Lions Rookie RB Jahmyr Gibbs Draws Comparisons to Former Rookie of the Year

Jahmyr Gibbs

Getty Detroit Lions rookie running back Jahmyr Gibbs has received comparisons to a five-time Pro Bowl running back.

The Detroit Lions have received some criticism for drafting running back Jahmyr Gibbs at No. 12 overall in the first round of the 2023 NFL draft.

But if one anonymous scout is correct, Gibbs is going to be a star.

One NFL scout told Go Long’s Bob McGinn that he had Gibbs ranked ahead of Texas running back Bijan Robinson. He also raved about Gibbs’ playing style and ceiling mirroring a former NFL offensive rookie of the year.

“[Gibbs is] very, very similar to [Alvin] Kamara,” the scout told McGinn. “That slick sort of movement and balance. Multi-talented, catches, runs. He’s got all that, man.

“His skill-set will play well in the league.”

Kamara made an immediate impact with the New Orleans Saints, posting 1,554 yards from scrimmage and leading the league with 6.1 yards per carry as a rookie in 2017. During that season, Kamara won offensive rookie of the year and made second-team All-Pro.

He also earned a Pro Bowl bid, which he did in each of his first five seasons.

Jahmyr Gibbs Compared to Alvin Kamara

The anonymous scout also compared Gibbs to Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones. But he still claimed the closest NFL comparison for Gibbs was Kamara.

That’s good for a lot of reasons, but two main ones — the potential for an immediate impact and all-around talent.

Kamara only started three games as a rookie, but he recorded 201 touches. His involvement in New Orleans’ offense has only increased since then.

Kamara has averaged about 189 carries and 72 receptions per season. He’s posted at least 50 catches in five of his six seasons and more than 1,300 yards from scrimmage every year.

The Lions signed David Montgomery, who has averaged roughly 229 rushing attempts per season in his career. Montgomery will likely start, but Gibbs should equally contribute on the ground and through the air.

And if he’s like Kamara, he will be ready on Day 1 to help the Lions try to win their first-ever NFC North crown.

Lions Were Reportedly Close to Drafting Gibbs at No. 6

Lions general manager Brad Holmes selected Gibbs at No. 12 overall, which shocked some draft experts. But just like the anonymous scout, the Lions rated Gibbs ahead of Robinson.

Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer wrote that Detroit was ready to take Gibbs at No. 6 overall.

“The initial idea [for the Lions] was to get Witherspoon (or Anderson) at No. 6, then trade up from 18 to get Gibbs,” Breer wrote. “Then Arizona traded out, the Colts took Anthony Richardson and, finally, to the Lions’ chagrin, the Seahawks took the draft’s top corner.

“A scenario under which, indeed, Detroit was ready to say who cares? and break the internet by taking Gibbs [at No. 6].”

But instead, the Lions traded back to No. 12 with the Arizona Cardinals. With Gibbs still available, Detroit then grabbed the Alabama running back at that spot.

To justify taking Gibbs at No. 12, the Lions had to trade former second-round pick D’Andre Swift. Detroit sent the running back to the Philadelphia Eagles during Day 3 of the draft.

That trade should allow Gibbs to be the go-to back after Montgomery for the Lions in 2023.

In college, Gibbs rushed for 2,132 yards and 15 touchdowns in 31 career games. As a senior at Alabama last year, he posted 926 rushing yards, 6.1 yards per carry and 1,370 yards from scrimmage with 10 total touchdowns.

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