Jahmyr Gibbs: Should the Dolphins draft a running back with their first pick?

Alabama running back Jahmyr Gibbs (1) looks for yards during a game between Tennessee and Alabama in Neyland Stadium, on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022.Tennesseevsalabama1015 2519
Alabama running back Jahmyr Gibbs (1) looks for yards during a game between Tennessee and Alabama in Neyland Stadium, on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022.Tennesseevsalabama1015 2519 /

The Dolphins have not had a 1,000-yard rusher since 2016. With the NFL Draft coming in April, should the Dolphins draft Jahmyr Gibbs in round 2?

The Dolphins have had a busy week as free agency has started to ramp up. Miami has signed many new faces but has re-signed many of their own free agents. A couple of those re-signed players include running backs Raheem Mostert and Myles Gaskin.

While bringing back some running backs may indicate the Dolphins are satisfied with how they performed in 2022, there may still be a need for a lead back to carry the load in 2023.

If the Dolphins did indeed want to add a young feature back, they should look no further than the NFL Draft in April. More specifically, one back stands out to me and goes by the name Jahmyr Gibbs from the University of Alabama.

Gibbs, a junior for the Crimson Tide, was a standout running back in 2022 after transferring to Alabama from Georgia Tech last season. Gibbs started 11 games and rushed for 926 yards on only 151 carries, good for 6.1 yards per rush. The 5’11 back found the endzone 7 times on the ground.

As a runner, Gibbs has electric speed and sudden acceleration. At the combine, Gibbs clocked in a 4.36 40-yard dash, the second-best time out of all the running backs. On top of his breakaway speed, Gibbs possesses the certain lateral quickness a running back needs to make quick cuts and wiggle through open-field tacklers. But he’s not too quick — he is patient in the backfield and waits for his blocks to develop. Once he sees a crease, that’s when the acceleration burst comes into play and he’s off to the races.

However, rushing is only half of what makes Jahmyr Gibbs so special. Last year, Gibbs caught 44 passes out of the backfield for 444 yards — an easy 11 yards per reception — and scored 3 more touchdowns via reception. In his two seasons at Georgia Tech in 2020 and 2021, Gibbs caught 60 passes out of the backfield for 773 yards and 5 touchdowns.

Gibbs, as a monster producer both on the ground and as a pass-catcher, is drawing comparisons to New Orleans Saints’ back Alvin Kamara. It would be extremely difficult for the Dolphins to pass up on adding an Alvin Kamara-esque playmaker in the Miami backfield to go along with Tua and the lethal weapons he has in his arsenal.

However, it’s difficult to tell where Gibbs will go in the draft. Some mock drafts have him going as high as the later first round, while others have Gibbs falling to the end of the second round. It does seem clear that Gibbs is the consensus number two running back in the draft class, behind Bijan Robinson. With pick 52, the Dolphins do land in that middle area where Gibbs may still be on the board.

The Miami Dolphins have not had an elite-tier running back in quite some time. The last 1,000 yard rusher for the franchise was Jay Ajayi, back in 2016. Drafting Jahmyr Gibbs would give the Dolphins their most talented running back since Lamar Miller, or even Ronnie Brown. If given the opportunity, Gibbs could add an element of spacing the defense the Dolphins haven’t seen in quite some time.

Although, it is well-noted that running back is a disposable position in this league and many backs can interchange without interrupting what an offense wants to do. The Dolphins do seem like they will be running by committee for the foreseeable future and they do have some talent in the running back room. But if the Dolphins want to take their offense to the next level and bring in a game-changing playmaker in the backfield, Jahmyr Gibbs would be a tempting choice.