Former superstar Alabama RB still questioned by analysts even after a promising rookie season


When the Detroit Lions selected Alabama RB Jahmyr Gibbs with the 12th pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, many raised an eyebrow. 

Citing positional value and other team needs, analysts believed the pick was a stretch, to say the least. 

Gibbs would go on to accumulate over 1200 yards from scrimmage and 11 TDs, all in limited snaps, yet some still believe he’s better off in a reduced role, and Detroit would have been better off going a different direction with the pick:

James Foster’s grade for Jahmyr Gibbs’ 2023 season: B+

“So I went with a B+ for Jahmyr Gibbs,” said James Foster of A to Z Sports Film Room. “The one-two punch with David Montgomery, [Lions other RB] I’m still in favor of doing that just to keep him fresh, but I think his ability to win angles around the corner, make people miss in open space, and be a third-down back, makes him a key piece for their offense. And again, I wouldn’t have gone with a first-round running back, but if we’re just grading the players for what they are, I think a B+ is where I’m going.”

Destin Adams’ grade for Jahmyr Gibbs 2023 season: B-

“I went with a B- minus for Jahmyr Gibbs,” said Destin Adams of A to Z Sports Indianapolis and NFL Draft. “I think Detroit for taking a guy so high, staggered his playing time a little bit too much. I believe David Montgomery should continue to be that goal line back to where, if you’re a fantasy football person, you may hate it, but I think that is the best way to go about it because I think Jahmyr does so much to get you down there and they let David Montgomery be that workhorse to get into the end zone. But I went with a B- because the Lions reportedly considered taking him at six and ended up trading back from six to 12 to get him. I think if you’re going to take a guy that you believe in, and one you’re higher on than the consensus, trading back and getting picks to still take him on a little bit of a reach is just a better business model, in my opinion, so I think they played the board perfectly.”

Final Word

Look, I get the whole discussion of positional value. Safeties, running backs, and linebackers simply aren’t as crucial as quarterbacks, tackles, and corners when it comes to budling a roster. 

But Jahmyr Gibbs was always much more than a standard RB. Even if you were unfamiliar with his game before his tenure at the Capstone, Gibbs’ one year at Alabama showed that he was not only the team’s best runner but the team’s best-receiving threat. 

Detroit knew that, and I expect Gibbs to be a feature for years to come for the Lions. 

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