Detroit Lions go against the grain to take Jahmyr Gibbs No. 12 overall

FAYETTEVILLE, ARKANSAS - OCTOBER 1: Jahmyr Gibbs #1 of the Alabama Crimson Tide runs the ball during a game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium on October 1, 2022 in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The Crimson Tide defeated the Razorbacks 49-26. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
FAYETTEVILLE, ARKANSAS - OCTOBER 1: Jahmyr Gibbs #1 of the Alabama Crimson Tide runs the ball during a game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium on October 1, 2022 in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The Crimson Tide defeated the Razorbacks 49-26. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /
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General manager Brad Holmes said he was not against the idea of drafting a running back in the first round, he proved it by taking Jahmyr Gibbs with the 12th overall pick.

Detroit Lions general manager Brad Holmes said last week he was not against the idea of taking a running back in the first round, which made it easy to tie them to Bijan Robinson. After trading down from No. 6 overall in a deal with the Arizona Cardinals, the Lions took Alabama running back Jahmyr Gibbs at pick No. 12.

Gibbs is the highest-drafted Lions running back since Barry Sanders, the second overall pick in 1989. The last running back they drafted in the first round as Jahvid Best, 30th overall in 2010.

There was some pre-draft speculation the Lions liked Gibbs, who has drawn comparisons like Alvin Kamara and Jamaal Charles. But it was expected at pick No. 18, or with a trade down to later in the first round from that pick.

Gibbs started his college career at Georgia Tech, Ater two seasons there, he transferred to Alabama last year. He reached another level with that move, with 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 Kamara, as mentioned, with some analysts adding they think Gibbs is a better pure runner at the same stage of their careers.

Drafting Jahmyr Gibbs loads up Detroit Lions backfield for a trade

Running back was not a great need for the Lions, after the signing of David Montgomery in free agency. Montgomery is more of a workhorse than an overly dynamic back, though it’s fair to say the Bears underused him in the passing game.

It’s fair to say Gibbs is a dynamic athlete, and he’ll add real juice to the Lions’ offense. His skill set also overlaps with that of the oft-injured D’Andre Swift, who realistically is now on the trade block.

Teams were rumored to have been calling about Swift this week. If the Lions drafted a running back, which of course they now have, that fate would seem to virtually sealed.

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