College Football:  Alabama Bryce Young (9) in action, throws the ball to Jahmyr Gibbs (1) vs Texas at Darrell K Royal Memorial Stadium. 
Austin, TX 9/10/2022 
CREDIT: Greg Nelson (Photo by Greg Nelson/Sports Illustrated via Getty Images)
(Set Number: X164150)
College Football: Alabama Bryce Young (9) in action, throws the ball to Jahmyr Gibbs (1) vs Texas at Darrell K Royal Memorial Stadium. Austin, TX 9/10/2022 CREDIT: Greg Nelson (Photo by Greg Nelson/Sports Illustrated via Getty Images) (Set Number: X164150)

Jahmyr Gibbs Looks Like Ideal No. 2 Back in the NFL

Reading Time: 3 minutes

If Jahmyr Gibbs still played at Georgia Tech, he would not even be in the first-round discussion.

However, after transferring to Alabama, now he is.

Walter Football, Yahoo Sports, Pro Football Network, Fansided, CBS, Draftwire, Sports Illustrated, SBNation and The San Diego Union Tribune have all put first-round grades on Gibbs.

What did Gibbs look like at Georgia Tech?

Let’s start by saying he did not look like a franchise NFL back.

On the game film, he looked like an ideal No. 2 at the next level, and a phenomenal 3rd down back.

Gibbs showed he needs to get out of traffic jams at or near the line of scrimmage to be able to do his thing.

He hits the holes and accelerates quickly, but he tends to stall out at the 2nd level on 1st and 2nd downs. The more congestion, the more domestic he looks.

That’s because he is an erect long distance runner, and he is not elusive in between the tackles.

Gibbs needs to get out of the city and out onto the open road to look the part.

North-South runner

It was apparent in this three game study that Gibbs was not an east-west runner.

Every time he tried to hit the edge, even against Northern Illinois on several carries, he couldn’t turn the corner.

This is a real concern and confirms Gibbs is not a franchise featured back at the next level.

What do the rushing numbers say?

When I looked at Gibbs’ game log for the Yellow Jackets in 2021, a few things stood out.

For one, these are not the numbers of a featured workhorse back.

Gibbs averaged 11.9 carries and 62.2 yards per game last season.

The other thing that stood out to me was his performances were up and down. He additionally only produced two 100+ yard rushing games.

Interestingly enough, in both of those 100+ yard games (University of Virginia and Virginia Tech) half of his rushing production came on long runs of 71 and 61 yards respectively.

The numbers through the air tell a different story

While statistics don’t paint the picture – – they do serve the purpose of confirming what the game film is showing.

Gibbs true value was his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield where he had three plays that went 50+, and an average of 13.3 yards per catch.

He looked fast streaking down the sidelines on deeper routes and he accelerates like a sports car in the open field.

This is where Gibbs looked like the real deal.

I see his greatest level of contribution in the NFL coming as a 3rd down back and lining up in the slot.

#1 Jahmyr Gibbs 5-foot-11, 200 pounds

Daniel Kelly’s Grade: Second-Round – Early Fall 2022 Report

First Round Mock Big Board: TBD

Projected by 35.4% of the NFL Draft Community to be a first-round pick as of October 24, 2022 (nflmockdraftdatabase.com)

2021 game film reviewed: Virginia, Clemson and Northern Illinois (click to view games watched to form this evaluation)

Level of competition: Moderate

2021 rushing stats: 143 carries for 746 yards (5.2 avg.), 4 TD, 71 long

2021 receiving stats: 36 receptions (47 targets) 470 yards (13.1 avg.), 2 TD, 77 long

NFL comparable: Antonio Gibson

2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report:

Tough no non-sense erect long distance runner with quick feet, good vision and elite acceleration. A sudden and determined runner who runs toward daylight. Hits holes with quick feet and he is willing to pound it up inside, but struggles to break free in congested areas. Not elusive. Stalls clearing the line of scrimmage and overcoming the second-level too often. Once he manages to get into the open field, he is not easy to bring down due to having good balance, straight-arm and straight-away speed. Excellent at blitz pickup. More than willing to block. A real receiving threat out of the backfield with a good catch radius who grabs anything within reach. Can pick up huge chunks of yardage after making the reception. Showed smooth and fast acceleration and the ability to glide weaving in and out of the secondary. Adds value as a productive kick returner.

What to watch for during the 2022 college football season:

  1. How does he look running inside the tackles?
  2. Is he running erect?
  3. Can he hit the edge?
  4. Is his production consistent?

Gibbs will be an explosive role player at the next level.

Daniel Kelly is a former NFL Scout with the New York Jets. He was hired on the regime which featured Bill Parcells, Bill Belichick, Scott Pioli, Mike Tannenbaum, and Dick Haley. He currently writes for Sports Illustrated New York Jets and he is the Editor-in-Chief for First Round Mock. For more information about him visit his website at whateverittakesbook.com. He can be followed on Twitter @firstroundmock.

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