With the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft this evening, multiple draft analysts are pumping out their final mock drafts.
I agonized over this final mock draft -- I already updated with a few changes this morning. Here's what I'm hearing on Round 1 right now.https://t.co/o70DnZPE1l— Mel Kiper Jr. (@MelKiperESPN) April 27, 2023
Kiper stated, “With Gibbs still available, I think the Bengals would pounce. Joe Mixon was ineffective last season, and could be a candidate to be released after the draft. Gibbs is a tremendous pass-catcher out of the backfield, but his between-the-tackles ability is underrated. He’d make this offense better.”
Here is my final mock draft of the year. My rationale provided with each pick so read before asking me questions. https://t.co/WhIJSDU4KM— Lance Zierlein (@LanceZierlein) April 27, 2023
Zierlein stated, “Even if the Bengals hang on to Joe Mixon, Gibbs would give Cincy’s offense a slashing complementary back with home run speed and mismatch ability as a volume target out of the backfield.”
Zierlein also broke down Gibbs’ game after the NFL combine, saying, “While Gibbs might not be the engine of an NFL running game, he’s more than capable of adding juice to the offense. He’s a slasher who can stretch defenses wide, and he has the wiggle to elude tacklers in space. However, he could see his effectiveness diminished inside. Gibbs might be better off with a more measured carry count as an RB2, but his versatility and pass-catching prowess will give creative play-callers an opportunity to exploit certain personnel groupings and find mismatches in space.”
In 2022, Gibbs rushed for 926 rushing yards and seven touchdowns. He also tallied 444 receiving yards and three more scores.
Gibbs had a dominant three-week span in 2022, tallying a season-high 206 rushing yards against Arkansas, 154 rushing yards against Texas A&M, and 103 rushing yards against Tennessee. He also dipped into special teams, returning 13 kickoffs for 258 yards.
Gibbs ranked third in the SEC with 1,628 all-purpose yards for Alabama and was a finalist for the Hornung Award (most versatile player in college football) and a semifinalist for the Maxwell Award (best overall player).
Gibbs could be a game-changing guy in the backfield for the Bengals with his skill sets but would need to continue developing in protecting Joe Burrow.