind when considering Gibbs’ overall role in the Lions’ offense.
This is where Lions’ offensive coordinator Ben Johnson should earn his money as a play-caller. Simply labeling Gibbs a running back is really a disservice to his game. He is a playmaker, and Johnson finding creative ways to get him into space will likely be a top-priority for Detroit once the season rolls around.
Let’s take a look at some highlights and interviews from Gibbs’ time in college.
VIDEO: Jahmyr Gibbs said he was "shocked" the Lions picked him at No. 12.— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) April 28, 2023
The Alabama running back expected to go in the 20s. pic.twitter.com/bztIycHmO1
NIGHT NIGHT!! Jahmyr Gibbs is off the board— NFL on CBS (@NFLonCBS) April 28, 2023
The @Lions select the shifty Bama RB at No. 12 overall.
Jahmyr Gibbs meets top 50 pick in the 2023 draft LB Drew Sanders at the point of attack on a fake and puts him in the ground pic.twitter.com/gdWTj1rVRa— King of Phinland (@KingOfPhinland) April 24, 2023
Jahmyr Gibbs displays patience as he presses the edges before cutting upfield. 1v1 with a safety & easily jump cuts past him into open space! #2023NFLDraft— Full-Time Dame (@DP_NFL) April 19, 2023