The Detroit Lions selected running back with the No. 12 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. Here's what you need to know about how his Fantasy stock in both season-long and Dynasty formats is affected by his landing spot.
Gibbs' Fantasy fit with the Lions
There's no doubt that the Lions craved Gibbs' game-breaking speed and receiving ability -- the same qualities they once drooled over with D'Andre Swift. But there are three areas Gibbs did not flourish in at Alabama: He always shared reps, he rarely played near the goal line, and he was not a good pass protector. It'll take time for Gibbs to work his way into those roles, keeping the door wide open for David Montgomery to make an impact in (at least) the first half of 2023. But I can't shake Gibbs' abilities and write him off. There is some outrageous upside with Gibbs, even in Detroit, especially if his competition is only David Montgomery. I suspect by the time we get to August, these two backs will be taken near each other on Draft Day -- Montgomery in late Round 5, Gibbs in late Round 6 or early Round 7. Quite easily, Gibbs has the upside. Collecting both given the beastly O-line Detroit has is a cost-effective idea.
If he puts on a little weight, or if he just flat-out proves he can handle working as Detroit's main RB, he could become what Swift never was and challenge for over 17 touches per week and over 250 touches per year. That's a big if, though. Plenty of Fantasy studs have gotten the job done without being known as a pile pusher, many by racking up receptions. That's the path Gibbs will have to take in order to be a must-start running back. Count on him getting snatched up in rookie-only drafts by the sixth pick in one-QB (more like the ninth or 10th pick in two-QB).
Jahmyr Gibbs: What to know
Gibbs grew up in Dalton, Georgia, about 35 minutes southeast of Chattanooga, Tennessee and 90 minutes north of Atlanta. He really didn't get on the recruiting radar until his senior year at Dalton High School, where his breakout season included a famous 404-yard, eight-touchdown game (in three quarters, with another 83-yard touchdown called back!). That jump-started interest as Gibbs finished with a state-best 2,554 rushing yards and 40 touchdowns, earning all-state honors along with the Georgia 6-A 2020 Offensive Player of the Year award and being named a first-team All-American by Sports Illustrated.
The impact of that final year sent his stock soaring from the 1,010th player in the nation to 75th overall by 247Sports.com. With his grandmother, mother and aunt by his side, he chose Georgia Tech as his next destination. He totaled 13 touchdowns over his first two seasons with the Yellow Jackets. After backing up Jordan Mason in 2021, Gibbs transferred to Alabama for his junior season, citing he "made the best decision for me" and his desire to win a national championship. He didn't do that, but he did post collegiate-bests in yards, touchdowns and rushing average while working alongside quarterback Bryce Young.
Gibbs left Alabama after last season with a year of eligibility left. In the press conference revealing his decision, Gibbs said he's been told he'll be picked in Round 1 and claimed he ran a 4.32 in the 40-yard dash before he transferred to Alabama.
- RB profiles: Tyjae Spears | Bijan Robinson | Zach Charbonnet
Age as of Week 1: 21 | Height: 5-foot-11 | Weight: 200 | 40-time: 4.36
Comparable body-type to: Jamaal Charles
We're breaking down everything you need to know about Walker from a Fantasy manager perspective, including best fits, Dynasty outlook, measurables, scouting report, key stats and an NFL comparison.
- Pretty good build with a wide chest, long lanky arms, strong upper legs and passable lower legs. Room for a little more meat to give him proper armor to deal with NFL defenders.
- Versatile running back capable of running zone, power, read-option or playing out of the backfield as a receiver. His 123 targets over the past three years rank fifth-most among all college running backs.
- Methodical, consistent first step off the snap that doesn't tip his hand as to a run or pass play.
- Patient runner who was very good at following his blockers.
- Awesome vision. Saw the field very well and instinctively had a plan on where to run.
Watching some Jahmyr Gibbs today.— Goodberry (@JoeGoodberry) February 24, 2023
He runs like thinner Alvin Kamara. pic.twitter.com/ovqhbVT7eb
- Good center of gravity and balance to stay on his feet.
- Nimble feet -- excellent cut-back and change-of-direction skills that help him instantaneously find space when a lane closes.
- Good burst and acceleration that led to outrageous top-end speed. Gibbs had five touchdowns of 20-plus yards in 2022 with Alabama and another eight in 2020-21 with Georgia Tech.
- Absolute stud out of the backfield as a receiver. Mastered the angle route but also ran his fair share of hitches, crossers and even occasional downfield routes. Also knew how to react when a play broke down and morph into a wide receiver. He's already established here and has room to develop.
Former Vikings GM @spielman_rick sees Jahmyr Gibbs being used in a CMC-type role 👀 pic.twitter.com/mCbm9lGmvw— With the First Pick Podcast (@NFLDraftCBS) February 15, 2023
- Four fumbles (zero lost) and two drops in 487 touches over 31 games.
- Has experience as a kick returner (44 returns, 23.9-yard average, one touchdown).
- Played 53.5% of the offensive snaps for Alabama in 2022, and while he led the way for the Tide, he still split with two others on a regular basis. He also was in a de facto split with Jordan Mason at Georgia Tech. There's a workload issue here.
- Definitely willing to take on tackles, and even finished lots of runs adding an extra yard or two when he was wrapped up, but definitely does not have the profile of a physical, punishing RB. This was clear on a number of inside runs. He also averaged just 2.2 yards per carry when contacted two yards past the line of scrimmage or fewer.
- Had 113 snaps and 46 carries in the red zone, and had 20 snaps and six carries inside the 5-yard line, in three collegiate seasons. Clearly, two different coaching staffs decide it was for the best for Gibbs' work to be limited when near the goal line.
- Not ready as a pass protector. Played just 30 pass block snaps in 2022, allowing three pressures. This seems to be a long-time problem -- when in high school, Gibbs admitted he needed to work on his blocking.
|2022 v Top-25||6||88||524||6.0||6||27||22||236||10.7||0|
Advanced stats to know
- 57 tackles avoided per PFF, 39th-most among 81 qualifying rushers (with at least 150 carries).
- 19 tackles avoided per PFF on receptions, second-most among all college football RBs.
- 2.74 yards before contact per rush, 11th-most among qualifiers.
- 14.6% explosive run rate, 10th-most among qualifiers.
- Saw 123 targets from 2020-22, the fifth-most among all collegiate running backs.
- Averaged 2.2 yards per rush when he was contacted within 2 yards of the line of scrimmage, ranked 74th among qualifiers (Bijan Robinson was second at 4.1).
- 11 snaps, four carries, one touchdown inside the 5 in 2022. 20 snaps, six carries and three touchdowns inside the 5 in his college career.
Jamaal Charles was fast, lean and sure-handed on passes. Tony Pollard is fast, a tad thicker and sure-handed on passes. Charles was a capable pass blocker; Pollard is starting to turn into one. These kinds of gamebreaking, versatile running backs are perfect comparisons for Gibbs. Both offer some hope for Gibbs to become a very good Fantasy running back provided he succeeds in an opportunity like Charles and Pollard did. But please note: It took Charles until his second season and Pollard until his fourth to truly break out. Gibbs may need some time too.