If your team needs a running back on day one of the 2023 NFL Draft, then Alabama running back Jahmyr Gibbs is an option for you. Gibbs is not only a running back—he’s an offensive weapon overall.
While leading the team in rushing, Gibbs also led the 2022 Alabama offense in receptions with 44 and finished third on the team in receiving yards with 444. Gibbs received third-team AP All-American honors as an all-purpose player for his accomplishments on the ground, through the air, and in the return game, where he returned 13 kicks for 258 yards, a 19.8-yard average per return.
Gibbs performed well in Indianapolis at the NFL Scouting Combine this past weekend, running a speedy 4.36 in the 40-yard dash, second among all running backs. NFL Next Gen Stats gave him a total production and athleticism score of 84, ranked third among NFL Combine backs. He was smooth and fluid in drills, showcasing his quick feet and ability to accelerate quickly out of his cuts. He showed his hands and route-running as well, strengths that should raise his draft stock when paired with his talent as a runner.
While much of the RB1 hype has been centered around Texas’ Bijan Robinson, Jahmyr Gibbs is not far off and could sneak his way into the first round for a team with a need at running back. While a couple teams with a heavy need at the position such as the Miami Dolphins and Denver Broncos don’t pick until day two, one team comes to mind with multiple first-round picks: the Philadelphia Eagles. With decisions to make on Miles Sanders and Boston Scott in the backfield, Gibbs could be a great addition to the running back room and the Eagles’ offense overall.
Gibbs may not necessarily be the RB1 to notch 20-plus carries a game, but he would complement backs like Philadelphia’s Kenneth Gainwell to become a one-two punch out of the backfield. Gibbs’ athletic ability and versatility would allow him to line up outside at receiver in certain sets that could wreak havoc on defenses that would have to account for him, Devonta Smith, and A.J. Brown. A weapon like Gibbs would allow new Eagles offensive coordinator Brian Johnson to get creative with play-calling.
Gibbs’ potential as a runner and pass-catcher has scouts and analysts comparing him to New Orleans’ Alvin Kamara, a running back with similar traits and playstyle to Gibbs. While Gibbs may be smaller than Kamara, he is faster, which makes his talent stand out even more. Gibbs has the ability to carry an offense, as an NFC executive commented, “Whenever Alabama’s offense hit a wall, they’d get Gibbs involved in the passing game and he could bridge the gap for them.”
Gibbs may have a floor of a high-end, second-round pick, but his ceiling is the back end of round one. Because of the two-way threat he is as a runner and pass-catcher, he is a guy that should be taken in the first round before other teams can get to him. His talent is rare, and teams won’t be able to find anything like it.
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