Following Day 1 of the 2023 NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions had selected two immediate contributors, selecting Alabama running back Jahmyr Gibbs at pick No. 12 and Iowa linebacker Jack Campbell at pick No. 18 overall.
While both players are depth upgrades with starting potential at their current positions, both also play positions in the NFL that have been deemed less valuable and typically get drafted later on in the process.
Even Gibbs noted that he was surprised when the Lions drafted him early in the first round, suggesting he was expecting to come off the board a bit later on in the evening.
“I mean, I thought (I’d be drafted) like in the twenties,” Gibbs said. “That’s where they usually are, like running backs. So, I was still just talking to my friends, then the call hit me and I was shocked. Yeah, I thought the twenties really.”
Positional value seems to be the biggest complaint from Lions fans in the comments. And while that seemed to be reflected in the voting results from our latest SB Nation Reacts poll,—where we asked Lions fans to grade each of the picks—when taking a running back, fans were more forgiving when it came to adding a linebacker.
Overall, despite the uproar on social media, 63% of fans gave drafting Gibbs at No. 12 a “C” or better, while 79% gave a similar score to adding Campbell.