B/R Sends Strong Message on Surprising Alabama First-Round Draft Pick: ‘Baffling’

Getty Bleacher Report's Brent Sobleski had a strong message on the Detroit Lions' surprising draft selection of former Alabama running back Jahmyr Gibbs

The selection of Alabama running back Jahmyr Gibbs by the Detroit Lions with the No. 12 pick of the 2023 NFL dradt was a “baffling” one according to Bleacher Report’s Brent Sobleski — though not because of his talent, but more to do with the fit among already exisiting personnel.

“The Detroit Lions made a baffling selection in Gibbs,” Sobleski prefaced before saying, “The forthcoming grade isn’t an indictment of Gibbs’ talent. As previously stated, he’s an electric offensive threat. At the same time, the Lions already have D’Andre Swift in the backfield. The organization also signed David Montgomery this offseason. While a player like Gibbs should be considered a general weapon, much like Bijan Robinson earlier, he’s going to be a part-time player based on the current lineup.”

It should be noted that Sobleski isn’t down on Gibbs’ game in any way. The Bleacher Report writer sees why the Lions saw value in Gibbs as a prospect from a skills perspective.

“The evaluation of Alabama’s Jahmyr Gibbs is yet another example of looking at a running back prospect and seeing more value than the position traditionally warrants,” Sobleski wrote. “Gibbs is a legitimate three-down back. He’s even more valuable as a pass-catcher than a runner, though his ability to slice through traffic and accelerate can’t be dismissed.”

Carolina Panthers Got Franchise QB in Bryce Young

On the other end of the draft grade spectrum is former Alabama quarterback Bryce Young, who went No. 1 overall in the NFL draft on April 27 to the Carolina Panthers. Sobleski gave the pick an A and called Young the quarterback Carolina had been looking for since Cam Newton’s departure from the franchise following the 2019 season.

“The Carolina Panthers finally pulled the trigger on the franchise quarterback they’ve been searching for since Cam Newton’s body began to break down and he left prior to the 2020 campaign,” Sobleski wrote.

Sobleski trusts the Panthers’ brain trust — one that includes former pro quarterbacks head coach Frank Reich and quarterbacks coach Josh McCown — in their evaluation of Young despite the concerns surrounding Young’s size.

“Young lands in a situation where he’ll have former NFL quarterbacks as his head coach in Frank Reich and quarterbacks coach in Josh McCown,” Sobleski wrote. “Those guys saw how Young conducted himself, absorbed information and played the game. When all of those factors were taken into consideration, his size didn’t matter.”

Texans ‘Not Messing Around’ With Will Anderson Selection

Sobleski was wildly impressed with the Houston Texans, who selected Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud with the No. 2 pick and then executed a trade with the Arizona Cardinals — which included sending their 2023 first-round pick (No. 3 overall), the 2023 33rd overall selection, and 2024 first-round/third-round picks — to select Will Anderson Jr.

The Bleacher Report writer believes Houston is “not messing around” after nabbing the top quarterback and overall prospect.

“The Houston Texans are not messing around one bit,” Sobleski prefaced before saying, “First, the organization lands its franchise quarterback in Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud. Then, it doubles back by trading to the third overall pick to get its defensive centerpiece in Anderson. Arizona received this year’s 12th overall pick, the 33rd overall selection, next year’s first- and third-round picks. DeMeco Ryans made a massive statement that the Texans are no longer rebuilding. They’re here to compete for the AFC South. A better start can’t be imagined after landing the class’ QB1 and No. 1 overall prospect.”