Antonio Gibson seems to be the most controversial second round pick in this years draft. Why is this and what exactly does his situation look like? We’re going to present the bull and bear case and let you decide.
As of right now, Gibson is going in the middle of round 2 with an average draft position of
The bull argument for Gibson: Antonio Gibson is really good at football. Coming out of college, Gibson came in with a better pass catching than rushing resume. In college, he had 44 catches and 33 carries. The market assumed his role was going to be a pass catching back, with hopes that he would get some early down work.
The opposite happened, and most of the passing work went to J.D. McKissic, while Gibson took a lot of the early down work. Despite only playing on 37% of Washington’s snaps last season, Gibson still showed flashes of elite talent, ranking fifth in PFF’s rushing grade.
There’s no doubt that Gibson will get more touches this year. Washington’s defense remains elite, and their win total is set at 9, letting us know that it’s probable that they lean on the run game. More opportunities for Gibson in both the passing and run game unlocks his ceiling. We can also project higher efficiency as their upgrades to their offense opens up the field more and allows for more scores (additions of Ryan Fitzpatrick, Curtis Samuel, Dyami Brown).
The bear argument for Gibson: If he’s not heavily involved in the pass game, he will likely be that guy that busts in the second round (it is totally possible for him to finish as RB15 and still ‘bust’). This past week, Washington played their first preseason game. This should be taken with a grain of salt, since it is the preseason, but Gibson was in for 11 of 14 first team snaps, and played no third downs. He had 5 carries and 3 targets. He played no third downs, which is the usage we were hoping to see.
The bottom line is this: Picking Antonio Gibson comes down to your risk tolerance. Are some of the running backs around him much safer? Absolutely. But Gibson has the ceiling of THE RB1 if McKissic is eventually removed from the rotation. High risk, high reward.