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2023 NFL Draft preview: Scouting report on Alabama running back Jahmyr Gibbs

Could the Seahawks once again take a running back high in the draft?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 31 Allstate Sugar Bowl Photo by Chris McDill/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Seattle Seahawks do not have a need for an additional premium running back. The organization drafted Michigan State running back Kennth Walker lll in the second-round last year and it is extremely rare to see teams invest significant draft capital on the position consistently. However, there is appeal to adding another one after the losses of Rashaad Penny and Travis Homer. On top of that and more importantly though, we cannot rule out John Schnieder and Pete Carroll going against the grain and falling in love with another running back. There is a clear candidate for that role in Texas running back Bijan Robinson, who we have already looked at, but he certainly will not be available late in the first round/early in the second. However, Alabama running back Jahmyr Gibbs is certainly in play in that range, who we will evaluate down below.

Games watched - 2022 Tennessee, Arkansas, Texas, Texas A&M, LSU

Previous running back scouting report - Bijan Robinson

Relative Athletic Score


  • Biggest strength - Play making ability - Gibbs is a home run waiting to happen. He uses his very good (7 on a 1-9 scale) burst to quickly hit the hole and explode out of it. He has a deadly jab step move that allows him to freeze defenders and get to the next level. His contact balance is very good (7) which allows him to bounce off multiple players en route to massive runs. His center of gravity never changes despite contact. He can spin out of a tackle from a bigger defender and stay perfectly aligned and connected with the ground allowing him to quickly get it going out of the tackle.
  • He has good (6) vision keeping his eyes up field as opposed to dropping them when things get tight. On outside zone runs he keeps his eyes inside when things are not developing beyond the numbers in order to locate any cutback lane. On inside zone plays he never forces it into the designed gap; he instead waits, staying light on his toes and tries to hit the hole once one opens up.
  • Gibbs is able to switch through gears by slowing it down in the open field and exploding out of it to beat defenders to the spot.
  • He has good bend in his ankles which helps him use all of his moves.
  • Gibbs gets his knees up well to avoid tackles that are going at his ankles without losing any of his balance and direction.
  • He is a very patient runner allowing blocks to develop in front of him before he runs to the spot. Gibbs will slow it down behind the line of scrimmage if necessary to allow a gap to develop.
  • His patience amongst all of the other traits discussed above makes him a plus two runner, as he is always going to pick up two yards or more than the play is blocked for.
  • Gibbs is very smart in how he secures the ball, always keeping five points of pressure on it and having the ball high and tight, as well as getting two hands on it right before a tackle in between the tackles.
  • On swing or flat routes, he has a great understanding of when to get his head around and present a clear target to the QB especially if they are under pressure.
  • On Texas (angle) routes Gibbs does a fantastic job of selling it to the outside and then sticking his outside foot in the ground and exploding to the inside.
  • Gibbs has reliable hands catching everything with them out in front rather than letting the ball catch him and using his body to bring it in.
  • He does a great job of working with the quarterback when they leave the pocket in order to give them an option at all times.


  • Biggest weakness - Lack of power - Gibbs is not a powerful runner—he is never going to run through defenders or keep his legs churning as defenders are bringing him down. He is strong enough to run through arm tackles in gaps but that is about it.
  • He also has an upright running style which does make it difficult for him to gain leverage on defenders in the hole, especially in short yardage situations.
  • The only thing keeping his vision from very good is he never looked to bounce out run plays designed inside the c gaps even when the space was available.
  • In pass protection Gibbs has his fair share of struggles. He too often focuses on blocking pressure from outside rather than taking the inside most blitzer. Gibbs can be too quick to leave when he has a check and release route as he takes one step up in pass pro and then leaves the pocket. His eyes in pass pro also need work as he struggles to identify later arriving blitzer and looks in between at times.

Floor/ceiling - Gibbs’ very good (7) elusiveness, play speed, vision, patience, home run ability and abilities as a receiver give him the ceiling of a high end starter. However, his lack of power, upright running style and struggles in pass pro give him the floor of a good starter.

Grade - 6.8 - Solid three-down starter first day of second season - Late first early second

Grade explanation - Frankly I do not understand why Gibbs is not a consensus first round pick. He reminds me so much of Alvin Kamara and outside of his lack of power he does not have any true weakness as a runner. His pass pro does need a bit of work, but his impact as a receiver makes him a high end three down weapon. Gibbs is undoubtedly a top-30 player in the class and has the talent to become one of the top 7-10 backs in football early in his career. Personally, I believe he will be a solid three-down starter early in his first season.

Schematic fit - Gibbs projects best in an outside zone running scheme where he can utilize his vision, patience and burst. He can play in a man blocking scheme as well because of how quickly he can hit holes and adjust off of it if they are taken away. Gibbs will be able to make a three-down impact.

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