When the Detroit Lions drafted Jahmyr Gibbs at 12th overall, many bemoaned the team for trading up to take a running back with such high-value draft capital. I would know; I’m guilty as charged. The Lions went on to trade D’Andre Swift to the Philadelphia Eagles shortly thereafter, cementing the idea of Gibbs lining up in the backfield. However as time went on, it became increasingly apparent that Jahmyr Gibbs was far from the usual running back mold.
All Power 5 players to average >51 rushing YPG and >38 receiving YPG in their NCAA career (since 2006):— Scott Barrett (@ScottBarrettDFB) April 28, 2023
/end of list https://t.co/Ayhe6IJy65
It wasn’t long before Brad Holmes confirmed as much.
Brad Holmes shared his belief in his first round picks:— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) April 30, 2023
On Jahmyr Gibbs: "We didn't acquire a running back in the first round. We acquired an elite weapon to keep our offense explosive."
On Jack Campbell: "We acquired a legit anchor to elevate our defense." pic.twitter.com/mOV4WpvTMA
As the Lions take the field, our suspicions have been confirmed. While Gibbs is still a running back, he’s being worked as a receiver too to take full advantage of his skillset. There’s no telling how expansive his role can be in the offense.
Lions rookie RB Jahmyr Gibbs: "I think I'm playing a lot more receiver here than I did at 'Bama." pic.twitter.com/QGcqajPTb7— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) July 30, 2023
The narrative has taken on so much steam, it’s catching the attention of the national media:
Is Jahmyr Gibbs a running back or a receiver? pic.twitter.com/8glCFTd9NT— Mina Kimes (@minakimes) July 25, 2023
With all this hype, it seems Gibbs is trending much more towards receiver than a running back at the moment, which brings us to today’s question.
Question of the day: Which position will Jahmyr Gibbs take the most snaps at in 2023?
The momentum is swinging in one way: wide receiver. However, as our fearless leader Jeremy Reisman would tell you, momentum isn’t real.
All this talk of Gibbs being a receiver is relative. It’s relative to him being a running back, it’s relative to instant distaste to the Lions drafting a running back at 12th, it’s relative to the expectation of a running back almost exclusively catching passes out of the backfield.
Even if Gibbs lined up out wide on a quarter of his snaps, that would be eye-popping by the standards of a typical NFL running back. So while Gibbs may be getting noteworthy volume at wide receiver, I still think he’ll play a whole lot more at running back.
Besides, half the mismatch of a player like Gibbs is convincing the defense to match him up against a linebacker. To that end, I still expect a significant portion of Gibbs’ routes run to come from the backfield as opposed to lined up in the slot or out wide.
I could be wrong, however. Ben Johnson has surprised us before, and Brad Holmes’ reluctance to pigeonhole Gibbs into a position may be telling.
What do you think? Will Jahmyr Gibbs play more snaps at running back or at wide receiver in 2023? Vote below and let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Which position will Jahmyr Gibbs take the most snaps at in 2023?
This poll is closed