Lions RB Jahmyr Gibbs Sets Lofty Goal For Rookie Season

Jahmyr Gibbs, Lions
NFL Analysis Network

The Detroit Lions revamped their backfield this offseason, giving offensive coordinator Ben Johnson some new weapons to work with. The biggest addition was running back Jahmyr Gibbs, whom the Lions selected with the No. 12 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Seeing a running back selected that high is certainly surprising. The league as a whole has diminished the value of the position, but the Lions loved what Gibbs could bring to the table. Had they not traded back, there were reports of Deroit using the No. 6 overall pick on him.

The Lions have huge plans for Gibbs in his rookie season, as they have hinted at using him in ways people may not expect. Don’t be surprised if he is used as a pass catcher as much as a runner as the coaching staff will look to take full advantage of his unique skill set.

That will put the Alabama product in a position to accomplish a unique feat as a rookie. Gibbs has set his sights on recording at least 1,000 rushing yards and 500 receiving yards in the 2023 season. “Most definitely, especially with this system,” the rookie RB said on Monday about reaching those plateaus.

With the Crimson Tide last season, Gibbs got close recording 926 rushing yards and 444 receiving yards. Those are numbers that very few running backs have reached, as Christian McCaffrey was the only player to hit both last season.

In recent years, there are players who have gotten close. But, only eight running backs have recorded seasons with 500+ receiving yards in the last three seasons. If Gibbs can accomplish the lofty goal, he will join an exclusive group of players.

It certainly won’t be easy, as opponents are already game-planning against him. The Kansas City Chiefs are the first team Gibbs and the Lions will face off against this season and their defensive coordinator, Steve Spagnuolo, is already placing a ton of focus on slowing down the first-round pick.

“It’s all eyeballs on No. 26 when he goes in the game,” Spags said earlier this week, via the official transcript. “That’s one of the things we’ve been talking about, know where he is and if he’s in the game because we certainly think with a guy that’s that explosive they’re going to try to find way to get him the ball.”