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The Detroit Lions entered the 2023 NFL Draft with the 6th overall selection. However, general manager Brad Holmes swung a deal at the last minute with the Arizona Cardinals, trading down in order to acquire the No. 12, No. 34, and No. 168 overall selections; they also now have five picks between 12 and 55th overall. And with the 12th pick, the Lions decided to go with running back Jahmyr Gibbs out of Alabama.
Jahmyr Gibbs joins an already potent Detroit Lions offense
The Lions indeed rolled out the welcome wagon for Gibbs upon his arrival in Detroit, as team legends and Hall of Famers Barry Sanders and Calvin Johnson were on hand to greet him. It certainly is fitting that Sanders met with Gibbs, considering that Detroit made the latter their highest-drafted running back since the former was taken third overall in 1989 by the team.
And as Gibbs would soon explain to WXYZ sports host Brad Galli, the pair happen to be two of his favorite players at their respective positions.
“Barry Sanders, he's my favorite,” Gibbs said. “It's funny because actually, my favorite in both positions – I'd take Clavin over anyone. It was crazy meeting them and seeing them for the first time. Actually, I think I've seen Calvin before, actually, because he's best friends with my old coach who would tell me stories from back in the day.”
As far as what Gibbs can bring to the team's offense, which ranked 5th overall in the NFL in 2022, fans will like his answer. Having led Alabama in rushing with 926 yards, catches with 44, and kick return yards last season, Gibbs is poised to help Detroit's attack be even more potent in 2023.
“I think I can bring more of a playmaking ability and bring another weapon to an already machine,” he answered.
You can bet that Gibbs' friends and family took the news of his being drafted into the NFL by the Lions, he said that not only were they all thrilled for him, but that he didn't get much sleep afterward!
“I was awake the whole time,” he said. “My friends and family are excited for me, so I was with them and thanked them for supporting me through this journey.”
Wrapping It Up
While trying to follow in the footsteps of the best running back of all time is a daunting task, it sure sounds like Jahmyr Gibbs is going to be doing his best to live up to Sanders as he begins his NFL career with the Lions.