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Alabama NFL Draft Prospects

Former NFL star stamps Jahmyr Gibbs as next elite running back

Jahmyr Gibbs (#1) runs for a long touchdown in Alabama's matchup against Arkansas
Photo comes via SEC Media Portal

He is the No. 2 running back in this year’s draft class, but Jahmyr Gibbs may be the most versatile player.

Gibbs needed two years at Georgia Tech and a season at the University of Alabama to show NFL scouts he is a unique playmaker on offense. Bill O’Brien, the Crimson Tide’s offensive coordinator in 2021, did not run the ball much with Gibbs, but the native Georgian was a problem for defenses. His quickness, acceleration, explosiveness, vision, and smooth cuts made him a nightmare for defensive linemen and linebackers. Gibbs did not need wide holes as the smallest opening presented him an opportunity for a big play. The 5-foot-9, 199-pounder had 926 rushing yards, 444 receiving yards, and 10 touchdowns during his lone year with the Crimson Tide. He led the Tide in receiving with 44 catches, including three for scores.

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Gibbs made sure his first-round value stayed in place at the NFL Combine. He posted the second-fastest 40-time among running backs, clocking 4.36 seconds. Gibbs displayed a 33.5″ vertical and had no wasted movements in on-field workouts.

Several NFL analysts have compared him to Alvin Kamara of the New Orleans Saints. The comparison fits him; however, a former NFL superstar has stamped Gibbs as the league’s next elite back. Chris Johnson, also known as “CJ2K,” recorded a 4.24 in the 40-yard dash at the 2008 NFL Combine. He became one of the league’s most explosive players in a short time, capturing NFL Offensive Player of the Year (2009), first-team All-Pro (2009), three Pro Bowls (2008-10), and an NFL rushing championship (2009). Johnson had a career-high 2,006 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns in 2009 with the Tennessee Titans.

He loves what Gibbs brings to the table as a potential show-stopper in the NFL.

Alabama’s pro day is March 23. We will see if Gibbs participates in a workout in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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Stephen Smith is a 2015 graduate of the University of Alabama. He is a senior writer and reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. He has covered Alabama football for 10+ years and his knowledge and coverage of the Crimson Tide's program have made him among the most respected journalist in his field. Smith has been featured on ESPN and several other marquee outlets as an analyst.

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