On Thursday night, the Detroit Lions unleashed the fury of their 2023 NFL Draft class. Defensive back Brian Branch and tight end Sam LaPorta essentially had full-time starter roles (44 and 58 snaps, respectively), while running back Jahmyr Gibbs and linebacker Jack Campbell were subpackage players.
For Gibbs, the 12th overall pick in the draft, his role was smaller than some were expecting; he took just 19 offensive snaps to David Montgomery’s 55. But when Gibbs was out there, he was effective—turning those 19 snaps into nine touches, 60 yards, and six missed tackles according to PFF. That left some fans wanting more, and during a Friday Zoom call with Detroit media, coach Dan Campbell promised more is indeed on the way.
“Gibbs, he’s pretty electric, and he’s only going to get better,” Campbell said. “And he’s going to get a bigger piece of pie as we move forward.”
Campbell clarified that Gibbs’ workload on Thursday was as planned—the game didn’t dictate how they planned to use the first-round pick.
“We really didn’t want to overload any of those guys. I think it’s important you go in and let them get a feel of what it’s going to be like. That’s the first one,” Campbell said. “Let’s go in and make sure that the guys that have been around here, the guys that have taken a load for us, that we’ve been in games with, they take on a bigger load, and we work these rookies in and get them a feel of it. Now they’ve got that one under their belt.
“So, for Gibbs, he’ll begin to get more touches now. That was just the beginning last night.”
So if you’ve got Gibbs on your fantasy team or are just eager to see what the rookie can do with a larger role, it sounds like you won’t have to wait long to get what you want.