Taking him at No. 12 was widely seen as an unneccessary reach, but the Detroit Lions apparently would have taken Jahmyr Gibbs with their original pick.
When one of their perceived top draft fits was gone the pick before, the Detroit Lions traded down from No. 6 to No. 12 overall. With that pick, they selected Alabama running back Jahmyr Gibbs. The pick was ripe for criticism, not that general manager Brad Holmes cares one bit. Time will tell who is right.
Holmes of course defended the picks of Gibbs, and linebacker Jack Campbell at No. 18 overall. No general manager is going to do anything else, and most anything that comes out is going to be along the same “we got our guy(s)” line.
As the reactions and criticism of the Lions’ first-round plan have come out, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported the Lions would have been comfortable taking Gibbs at sixth overall.
NFL Draft rumors: Would the Lions really have taken Jahmyr Gibbs at No. 6?
Shoulda, woulda, coulda…in this case with the Lions and Gibbs, they didn’t need to. Pelissero seems to be well-sourced around the Lions, so his report surely came from someone credible if he reported what he did on Twitter and live television.
But it’s easy for any team to say, essentially, “we would’ve taken (insert name) at (insert pick spot), so of course we happily took him where we did.” Of course you (the Lions in this case) would have, and boy how shrewd you were to trade down, add an early second-round pick and still get your guy. This is self back-patting by the Lions, using a media member to get the message out.
There were reports about teams having Gibbs as the No. 1 running back on their draft boards, ahead of Bijan Robinson. The Lions were apparently one of those teams, which is fine. But the push to justify the pick by letting it out they would’ve taken Gibbs at No. 6 is a stretch into ridiculousness, and something that obviously can’t be truly known the day after.