Gibson's outlook in 2021 isn't a secret. He was great as a rookie.
170-795-4.7-11 || 44-36-247
Over 1000 yfs and 11 touchdowns.
The problem, of course, was J.D. McKissic.
- McKissic saw 110 targets last year. That led all NFL running backs.
- Last year, JD McKissic out-snapped Gibson on third downs by a massive 197 to 22 margin. (Per Graham Barfield) - That's the clinical definition of insanity.
- Though, McKissic is clearly a great pass-catching running back. People act like he's Theo Riddick and there's no reason he should be on the field. Catches and falls. Not who McKissic is
- Alex Smith looked at McKissic like Trae Young looks at his sink when it doesn't have hair fallicles in it.
- Smith is gone, and Fitzpatrick is not a big dump-off guy. So, while McKissic's targets are going to drop tremendously in 2021 relative to last year, the question becomes, does his play time? We need Gibson in on 3rd downs if he's going to hit his ceiling people are drafting him at.
- We know both guys can catch, but it seemed like they trusted McKissic to block more, which isn't shocking given Gibson's lack of experience at the position.
- Looking at PFF numbers, McKissic was asked to block on 21% of his snaps - his pass-blocking grade ranked top-15 at the position.
- Gibson ranked 67th out of 69 qualified backs (on limited snaps). Obviously a much smaller sample and things can change quickly, Gibson has the frame to do it, maybe the de-prioritize pass-blocking from RBs with a more mobile Fitz under center, but its something worth noting - the 3rd down split might be more annoying than we're preparing for.
- The FT added Curtis Samuel and Dyami Brown this offseason too, obviously.
We know Gibson will eat on the ground. There's no one to take carries from him. He should see 80%+ of their GL carries.
He should have no problem seeing 240+ carries and going over 1000 rushing yards in 2021. That's probably closer to his floor...
That is.. that is if...
With all that being said, the thing i'm easily most nervous about. It's not this offensive line, it's not the offense in general, it's not JD McKissic, it's................. his toe.
It's far away from the season right now, but as you can see from their tweets, a Grade 2 turf toe can take a long time to heal. And if it's not healed from the end of the season, it could be something more going on. He becomes an unbelievably risky pick for an early 2nd rounder. He's already dropping in ADP. Down to RB14.
Tee Higgins - Cincinnati Bengals
Current ADP: WR26 | 59
A tremendous rookie season.
Target share over 20% as a rookie, despite not playing much during the first month of the season.
Just the 23rd rookie since the year 2000 to top 900 yards in the rookie season. Just the 8th to do it as a 21 year old rookie:
- Justin Jefferson
- Amari Cooper
- Keenan Allen
- Mike Evans
- Sammy Watkins
- CeeDee Lamb
Burrow will (hopefully) be back for the start of the season, Higgins was unsurprisingly better with Burrow under center
The obvious concerns
- Adding Ja'Marr Chase
- You draft him #5 to be your alpha. The last time they drafted a guy this high, was AJ Green. Alpha.
- And you can say well he's just a rookie, will take him time, no it really shouldn't. He's already played with Burrow obviously.
- True alpha ceiling? More of a flanker/possession guy
At the end of the day, Higgins is a high-floor player, who could have a ceiling if TD luck falls his way. I'd imagine a slight improvement, statistically on last year - 75-ish catches, over 1000 yards and 7-8 touchdowns. That's a nice little projection.
I'm happy taking him at the WR26 for sure. I think with Higgins you're getting exactly what you're paying for. A solid low-end WR2 without a huge range of outcomes.
Jamarr Chase is now a full round ahead of Higgins which I think is silly. The guys around Higgins at WR26 - Diontae at WR24 - riskier than Higgins, but more upside. WR25 Kenny G - similar to Higgins. WR27 Aiyuk. WR28 Odell definitely riskier.