RB2: Jahmyr Gibbs (Alabama)
Jahmyr Gibbs began his collegiate career with Georgia Tech before transferring to Alabama and etching himself as the next name in a long line of successful running backs in Tuscaloosa. The decision to move proved to be the best of Gibbs’ life.
After a couple of productive seasons with the Yellow Jackets, including 1,213 rushing yards and 59 receptions, Gibbs took his game to another level vs. SEC completion. He set career highs across the board in rushing attempts (151), rushing yards (926), touchdowns (7), and receptions (44). Aside from Bryce Young, Gibbs is the only reason Alabama moved the football.
Gibbs possesses the best acceleration in the class, although Achane and Spears may have some issues with that claim. On tape, Gibbs looks like Alvin Kamara when accelerating. He reaches the next gear with ease and looks like he is gliding downfield while defenders are exerting 100% energy just to keep pace.
This acceleration leads to breakaway runs and some highlight reel jukes. When Gibbs gets out in space and builds a head of steam, the only thing you can do as a tackler is hope he trips.
Between the tackles, Gibbs shows elite vision and patience. He allows gaps to develop and explodes through the hole for massive gains. Furthermore, Gibbs handles contact well for a player of his stature. He bounces off tackles and keeps moving forward.
The best trait Gibbs brings to the NFL is his prowess as a pass catcher. Few running back prospects in the past five years can rival the route tree of Gibbs. He plays the screen perfectly, runs option routes of the backfield, and always comes out of his breaks clean. Polished is the best way to describe Gibbs as a route runner.
Still, the stature I spoke of is a concern nonetheless. Gibbs weighs less than 200 pounds and could face trouble staying healthy and carrying the brunt of the load. He proved capable of handling a tough SEC schedule, but the NFL is a completely different world.
Aside from health, Gibbs also will struggle to handle pass rushers coming off the edge. He knows how to chip block, which will save him from the dog house, but his technique as a form blocker is lacking.
The good far outweighs the bad with Gibbs. Players his size have become NFL bell cows before, and there is little reason to believe the Alabama star can’t do the same. He is as exciting of a player as there is in the country; whichever team takes him on day two will be stoked. Who knows… maybe he even sneaks into day one?
NFL Draft Grade: Fringe Day 1