There are plenty of critics of the Detroit Lions drafting a running back in the first round, and taking Jahmyr Gibbs to boot, but the Lions’ rookie perfectly answered them.
The Detroit Lions set analysts ablaze with their decision to take Alabama running back Jahmyr Gibbs with the 12th overall pick in last month’s draft. A running back in the first round? A running back not named Bijan Robinson in the top half of the first round? Why not just stay put at No. 6 and take Robinson if you were so intent on drafting a running back in the first round?
But it’s clear the Lions liked Gibbs a lot, even if some well-calculated PR through a media member the day after the first round reinforced the point. There were rumors that some teams had Gibbs as their top running back in the draft, above Robinson, and further rumors that teams just below the Lions in the first round would’ve taken Gibbs if he had been there.
Sometimes, you just take your guy and embrace the possibility it might go wrong.
Jahmyr Gibbs gives perfect answer to critics of where he was drafted
Day 2 of rookie minicamp on Saturday started with the dismal news that Gibbs had suffered a minor ankle injury on Day 1 and would not be practicing. But there is value in mental reps, almost more than physical at this point for rookies, and Gibbs got those as he learns the Lions’ offense. Assistant general manager Ray Agnew brushed it off a “little tweak”, and a precautionary move to hold Gibbs out of practice.
Gibbs spoke to reporters after the practice on Saturday, via ESPN’s Eric Woodyard, with a concise answer about his ankle issue when it naturally came up.
“I’m straight,” Gibbs said.
And as for those who think the Lions reached to take him at No. 12? Gibbs did lean into the modern-day lack of value placed on running backs to say he was surprised to be taken as high as he was right after he was drafted.
"Everybody is entitled to their opinion,” Gibbs said Saturday during rookie minicamp. “I really don’t care.”"
Per Woodyard, rookie tight end Sam LaPorta said Gibbs was quiet at minicamp. There is surely a fire deep inside him to perform well, but these to-the-point answers about his injury and his draft slot suggest he may never be incredibly loquacious with the media. Which is not necessarily a bad thing, for the Lions’ highest-drafted running back since the notoriously quiet Barry Sanders.