Jahmyr Gibbs Draft Profile
When you start to look at football as an art, you gain a different level of appreciation for the game. Alabama running back, Jahmyr Gibbs brings that art to life. He possesses qualities that are just unteachable. While Gibbs looks to continue the great lineage of Alabama running backs, he was not one of those guys who took the easy road to get to where he is now. Gibbs committed to Georgia Tech after being rated as a three-star prospect following his junior year of high school. He honored that commitment despite picking up schools like Alabama, Florida, and Georgia following his senior season. After his season year, he was named Georgia high school offensive football player of the year and was a Sports Illustrated All-American. He made the most out of his opportunity at Georgia Tech; in his first full-season following the COVID year, Gibbs combined for over 1,100 rushing and receiving yards while also splitting carries with current 49ers running back Jordan Mason. After the 2021 season, Gibbs had every school calling his phone and ultimately decided to transfer to the University of Alabama. Gibbs has shown that he has the physical capabilities to be an elite running back in the NFL while also not putting too much tread on his tires. For this reason, I would be drooling at the opportunity to add Gibbs to my offense.
There is an old cliche that you can’t teach speed; Gibbs is living proof of that. Whether you’re talking about short-area burst tor long-speed; Gibbs is fast in every way imaginable. He can go from 0 to 100 faster than any player I have ever seen; when trying to tackle Gibbs there can’t be any hesitation. As soon as the defender hesitates, Gibbs is gone. Gibbs doesn’t just have burst and acceleration; he has devastating lateral and breakaway speed. If we are comparing Gibbs to a baseball player, he reminds me of Gincarlo Stanton. Stanton is a home-run hitter who offers the threat of going yard every time he steps on home plate. Defenses need to game-plan around preventing Gibbs from ripping a long one. At any given moment he offers the threat of going the distance.
Usually guys are either quick or fast; Gibbs is both. In open space, Gibbs has the capabilities of shaking any defender out of their shoes. For offensive coordinators, the most exciting thing about Gibbs is the idea of game-planning a one-on-one for him; all he has to do is make one move in order to go the distance. Jahmyr Gibbs has the capability of being the best running back in the NFL if he lands in a Shanahan-esque system. The three most important traits for a running back in an outside zone scheme is speed, decisiveness, and intelligence; three traits that Gibbs is elite at. When Gibbs sees a hole he hits it; there is no thinking, just going. He is the definition of a one cut runner who has the ankle flexibility to stick his foot in the ground and take off. While he has the lateral speed to bend the corner and turn up the sideline, I believe he prefers to stretch the defense laterally just enough to open a hole up the middle. The most underrated part of Gibbs’ game is his football IQ. He understands how to create angles that forces defenders to try and make arm tackles. His knowledge also appears when having to pick up rushers in pass protection and when it comes to preserving his body. There are ways that players can “split tackles” and go with the hit rather than taking the force against the hit. Gibbs frequently does this while also falling forward allowing him to pick up a few extra yards at the end of his runs. Gibbs’ rare combination of speed and quickness gives him the opportunity to be something very special in the NFL.
I would consider myself a pretty harsh grader who can get a little nit-picky at times, but I did not have a lot to nit-pick about Gibbs’ game. When it comes to contact balance, Gibbs has a nonchalant way of making defenders slip right off of him. He has really good knee-bend that allows him to get low when having to shed tacklers and remain on his feet. With that being said, he doesn’t offer the “run you over” ability which causes him to make people miss with his speed and quickness. Luckily for him, that is enough to get him out of trouble due to how quick he is. While he doesn’t posses elite power, that doesn’t mean he’s not tough. His toughness and competitiveness is apparent when tasked with picking up rushers that are twice his size. He has shown that he is capable of rolling his hips through and buying some time for his quarterback. I thought his competitiveness was on full display when he honored his commitment to Georgia Tech coming out of high school and then challenging by going to Alabama and playing in the SEC after being named all conference in the ACC. He doesn’t hide from anything, even on special teams. Gibbs has returned kicks every year he has been in college. He is not just an asset as a runner, blocker, and on special teams; he is also a legit threat as a receiver. Whether he is lining up in the slot or out of the backfield, his receiving ability gets him the ball in space. His suddenness when changing directions makes him a lethal route runner. While I don’t think he has the most reliable hands, his game is only going to grow as a receiving back in the NFL.
The capabilities that come with Jahmyr Gibbs get me genuinely excited. If he is able to land in the right system, I believe he is capable of being the next Christian McCaffrey. While he is not quite as powerful and his hands are as dependable, they both share the ability to redirect their lateral speed to straight-line speed without wasted steps. They both have the ability to line up in the slot and route up defensive backs. They are also both nightmares to bring down in open-space. The phrase “stop on a dime” is thrown out there a lot, so I am not going to use it when describing Gibbs because that’s not fair. Gibbs doesn’t just stop on a dime, it is more like stopping on a grain of rice. If he can land with a team like the Dolphins or Texans; which run variations of the Shanahan offense, I believe he will be one of the best weapons in the NFL. Teams can use him anywhere on the field— he is a guy who will make his team better from day one. If you look at football like a painting, Gibbs is where the viewer’s eyes should go first.
Play Strength + Toughness: 9.75/12
Long Speed + Lateral Speed: 9.75/10
Feet + Change of Direction: 9.5/10
Quickness + Open Field: 9.5/10
Burst + Acceleration: 7.75/8
Receiving Ability: 5.25/6
Athletic Ability: 4.25/5
Final Rating: 91
Pro Comparison: Christian McCaffrey
Draft Projection: First Round Pick
Draft Grade: Top 10 Player
Team Fits: Dolphins, Texans, Falcons