With the first of their two first-round picks in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions select... ALABAMA RB JAHMYR GIBBS? Wait, what? What in the world is Detroit doing? In a league that has finally made its peace with devaluing the running back position, the Lions suddenly have more than they can handle.
Position: Running back
School: Alabama (2023)
Measurables: 5'9, 199 pounds
Combine notes: He ranks in the 97th percentile for the 40-yard dash at 4.36 seconds
Where he wins: SPEED.
Well, that's an interesting question. He's a relatively undersized running back but has enough speed that once he gets past the first level, he won't have to worry about many big hits. The Lions clearly want to run the ball, play defense, and bite kneecaps. However, they also have RB D'Andre Swift on the roster and signed David Montgomery in free agency. How many running backs does one team need? And how many touches can we realistically expect Gibbs to get in a given season?
Pick grade: C
Was this a need, or a want? It feels like it was definitely a want. Between their current volume of running backs and the fact that CB Christian Gonzalez was still on the board, it feels like this wasn't the pick. They've got long-term needs at cornerback which might have been more impactful in terms of running a ball-control style offense.