NFL teams are reluctant to spend high draft picks on running backs these days. After all, recent Super Bowl winners have invested minimal draft capital at the position; the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs used a 7th round pick in Isiah Pacheco as their top back down the stretch. But, the Detroit Lions eschewed that trend by taking Alabama stud running back Jhamyr Gibbs with the 12th overall pick, leaving current star running back D’Andre Swift in limbo.
As for Jahyr Gibbs, the Lions are getting an outstanding player who can hurt teams in a variety of ways in the mold of Marshall Faulk. After spending his first two seasons with Georgia Tech, Gibbs was one of the most sought-after transfers in the country prior to the 2022 season. He went to Alabama, and he excelled there. Gibbs had 926 yards on the ground and 444 receiving to go along with ten touchdowns.
Gibbs is a menace.
ROLL LIONS ROLL 🔥
The @Lions select @AlabamaFTBL RB Jahmyr Gibbs with the No. 12 pick! pic.twitter.com/EQw8c437p0
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) April 28, 2023
But, the Detroit Lions now have a logjam at running back, as the team already had D’Andre Swift and acquired David Montgomery this offseason. D’Andre Swift was an emerging star for the Lions, as the Georgia product has shown flashes of brilliance early in his career. Swift has nearly 3,000 yards from scrimmage his first three seasons and is a very good receiving back alongside being a tough runner. But, injuries have kept him from realizing his true talent.
The Gibbs pick sends a pretty clear message that D’Andre Swift is now superfluous, And, Pro Football Talk has more about his situation.
Lions General Manager Brad Holmes sounded on Thursday night like he’d be open to trading Swift.
“He’s still on our roster,” Holmes said of Swift. “He’s still part of our team. He’s still under contract with us. He’s a dynamic football player. It hasn’t really changed the math there yet, but it’s early.”
If there’s a team out there that wants Swift, who’s heading into the final year of his rookie contract and due a $1.77 million base salary this season, that team probably won’t have to give up much to trade for him. The Lions appear ready to move on.
A team like the Buffalo Bills could be very interested in a player like D’Andre Swift, as they need a playmaker at running back in the worst way. Surely, he won’t be playing for the Lions next season.