Who is PFF's highest-graded Detroit Lions running back from 2023 season?

David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs were one of the best running back duos in the NFL last season, but which one got the highest grade from Pro Football Focus?

The Detroit Lions re-did the top of their running back depth last offseason, swapping Jamaal Williams and D'Andre Swift for David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs. It wasn't necessarily controversial, but some Lions' fans wanted to lament Williams' departure for a while afterward.

Safe to say the swap worked out well. Montgomery topped 1,000 yards on the ground with 13 touchdowns. Gibbs, after being eased in a bit early in his rookie season, had over 1,200 yards from scrimmage, 52 receptions and 11 total touchdowns during the regular season.

Gibbs fell 55 yards short of giving the Lions' the seventh duo of 1,000-yard rushers on the same team in the same season in NFL history. If not for two missed games, Gibbs would surely have gotten there.

Gibbs' ceiling moving toward his second season is massive, and Montgomery will not be going away as the ideal complement to the one of the best young running backs in the league.

Which Lions' running back got the highest Pro Football Focus grade in the 2023 season?

Pro Football Focus recently released their 20 highest-graded running backs from the 2023 season. The Lions are one of three teams who had two backs make the list, joining the Miami Dolphins (De'Von Achane, Raheem Mostert) and the Tennessee Titans (Derrick Henry, Tajae Spears).

But which Lions' running back got the highest PFF grade?

Gibbs is the easy answer, right?

But it was actually Montgomery, who came in as the 12th-highest graded running back (79.6 overall grade).

"Part of the Lions' dynamic duo at running back, Montgomery racked up 13 rushing touchdowns in the regular season — tied for the third most at the position. Despite sharing the backfield with rookie running back Jahmyr Gibbs. Montgomery still ranked seventh in the league with 54 missed tackles forced on 258 carries."

Gibbs rounded out the list at No. 20, with a 76.3 overall grade.

"The 12th overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, Gibbs impressed as a rookie and finished the year with a 5.2 yards per carry average, tied for the second-best mark in the league. He created big plays often, including 33 rushing attempts that went for 10-plus yards — the third most at the position."

Any way you slice it, the Lions' obviously had one of the best running back duos in the NFL last season and they will again next season.


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