High-profile college football star, Alabama RB Jameer Gibbs is now eligible for 2023 The NFL draft, and his scouting report is predictably of great interest. We’ve seen Gibbs take down college quarterbacks over the years, but how does his style translate to the NFL? Is it worth the early capital as the hype suggests?
Jameer Gibbs NFL Draft Profile
Some players are so productive in high school that they arrive in college with a good reputation. That player was Gibbs. During his career at Dalton High School in Georgia, Gibbs rushed for 4,882 yards and 70 touchdowns. 2,554 of those yards and 40 of those scores came as a senior. He managed 420 yards and eight touchdowns in one game — and sat out the fourth quarter.
What Gibbs did to the hapless, ill-equipped high school boys at Dalton could be described as nothing short of dominance. That game played a strong role in Gibbs being a top-100 recruit in 2019. A four-star recruit, he had offers from dozens of schools but decided to sign with Georgia Tech locally.
Immediately and for the next two seasons, Georgia Tech football became synonymous with Gibbs. Over two campaigns with the Yellow Jackets, Gibbs had 1,974 yards from scrimmage and 13 touchdowns. As a sophomore in 2021, he registered 746 yards and four scores on 143 carries while adding 35 catches for 465 yards and two scores through the air.
It goes without saying that Gibbs was a highly-coveted asset when he entered the transfer window at the end of 2021. And as is often the case with top-tier talent, the Alabama Crimson Tide are the ones who have earned his loyalty. Gibbs’ next chapter begins in 2022, and he already has his sights set on the 2023 NFL Draft.
- Position: RB
- school: Alabama
- Current year: Younger
- Height/weight: 5’11”, 200 lbs
Jahmir Gibbs Intelligence Report
Will Gibbs be able to use his season at Alabama to land an early-round pick like so many Crimson Tide running backs have before him? Here’s a look at what Gibbs brings to the table and how the Alabama RB might be evaluated in the 2023 NFL Draft.
A hallmark of Gibbs’ running style is his athleticism. The Alabama RB has great explosiveness going down the field. Not only does he have a great short burst, but he can accelerate very quickly when he starts to roll out. Gibbs can generate sharp bursts of forward momentum when his path is open, and he has the acceleration to quickly pile up yards through tight windows.
In addition to his explosiveness, Gibbs has phenomenal short-yardage athleticism that he can use to throw defenders off balance. Gibbs is an energetic man with elite twitches who quickly remembers his legs after cuts. His twitch gives him staggering potential energy on every play. Additionally, Gibbs brings loose hips that allow him to deflect course while maintaining acceleration. Gibbs can use his high twitch and agility to flow through congested spots and make his way into the open field.
As impressive as Gibbs’ short-court athleticism is how he uses and maximizes it with his vision and creative instincts. Gibbs keeps his feet active in congested spots and can slide through contact while staying vertical. With his hyperactive feet, the Alabama RB can step through consecutive tackles with his hands while maintaining his balance and speed. He will make defenders pay for tackle attempts.
Moving on, Gibbs shows excellent reading ability. He can quickly identify holes when tracking to the sideline and burst upfield with determination. The Alabama RB can also quickly handle corners in space. It can sense the rapid closing of traffic lanes and instantly direct it to outlets. Gibbs works well in tight spots and can spot secondary lanes with ease. He has excellent full vision as well as excellent spatial awareness. This awareness is constantly active, allowing him to feel like a defender and react in real time.
Gibbs is an extremely instinctive runner. More than that, though, he also demonstrates situational awareness and discipline. He rarely dances behind the line of scrimmage in short-yardage situations. And on out-of-zone runs, he has the instincts to smooth out his angle to get around defenders entering the A- and B-gaps, then move up when he’s clean. He consistently runs split-step runs to set up for potential moves, has excellent timing with his lateral cuts and is patient in deconstructing angles.
Gibbs naturally moves up and down to maximize the space he has and also create new windows to use. Alabama RB actively presses behind the blocks, forcing defenders to slow down. By doing this, he controls the allotted space and can manipulate the corners afterwards.
At 5’11” and 200 pounds, Gibbs isn’t overly imposing, but he at least brings measurable physicality to the lineup. The Alabama RB showed he can use solid hands to push off-balance defenders and extend plays. He consistently struggles to stay on his feet with active footwork and is willing to drop his shoulder and finish forward on runs. At times, Gibbs has also shown that he can fight off contact and absorb strikes with his hips and torso.
Part of Gibbs’ appeal lies in his multiphasic ability. Alabama RB has high potential as a passing RB. He’s already showing impressive nuance as he can manipulate the quarterback’s leverage while running routes. He can push outside and then cut in, and his short-field agility is an asset to the stalks.
Going forward, Gibbs can catch passes by extending his arms beyond his frame and then readjust his feet for running yards after the catch. Gibbs quickly switches from receiving mode to RAC mode. He has also shown that he can drive passes in stride and pull passes amid contact.
As an athlete, Gibbs has enough speed to get to the edge on outside runs and turn the corner upfield. He also has the speed to accelerate to less-than-ideal angles and get on defenders. In pass defense, he has quick, active feet and brings a solid effort. He can gather defenders and make contact, and he can identify weak spots in the defense and respond quickly.
Gibbs Areas for Improvement
Gibbs’ build is noticeably lean, and he’s naturally not going to withstand direct contact all the time. The Alabama RB isn’t a stunning physical specimen, and he clearly lacks the rushing element. Moreover, while he has exceptional short-range explosiveness and quickness, he can’t be quantitatively elite in any area.
Operationally, Gibbs occasionally misses open lanes, deferring traffic to congested areas in the middle of the field. Sometimes he goes on autopilot at short distances and gets tunnel vision when things get tough. Additionally, Gibbs will sometimes play in traffic with wasted traffic. Its senseless movement is visible, even if there are sometimes streaks. Alabama RB tries too hard to create space instead of taking advantage of the space he has at times and could be more concise and efficient.
In the passing phase, Gibbs sometimes loses the ball when hitting downfield. He can also attack the ball better at the point of the catch, as he sometimes lets it come to him and invites contact. Gibbs also throws the occasional pass, which can delay upswings on swings and screens. Also, he has some deficiencies in ball security after the catch.
Gibbs’ need for extra strength also shows up in pass blocking. The Alabama RB can outmuscle and skate with his lighter frame, and he struggles to sustain blocks consistently.
Current Draft for Alabama RB Jahmyr Gibbs
At this point, Gibbs is a high-end Day 2 prospect with late 1st round upside if he dominates at Alabama. The NFL wouldn’t always welcome a running back like Gibbs. But this is 2022. Long gone are the days of ground-and-pound combat and bottom-down trenches against eight-man boxes. Now, the NFL is a space game, and it’s a game Gibbs is built to win.
At 5’11”, 200 pounds, Gibbs is noticeably light and will likely never win for his size. But Gibbs’ game is based on his elite twitch and agility, extremely loose hips and flexibility on cuts, and his ability to explode up after cuts with lightning feet.
Gibbs’ short-court athleticism is rare, and he knows how to use it. While he has room to use his tools more effectively, he has shown that he has the vision, quickness and creative instincts to maximize and create space at the same time on reps. While he isn’t terrible, he at least brings good physicality and balance with an arm tackle. And if he can fix a few inconsistencies in the passing game, he’ll have near-elite upside as a receiving back.
At his peak, Gibbs can have an impact similar to Jamaal Charles, albeit with slightly less top speed. Gibbs has a very similar frame, quick game pace and the same two-way short-zone manipulation and open-field dash on reps. And while Gibbs doesn’t have the same speed, his build may prove to be stronger than Charles’. Bottom line: This is a weapon that is well worth the initial capital.