Eagles Draft Prospect: Jahmyr Gibbs RB Alabama
The Eagles hold two first round picks in the 2023 NFL Draft. They own their own pick, and they also own the New Orleans Saints first round pick. As of right now, the Eagles pick is 31 and the Saints pick is 6. Every week up and till draft night, I will look at various prospects who will be on the Eagles radar for both of their draft picks.
First, we will look at a player on their radar with the current 31st pick. This is a player that I did not think about much. However, after reading multiple mock drafts picking a RB late in the first is not that unpopular. Now do I agree with it, no. However, it is a prospect analysis on potential draft picks for the Eagles.
Weight: 200 lbs
Position Rank: #2 Running back
Anticipated 40 time: 4.46 sec
Gibbs started off his career at Georgia Tech for his freshman and sophomore years. For his junior year he transferred to Alabama where he took over as RB1 and has made an instant impact for the Crimson Tide. In a shortened 2020 freshman season, he averaged 5.2 yards per carry and 5 TD's in just 7 games. In his 12 games during his sophomore season, there was an increase in production, but nothing outstanding.
Now in his junior season at Alabama, he is turning into their best playmaker. In his 9 games so far, he has rushed for over 700 yards and 6 TDs, while also adding 300 receiving yards and 3 TD's. In just 9 games, he has accounted for over 1000 yards and 9 TDs. He has also yet to lose the football on any possession this season.
Gibbs might be the best overall RB's in this draft. What makes Gibbs a possible first round pick? The more you watch Gibbs the more you see how athletic he is. He has great vision as a RB and can find and get through the hole for very big gains. I just love the way he runs when he has the ball. It is so smooth and quick. He can read the block/defense so well that it seems he knows what to do before the ball is even snapped. The vision and awareness are great, but he has the skills after that to make him a possible first round pick. He is not the quickest RB in this class, but he has enough speed to outrun LB's and CB's. Even though he does not have great speed, when he plants his foot into the ground to change direction, he will rarely get caught right away.
In the pass game he is just as useful. He has natural hands and can run routes like any WR in this class. The best thing Gibbs has going for him is he is a 4-down player. We know what he can do in the run game, but his addition to lineup as a receiver on the outside or in the slot makes him useful in the pass game as well. He is not known for it, but he also can be used on punt/kick returns. He really can be used in so many different roles.
Areas of Improvement
Trust your speed
Build up strength
Watching Gibbs play, there are not many things you can find that he does not excel in. He has great vision, he is quick, strong acceleration, and a reliable passing game option. He is undersized, but obviously he can't improve his height. His lack of strength makes him a liability in the pass blocking game. He often picks up the wrong defender or is simply not strong enough to maintain the block.
He has no issue lowering his pad and taking the hit. He makes it work too as he has not lost the ball at all this season. This brings us to his big area of concern. He needs to trust his speed a little more. He is totally calm when it comes to taking big hits. Sometimes he needs to trust his speed to beat the defender on the outside. There is a difference between college and the NFL. If he is willing to keep getting hit in the NFL, he is going to have a short career due to injury. He has the speed to get the edge on the outside, and he needs to get in the habit of doing that.
He has shown glimpses of how strong he can be running to the outside. However, there are a lot of other plays that he takes the hit. It is good that he is willing to do so, but he needs to build up more strength in the NFL for that. He has strong vision and can read a defense; it is either he does not trust his speed, or he thinks he can bulldoze through the defender.
Look at this play from the Tennessee game. He can get to the outside.
Fit with the Birds
You will notice throughout these prospect analysis the Eagles do not have many holes. I am sure someone will either read this or not read this and say the Eagles do not need an RB. Both Miles Sanders and Boston Scott are set to be free agents this offseason. If the Eagles let them both walk, that would leave Kenny Gainwell and Trey Sermon as the only RBs on the roster. Neither Gainwell nor Serman could be RB1, so the Eagles would be in the market for one. If the Eagles decide to go down this road, this will help with the salary cap. Get a younger and cheaper guy and not have to pay Sanders, who in due to get a nice pay day after the big season he is having.
Gibbs would mesh well with the current Eagles offensive scheme. He is another weapon for QB Jalen Hurts in the pass game. The Eagles love to use RPO's, and if Gibbs can trust himself more on the outside, the RPO's would be unstoppable. The Eagles do need some help on punt/kick offs. They haven't had a true returner since DeSean Jackson. Gibbs is one of the best returners in this draft.
This pick would all depend on what the Eagles decide to do with Miles Sanders in the offseason. If they part ways, it makes this pick 100x more likely. I like Gibbs as a prospect. He is RB2 behind Texas' Bijan Robinson, but it is looking like Robinson could sneak into the top 10. Taking a RB in the first round is not an industry standard, but to get a versatile player like Gibbs is worth it. He has the skills to be RB1 on day 1 and would help expand our offense and special teams greatly.