The Detroit Lions sent shockwaves throughout the NFL when they took Jahmyr Gibbs, a running back, with the 12th overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. This was a shocking pick to say the least. The Lions did have the sixth overall pick, but they traded down with the Arizona Cardinals, who traded up and took Paris Johnson Jr.
The Lions, with Christian Gonzalez still on the board, took a running back who did not belong in the first round with their 12th pick. Jahmyr Gibbs is very talented and has similarities to Alvin Kamara, but picking him this high with urgent needs on the defense was a giant mistake by GM Brad Holmes.
Gibbs has genuine receiving versatility and that was likely a massive selling point for them, but with the team already having two solid running backs in David Montgomery and D’Andre Swift, this pick makes even less sense.
I think the next course of action for Detroit is to perhaps trade Swift for a late round pick as there is simply no way to me that the Lions deploy the backfield that they currently have.
The Lions followed that up by selecting Jack Campbell from Iowa with their 18th overall pick. A big inside linebacker, Campbell should be a day one starter for them.
But back to Gibbs, this was a player who likely belonged in the second or third round on talent alone, but the fact that he’s a running back, a position that isn’t as valuable as it once was makes this pick essentially inexcusable.
Perhaps with the suspension of Jameson Williams, the Lions felt like they needed to get some receiving threats in the building, but even then, they could have simply taken a wide receiver.
We’ll see what their plan is for Gibbs, but the Detroit Lions made a confusing pick here.