Jahmyr Gibbs was the 4th ranked running back coming out of high school and fielded offers from USC, Alabama, OSU, FSU, Texas and LSU, among others. He opted for local Georgia Tech where his first year led their backfield with just 89 carries while quarterback Jeff Sims delivered a team-high 120 rushes and three other backs handled over 40 carries each. Gibbs again led the backfield as a sophomore with 143 runs while two other runners turned in over 60 carries. The quarterbacks combined for 134 rushes that year.
Gibbs entered the transfer portal for his junior season and naturally landed with the Crimson Tide, who had originally pursued him out of high school. He became their primary back with a career-high 151 rushes though he shared the backfield with Jase McClellan and Roydell Williams. More notably, Gibbs also was the leading receiver with 44 catches for 444 yards and seven touchdowns. He elected to declare for the NFL draft instead of returning for a senior year.
He didn’t leave college with a ton of awards due to his lower workload, but he improved and was a difference-maker each season that he played.
Weight: 199 pounds
40 time: 4.36 seconds
Despite splitting up his college career over two schools and spending just one season at Alabama, Gibbs won’t be undervalued in the draft. His talents and measurables will translate into NFL success and the only real question is how much use he’ll see coming in as a dangerous, exciting running back with potential limitations to his workload due to his size.
Table: Player NCAA stats (2020-22)
- Blazing 4.36 speed in the open, can reach the corner on outside runs.
- Accomplished dual threat is a perfect fit for today’s NFL offenses
- Shifty runner with tremendous burst
- Soft hands that doesn’t drop passes
- Superb route runner over the entire route tree
- Quick feet and acceleration makes him a nightmare in the open
- Capable kick returner
- Never fumbled in college despite 530 touches in the SEC
- Plenty of tread on the tires, never over-used
- Undersized for a standard every-down back
- Not well-versed in pass blocking
- May bounce outside too often in the NFL
- Less effective with inside runs
Jahmyr Gibbs is expected to be the second running back selected in the NFL draft, behind only Bijan Robinson. A decade or more ago, he’d project as a third-down back with deadly pass-catching skills that made him Alabama’s No. 1 receiver last year. The Crimson Tide’s offense wasn’t as prolific as usual last season and they turned to Gibbs when they needed a spark. In today’s NFL, he is a nice fit who won’t likely see any 300-carry seasons but may end up with that many touches.
He’s compared to Alvin Kamara, as a more durable D’Andre Swift and Austin Ekeler who shares the exact same size and many of the skills as Gibbs – just without the rookie’s eye-popping speed (Ekeler ran a 4.43 40-time at his combine). In fact, with the Chargers letting Austin Ekeler seek a trade, there’s conjecture that Gibbs could be his replacement. The offense wouldn’t suffer much, if at all. He’s also an option for the Saints to replace Alvin Kamara if his legal issues worsen.
While Gibbs was a terror to SEC defenses, the NFL is already stocked with fast defenders and his formidable rushing skills in college will likely dial back at least a little. But he’s likely the best receiving back in this class. He’s projected to be a late first-round pick or an early second-round selection which means any team can access him if only by moving up. The running back position has been devalued in the NFL for valid reasons, but Gibbs offers the trifecta of first-year opportunities – an electric rusher, a dangerous receiver, and even an above-average return man.