Jahmyr Gibbs is an elite college running back that brings up memories of watching Alvin Kamara or Jamaal Charles. He’s the consensus RB2 in the upcoming 2023 NFL Draft. Just as well, he’s hard to pin down in rookie drafts going from 1.02 to 1.07, depending on how your league mates view quarterbacks and wide receivers and what your league settings are. However, I think he’s the best non-Bijan offensive skill player in the draft. The Alabama running back was ferocious during the last season, only gaining more steam on Bijan. Gibbs will be a top running back in the NFL and a name to have on your dynasty team. Find out below just how talented this future stud is.
- College: Alabama
- Height: 5’9
- Weight: 199
- Age: 20 (March 20, 2002)
- College Year: Junior
- Position: Running Back
- NFL Draft Projection: Late Round-One, Early Round-Two
Gibbs had a terrific career as a 4-star recruit in Georgia, where he’d be ranked as the fourth-best running back in the nation. He had many offers, including from Texas, where Bijan Robinson went, but ultimately, Gibbs chose Georgia Tech. He was strong at Tech, becoming First-Team All-ACC, Second-Team All-American, and leading Tech in many offensive categories.
After two strong seasons on a going no-where Tech team, Gibbs transferred to powerhouse Alabama to become their new starting running back. That proved an excellent decision as Gibbs would put on an electric and brilliant display of athleticism, power, and elite speed. He was a finalist for the Paul Hornung Award and an SEC Player of the Week. He had a terrific college career. Gibbs was a standout running back at two different schools and will hopefully be one of the next great running backs in the NFL. It’s rare to have a running back in college average 6.1 yards a carry and 10.1 yards a reception. Especially over high usage, like at Alabama when he had 151 carries and 44 catches. He’s the real deal and will be an instant starter in the NFL.
Gibbs has some of the best burst/speed in this draft, with the potential to score on every touch. He dominates opposing defenders in the open space. Gibbs routinely burns opposing secondary defenders on his outside rushes or receptions. His speed compares very nicely to Alvin Kamara, who would be my comparison. When he plants his foot into the ground, the burst is unreal whether he’s in open space or behind the line of scrimmage.
I’ve noticed Gibbs is typically hitting the hole in stride, thanks to his one-step burst. Gibbs regularly performs a jump cut in open space with an additional planting step before exploding down the field. This will get him past many second and third-level defenders, as shown below. Gibbs is neck and neck with Bijan for the best speed in this draft. I’d probably put him above Bijan after watching more tapes of him.
Gibbs has the speed to return kicks, receive balls, or do anything needed with the ball in his hands. He’s an explosive play waiting to happen. This makes defenses have to adjust for him, which opens up passing lanes for the quarterback. He runs long to me, which is a good thing. This means he takes long strides, which helps him cover more ground in a shorter time frame using his plus speed.
I’ll say this first, Gibbs’ open-field agility resembles Jamaal Charles to me. He’s beyond twitchy with light, quick feet that allow him to cut and slash all over the field. Gibbs stops on a dime and changes directions so quickly that defenders can’t stop him. NFL defenders are faster, but Gibbs is beyond fast. He blends fluid hips, light feet, and electric speed to become probably the most agile running back in the NFL. When he makes multiple moves, he doesn’t slow down at all. It’s like watching a cheetah. He maintains a high speed level, whether moving laterally, jump-cutting, or bouncing it outside. Gibbs has the best speed-agility combo in the draft by far.
Gibbs has elite vision that can shift defenders out of the hole he wants to rush through. However, he will run too fast through a hole and miss better lanes to take. This is due to his burst and just how much speed he has. Yet, even when that happens, Gibbs usually still gains a good chunk of yardage. The nice thing is that he doesn’t doubt himself. He sees an open lane and takes it. Gibbs doesn’t hesitate or think too long. He pursues yardage even when he makes a mistake. Plus, when one has the agility that Gibbs does, one can easily make more out of nothing.
Gibbs doesn’t have the best vision in this draft, but it’s easily top-three. Gibbs will work his way through multiple levels of defenders by using his shiftiness and twitchy feet combined with strong vision. There are numerous instances of him shaking off defenders by changing his rushing lane at the last second, whether cutting it back or bouncing outside. Gibbs knows where the right path is the majority of the time, often before it even opens up.
The biggest issue with Gibbs’ receiving ability is his body catching too much. He needs to use his hands more and catch in front of him. This will help him turn the corner faster or tap into his elite burst. When he body catches, Gibbs has to adjust the ball and come down with it first. However, I would say there are plenty of instances where Gibbs needs to get the ball out in space, like below. He’ll regularly make defenders look silly with his moves. The other nice factor helping Gibbs’ draft stock is the fact he can receive from the backfield or on the line of scrimmage.
Below is an excellent video of Gibbs using his hands to catch the ball in the air and adjust his body to move down the field immediately. His in-air body control is elite, especially in contested catch situations. This is seen in multiple videos below. He’s got the ability to play wide receiver in a running back’s body. This adds to the value and dynasty potential that Gibbs has. He’s going to be a highlight-reel player every Sunday in the NFL.
As mentioned above, Gibbs can receiver either out wide, in the backfield, or in motions. He’s a top-flight route runner as a running back. He has perhaps the best route tree among nearly all running backs in the NFL, but this draft also. Alabama helped define his route tree by using him all over the field and in various angles, depths, and spots. This showcased just how Kamara/Charles-like he is.
If defenses are running a zone defense, Gibbs will slice them apart. He’s adept at finding the open holes in zone coverages and making big plays. With his speed, burst, and twitchy feet, he’s a nightmare for safeties or linebackers to cover. He’ll be a cheat code when a linebacker has to cover him. It just isn’t fair. Gibbs is an elite route runner with nuanced skills, vision, and agility to make dynamic plays on every play. NFL coaches will be spoiled by his ability to make their lives so much easier. The same goes for the quarterback who just gained an extremely versatile weapon that he can dump off to or hit in stride down-field with no fear.
If Gibbs wants to stay on the field, he better learn to pick up blocking assignments. He’s a work in progress when asked to block, as you can see below. Gibbs has insane talent but doesn’t have the size to block oncoming rushers truly. He’ll have to learn how to chip-block, use leverage, and do whatever it takes to buy time for his quarterback. Otherwise, he’ll stay off the field in most third-down situations, severely limiting his fantasy upside. He must remain on the field to rack up yards, catches, and fantasy points.
If Gibbs were to miss this bad of a blocking assignment with a quarterback like Brady or coach like Andy Reid, he’d be in threat of being benched. He will have to work on his technique and blocking vision to secure a full-time running back job in the NFL. He has the talent, but Gibbs will have to lean on help from NFL coaching and training.
Gibbs is 5’9 “, which is nice, but at only 200 pounds, it limits his ability to handle a full workload or power through tough defenders. He relies on his agility and speed, which will save him a majority of the time. However, he won’t be able to be the guy who routinely pushes the ball across the fourth-down line or goal line. I want to see him run with his pads down versus up. That might help improve his power rushing or break additional tackles. Another worry about his size is that he will need another back to partner with him.
Gibbs is built like Alvin Kamara but a tad smaller. He will be an electric running back with over 12-18 touches a game, but it’s doubtful he could handle a full-time regular-season workload. Any team that drafts him must ensure they have at least another big-bodied back to pair up with him. In dynasty, you have to account for the limited usage for Gibbs. However, those 18 touches or so for Gibbs would be way better than 18 touches for dozens of other running backs.
Gibbs has the potential to be a top-12 dynasty running back quickly. He will likely get First-Round or early-Second-Round draft capital. This, plus his extremely great attributes, makes him a guaranteed top-six rookie draft pick in dynasty. Gibbs is my RB2 in this year’s draft and my number five player overall among dynasty rookies. His receiving and speed-agility combo is likely the best in the NFL Draft among running backs or at least top-two. He’s a rare player that has All-Pro potential. Gibbs needs to improve his blocking and put on more weight to achieve a full-time workload. However, he might be best used as a two-down, electrifying running back. He’ll still earn you plenty of yards, touchdowns, and catches.
Gibbs fits any offense right now, but especially one that uses zone rushes or running back receiving work similar to the Saints or any offense that passes a ton. Whether you’re rebuilding or contending, Gibbs is worth the investment, as he will only be 21 and a top-tier running back for the next half-decade plus. Buy some Gibbs shares now, as his price is only going up.
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