It's not a huge shock, but rookie running back Jahmyr Gibbs is lined up to be the most watched player at Detroit Lions minicamp this week.
The Detroit Lions move into another stage of offseason work this week, with mandatory minicamp from Tuesday-Thursday. There will be plenty to pay attention to, and maybe overreact to. Alongside wide receiver Jameson Williams, rookie running back Jahmyr Gibbs another player with a lot of eyes on his every move.
The Lions of course stirred up analysts when they took Gibbs 12th overall in April's draft. But there is definitely space for him to contribute right away, and his ability as a pass catcher seems like a legit path to big impact.
As expected, there was plenty of buzz about Gibbs' usage during OTAs.
"He (Gibbs) just looks the part. His route-running out of the backfield is as advertised, and the Lions have continued to split him out wide in team scrimmages,” “It just comes so natural for him, which isn’t always the case with running backs. Some look stiff because they don’t work on that element of their games."
"Gibbs does. He’s so fluid, even in drills.”"- Colton Pouncy, The Athletic
Jahmyr Gibbs lined up to be most watched player at Detroit Lions minicamp
As part of a broader piece on the website citing minicamp storylines around the league, ESPN Lions beat writer Eric Woodyard highlighted Gibbs.
"Storylines to watch: Jahmyr Gibbs' progression
The Lions' front office gave offensive coordinator Ben Johnson a gift by drafting Gibbs at No. 12. It'll be interesting to see how they use the rookie running back going forward, especially after holding him out of rookie minicamp after he tweaked an ankle. However, he was able to display his route-running skills during OTAs....Although Gibbs is listed as a running back, the Lions see him as a dual option who is equally talented at catching and running. He'll have a chance to showcase his talent. "
Unlike Williams, Gibbs is lined up to contribute from the start this season. We're getting glimpses of how Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson will use the rookie back, perhaps at times with David Montgomery on the field too.
Even in the (still) relative casualness of minicamp and with others worthy of attention, Gibbs might be the most-watched player on the field in Allen Park this week.