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Notes: RB Jahmyr Gibbs says Lions plan to expand his route tree as dual-threat option

The Detroit Lions 12th overall pick, RB Jahmyr Gibbs, explains how he may fit into the Lions’ new-look backfield.

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NFL Combine Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

For Jahmyr Gibbs, his ability to not only run the ball but also catch it well began in one of the most sacred of places for a developing football star—the backyard.

Brand new Detroit Lions running back says his pass catching skills began with a group of friends playing 7-on-7 in the backyard as he found himself also wanting to catch the ball.

“Throughout my football career I’ve played multiple positions like receiver, running back, and I played (defensive back) too—you gotta have hands to do that,” he said.

You sure do, and that’s what drew Lions general manager Brad Holmes and company to the young talent from Alabama. Gibbs, drafted by the Lions at 12th overall, spoke with Tim Twentyman about where his versatility comes from and how it’ll fit into this offense.

“I think they’re planning on using me almost the as they did at Alabama, probably a little more at wideout and stuff, running more routes, not just like goals and hitches and slants and stuff, probably more real receiver routes,” Gibbs said.

The Draft Network’s Justin Melo agrees. Here’s what he says you may see from the rookie:

“Expect Johnson to utilize Gibbs via wheel routes and option routes. Gibbs’ understanding of spacing and how to create separation will give him the upper hand against opposing linebackers. Johnson has the option to motion Gibbs out to a wide receiver alignment due to his refined nuance as a route-runner. Modern-day NFL offenses are constantly searching for mismatch opportunities. Gibbs will provide plenty.”

Last season, Gibbs rushed for 926 yards on 151 carries and ran in seven touchdowns, while catching 44 passes for 444 yards and three touchdowns. He finished second in Crimson Tide single-season history for catches by a running back.

“Gibbs should be most effective when paired alongside a back like (David) Montgomery that can handle the dirty work. It’s precisely why Holmes identified Gibbs as Montgomery’s change-of-pace partner. Expectations are high for the Lions and they became higher when they drafted an immediate contributor in Gibbs,” Melo writes.

In the rest of this episode of “Twentyman in the Huddle,” Gibbs recaps his draft night experience and new Lions linebacker Jack Campbell also stops by to explain what he’ll bring to Detroit. Watch the whole thing below:

And onto the rest of your notes.

  • “The Lions are going for it. If that wasn’t clear before, it should be now.” The Athletic’s Colton Pouncy and Nick Baumgardner put all their thoughts together to make sense of this wild Lions draft. ($)

  • This is well deserved, but I think that goes without saying.

  • “The most important piece of the draft process is making sure that a prospect fits a team’s scheme and culture.” One player in particular made Bucky Brooks’ list of top 10 perfect player-team fits.

  • “I really don’t get the post-draft hate for Detroit that I’ve seen in some circles. Sure, it was a windy road on Night 1. But Lions GM Brad Holmes ended up with two terrific football players.” More Lions love—this time from NFL.com’s Adam Schein.

  • Tracy Walker and Dearborn Mayor Abdullah H. Hammoud tour the Arab American National Museum together:

  • Can Detroit beat that? I think it can.

  • Say what you want about Brad Holmes, the man has style:

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After winning their first NFC North title in 30 years, the Lions have unfinished business this offseason. Stay updated with Jeremy Reisman through Pride of Detroit Direct, our newsletter offering up exclusive analysis. Sign up with NFCNORTH30 to get 30% off after your free trial.