NFL Draft rumors: Detroit Lions eyeing a different running back in first round?
General manager Brad Holmes says he’s not against the idea of drafting a running back in the first round, but do the Detroit Lions have their eye on a second option?
A general NFL Draft philosophy these days says “don’t take a running back in the first round.” Detroit Lions general manager Brad Holmes is apparently not one who will strictly subscribe to that, fueling the idea the Lions would consider taking Texas running back Bijan Robinson in Thursday night’s opening round.
In his his final 2023 mock draft, Tony Pauline of Pro Football Network dropped a nugget in his write up on the 18th overall pick for the Lions (Notre Dame tight end Michael Mayer, by the way).
"I think the Lions will look to trade down, and I’m told they like Jahmyr Gibbs at the bottom of Round 1."
The idea the Lions will or are looking to trade down from No. 18 is not a completely fresh one, as Albert Breer of SI had similar intel earlier this week. If Robinson tumbles a bit, someone may want to move up to No. 18 to get him.
NFL Draft rumors: Detroit Lions eyeing Jahmyr Gibbs in the first round?
Gibbs is getting a ramp up in late buzz as a potential, or even likely, first-round pick. A couple reports have suggested there are teams who have him higher on their draft boards than Robinson, which might be easy to regard as pure hyperbole if it didn’t come from credible people (Peter King and Jeremy Fowler).
Gibbs started his college career at Georgia Tech, and after two seasons there he transferred to Alabama last year. He reached another level with that move, totaling 1,370 yards from scrimmage (926 rushing, 6.1 yards per carry) on 195 touches last season, with 44 catches and 10 total touchdowns (seven rushing). He has been compared to New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara, with some analysts adding they think Gibbs is a better pure runner at the same stage of their careers.
There’s a chance, however it may seem unlikely, the Lions like Gibbs enough to take him at pick 18. If they can trade down, add a pick or two and still get him? Among a plethora of options for the Lions in this draft, maybe we can tentatively add this one to the list.