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2023 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Jahmyr Gibbs

Jahmyr Gibbs - Fantasy Football Rankings, NFL Rookies, Draft Sleepers

The NFL Draft is less than a week away, and everybody and their mother knows that Texas running back Bijan Robinson is the best prospect in this draft class, but there is also a unanimous consensus on who the number two running back prospect is in this class, and it's Alabama running back Jahmyr Gibbs.

Now, I am not going to go overboard and call him elite or generational because at some point those words will start to lose meaning if they are recklessly applied to prospect evaluation, but Gibbs does have an elite element to his game, his receiving skills. The Crimson Tide tailback is going to be a weapon used to create lethal mismatches in the second level of opposing defenses, and in the right scheme, he could be a fantasy football superstar, especially in PPR leagues.

The future is bright for Gibbs, and despite making national headlines under Nick Saban at Alabama, it all started in his home state of Georgia.

Be sure to also check our other Week 14 fantasy football waiver wire pickups articles:


The Techie Turned Tide

Stats provided by sports-reference.com






Gibbs was a four-star recruit coming out of Dalton High School in Dalton, Georgia, where as a senior he put his name on the map with 2,554 rush yards, averaging an incredible 11 yards per carry, and an astounding 40 touchdowns. His high school dominance is aptly portrayed by one game where he sat the entire fourth quarter after he had already racked up over 400 yards and eight touchdowns. You read that correctly, he dropped over 400 yards and eight touchdowns in three quarters. During recruitment season, he chose to stay close to home and attended Georgia Tech University, where he showcased his versatility as a receiver right from the jump.

As a freshman, Gibbs only garnered 89 carries, but he turned it into 460 yards and four touchdowns. Despite low volume in the rushing game, his receiving skills were put on full display as he hauled in 24 passes for 303 yards and three touchdowns in only seven games played. He increased his stats across the board in his sophomore year as he rushed for 746 yards and four touchdowns on 143 carries, and added 465 yards and two touchdowns through the air on 35 catches. His talent as a receiver was undeniable as he lead all running backs in college football with a PFF receiving grade of 91.5.

Gibbs was a star for the GT Yellow Jackets, but he knew he needed to be in a more dominant program if he was going to earn the trust of NFL scouts so he entered the transfer portal after his sophomore year and joined the Alabama Crimson Tide. Some thought Gibbs' production was a product of playing in the weaker ACC conference, however, he proved all the doubters wrong as he went on to have his best season in the toughest conference in college football, the SEC.

Gibbs was the lead tailback for the Tide in his junior season, and despite facing vastly more difficult opponents than he had as a Yellow Jacket, he still averaged an elite 6.3 yards per carry. He played 12 games and racked up 926 yards and a career-high seven touchdowns on 151 carries, and added 444 yards and three touchdowns through the air on a career-high 44 receptions. Perhaps the most impressive stat for Gibbs on the Crimson Tide is that despite seeing the most volume that he ever has in the toughest conference the sport has to offer, he had zero fumbles, which will certainly stand out to NFL general managers and head coaches.


Scouting Report

Height: 5’9”

Weight: 199 lbs

40-yard Dash: 4.36s

Vertical Jump: 33.5”

It is clear as day that Gibbs is an astounding receiving back, but he is no slouch as a runner either. He runs with patience and allows his offensive line to make their blocks and open running lanes, and he has the elite burst to hit the hole at top speed. This enables him to gain every inch that the play allows, and routinely results in explosive chunk plays due to the defenders' inability to get a hand on him whereas others would only pick up a few yards and get tackled by the ankles. His short-area burst is truly something to behold. When watching his film, you can literally see the gears shift once he sees daylight. Every clip below shows Gibbs stutter-step behind the line and then BAM, he hits the jets as soon as the hole opens for a massive gain.

Gibbs possesses excellent lateral agility and utilizes his elite foot quickness to jump-cut from one hole to another. His change of direction and stop-start ability is right up there with Bijan Robinson, and he has uncanny field awareness which allows him to accelerate and decelerate at will to use the defender's momentum against them. In this clip, Gibbs comes to a full stop when the hole closes, jumps laterally to his left while slipping an ankle tackle, and then he decelerates on the edge just enough to slow the defender's pursuit before hitting the gas again to burst by him and pick up an extra 10-15 yards. He is a special player.

On runs to the outside, Gibbs will beat any defender to the perimeter, and he is also able to stack together several moves while maintaining great foot balance and without losing speed in the open field. His one-cut dead leg is devastating and often leaves defenders with broken ankles, and is most effective when defenders are chasing him to the perimeter. #17 never stood a chance.

Neither did #27.

When it comes to skills as a receiver out of the backfield, there is none better than Jahmyr Gibbs. He can run all of the running back routes (screens, wheels, options,), but he can also run all of the wide receiver routes. NFL teams can motion him out wide or line him up in the slot to create mismatch nightmares, and he can separate with the best route runners in the game. He has a special awareness of space in the defense and is lethal when he gets the ball in the open field due to his natural instincts as a runner.

Gibbs is a natural receiver with soft hands who chooses to catch with his hands instead of his body. This allows him to make the catch in stride at full speed and makes it more difficult for defenders to break up the pass when the ball is plucked out of the air. Hand-catching also results in fewer drops which makes the receiver a more efficient target. Between both Georgia Tech and Alabama, Gibbs never had below a 13% receiving share, and he should see similar receiving production in the NFL.

Unlike Bijan Robinson, Gibbs does have a few flaws in his game. First and foremost, he is an atrocious pass-blocker. The amount of times he got blown up by the blitzing defender is too many to count, and he will certainly need to improve in this area if he hopes to be a three-down back at the next level. He also needs to improve his tackle-breaking techniques. His elusiveness and ability to make defenders miss are supreme, but he is routinely brought down by the first guy to get a hit on him.

Sure, there are plays where he looks like a tackle-breaking machine and stays on his feet to pick up chunk yardage, but more times than not if the defender gets a good hit on him, he is going down. Improving his stiff arm timing and placement will also help in this area. Lastly, Gibbs is undersized for a hopeful three-down running back at just 5'9" and 199 lbs. He does not have the frame for short yardage and goal-line work which could hamper his fantasy ceiling.


Pro Comparison:

The most common comparison out there for Gibbs is Alvin Kamara, and as a receiver, the similarities are apparent, but they are very different prospects in many areas. Kamara is a much bigger back at 5'10" and 215 pounds. One inch and 15 pounds might not seem like much, but for a running back it is the difference between C.J. Spiller and Marshawn Lynch. The extra size and strength make Kamara a superb goal-line back and help to better handle the rush from blitzing defenders, another area Kamara excels.

Gibbs has a superior burst to Kamara, reaching top speed from a stopped position quicker, and is a much faster all-around prospect. Kamara's 4.56 40-yard dash pales in comparison to Gibbs' blazing 4.36. Lastly, Kamara is a contact balance phenom. He can take a defender's best shot and bounce right off him to keep his momentum and progression upfield. Gibbs has tremendous balance, maintaining his footwork and speed through multiple jukes and cuts, but he is much easier to bring down than Kamara.

My NFL comparison for Gibbs is the great Jamaal Charles. They are both similarly sized (Charles is 5'11" and 198 lbs.) and electric with the ball in their hands. They both have incredible burst from a stopped position and elite top-end speed. They are also devastating weapons in the receiving game. Charles was better in pass protection, but Gibbs is a better route runner and a more natural receiver.

Like Charles, Gibbs is not built for 350 carries but should see between 14-17 carries per game and four to six targets, which is plenty of opportunities to fill up the stat sheets. They are both explosive runners with extraordinary elusiveness in the open field, the speed to turn any touch into a house call, and an array of moves that evade tackles, gain chunk yardage, and make defenders look silly.

Charles was an all-time running back talent and is the current leader at the position for career yards per carry since 1946 with 5.4 YPC, so I do not want to portray that Gibbs will have similar career production and efficiency, but 6.3 YPC in his first and final year in the SEC is a great starting point. When Gibbs was asked who he compares himself to, the Tide tailback responded with "a combination of Jamaal Charles and Christian McCaffery and I could not think of a better two-player combination to describe him. I would love to See Gibbs go at the end of the first round to an elite offense like the Bengals at 28, the Eagles at 30, or the Chiefs at 31, but landing in a pass-happy offense with an elite play caller like the Rams at 36 or the Broncos in a trade-up scenario from 67.


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