He probably won’t need to be it right away for the Detroit Lions, but a venerable football analyst believes Jahmyr Gibbs can be a three-down back in the NFL.
The Detroit Lions went against the broad grain, and with their own conviction, to take Alabama running back Jahmyr Gibbs with the No. 12 pick in this year’s draft. There was buzz that some teams had Gibbs ranked above the general consensus top running back in the draft class, Bijan Robinson, with the Lions sort of advanced as one of them.
Gibbs will certainly bring some extra juice to a Lions’ offense that is already pretty good. As a rookie, as long as David Montgomery is healthy, his role is lined up be rooted in the passing game as a mismatch weapon as he offers a changeup element on the ground. Which isn’t to say his role won’t be important and noticeable, he just won’t be a workhorse and he won’t have to be if Montgomery is on the field.
When some people speak, you automatically listen. In evaluation of football and the NFL, Greg Cosell of NFL Films and ESPN’s “NFL Matchup” show is high on that list.
So when Tim Twentyman of the Lions’ website had Cosell analyze the top part of the Lions’ 2023 draft class, we all should listen.
Detroit Lions 2023 NFL Draft: Greg Cosell likes Jahmyr Gibbs a lot
Here’s some of what Cosell said to Twentyman about Gibbs.
"Gibbs at times conjured up visions of Dalvin Cook with his size and frame (Cook weighs about 10 pounds more) and his sudden explosive downhill running style and his ability to make sharp decisive cuts at speed with outstanding balance and body control.Gibbs’ 2021 Georgia Tech tape and 2022 Alabama tape showed a back with high-level traits and a complete skill set to be a three down back at the next level. While it is not likely he will be a foundation volume runner at the next level, Gibbs showed the explosive traits that get coaches excited…Gibbs is the most purely explosive back in this draft class making him an impact game changer that can be deployed in multiple ways when you factor in his pass catching ability.”"
Drafting Gibbs sealed the deal for the Lions to trade D’Andre Swift, and it can be argued he’s a better player than Swift as he steps into basically the same role.
Cosell thinks Gibbs’ full ceiling is to be a back who never comes off the field. The question is if or when the opportunity to realize it comes.