Lions rookie Jahmyr Gibbs has a defiant message for all his haters


The Detroit Lions selected running back Jahmyr Gibbs higher than any pundits expected, but the Alabama product doesn’t remotely care.

Jahmyr Gibbs is expected to compete for carries with the newly-acquired David Montgomery. Montgomery, a former Chicago Bear, signed a three-year contract this spring.

Gibbs, however, was a surprising selection at No. 12. Detroit traded back in the draft, which allowed Gibbs to fall to them. Bijan Robinson was also on the table at one point, but the Lions insisted that Gibbs was always their guy.

Pundits and league executives were shocked by Brad Holmes’ draft strategy. Detroit selected Gibbs, and then dealt former second-round pick D’Andre Swift to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Lions: Jahmyr Gibbs has message for the haters

As Pro Football Talk’s Josh Apler outlines, Detroit selecting Gibbs seemingly came out of nowhere:

“Gibbs was a productive player at Alabama, but teams have gone away from using high draft picks on running backs in recent years and few predicted Gibbs would buck that trend before the Lions handed in their pick. That led to some criticism of the team’s decision-making process, but Gibbs said he was not paying any mind to those who felt that way.”

Gibbs, nonetheless, doesn’t really care what those outside the organization think. He’s ready to prove them all wrong.

“Everybody’s entitled to their opinion, I really don’t care,” Gibbs said, via Bob Wojnowski of the Detroit News. “It feels great to be a part of something special. Going up, moving forward, it’ll be fun to watch.”

Gibbs suffered a slight ankle injury early on in rookie camp, leading to some worry from Lions faithful. Given Gibbs is expected to be a high-usage player early on, any setback could interrupt his NFL learning curve, which would make a risky pick look much worse. FanSided’s John Buhler discussed the risk of Detroit’s backfield plan on Saturday:

“You don’t trade Swift or let Jamaal Williams walk in NFL free agency if you don’t have a succession plan in the backfield. Detroit’s inability to run the football effectively was one of the franchise’s many Achilles heels during the Matthew Stafford era under center. Pounding the rock may be at Campbell’s ethos, man, but we didn’t see Gibbs set the SEC on fire during his one year at Alabama.

As long as Gibbs is healthy and delivers for the Lions beginning in Week 1, none of this will matter.”

Come Week 1, all eyes will be on Gibbs to deliver.

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