Games Evaluated: 2019 Vs: Navy, Cincinnati, SMU, Penn State
Report By: Cody Manning
Versatile athlete, played in the slot, in the backfield, and as a returner. Great vision, elusive in the open field, and can see a hole to explode through. Outstanding contact balance, can take a hit and keep his feet churning. Attacks the ball when he is working as a receiver, he will go up and get the ball with his hands, then showed the ability to turn to run once he established the catch. Solid when working against zone coverage, can find the soft spot to settle in for his quarterback to find him. Very good cutting ability, can one cut and go, very explosive when he does, and has the ability to take it to the house. He has home-run ability, he can return a kick for a TD, take a handoff to the house, or take the top off a secondary as a receiver. Ability to take over games (vs SMU 386 all-purpose yards, 3 50+ TDs as a returner, runner & receiver).
He does need some refinement as a running back and receiver. He tends to hold the ball only on his right side, this could be something that defensive players could look to take advantage of at the next level. Does run with a high pad level, this leads to him getting easily tackled if he doesn't initiate contact first. Not an efficient route runner, good slot corners will be able to lock in on him if he doesn't win with his speed. He can be tight in his hips when he gets to the top of routes and can drift way when he is on cross routes. Needs more experience as a player, only one season of production, 33 rushing attempts, and 38 receptions. What is his role at the next level? Has the body to be a running back and the speed to be a receiver, should he be pigeon-holed to one position or used as an offensive weapon?
Gibson has the athletic profile to allow him to find a role at the next level. At worst, he can provide special teams value while being a rotational piece on an offensive unit that provides explosive play-making ability. It will be dependent on how NFL teams view him, some may see him as a running back, some could see him as a receiver, but he should be used as a weapon. He showed this past season that he can be unstoppable playing in a variety of roles on gameday. In Year 1, he can come in to start as a returner, be a rotating piece that an offensive coordinator can have certain plays and packages for on any given week. Under the right coaching, if he can work on the small things in his game, then he could be a star player for his team by Year 3. He offers such a high ceiling and because of the lack of experience, he has tons of potential to offer a team. He has the capabilities to be a Pro Bowler at the next level and if he reaches his ceiling, he can be an All-Pro player with the production he could put up.