Redskins superlatives: Best new addition, most underrated player, more
Potential surprise: RB/WR/KR Antonio Gibson
Is choosing a rookie as a “potential surprise” cheating a bit here? Kind of. But I think Gibson fits into this category better than any other player on the roster.
Sure, we could list another running back like Bryce Love here. Or one of the defensive backs being thrust into a new role. But the versatility of Gibson makes him the biggest potential surprise for one major reason.
We don’t know how the Redskins are going to use Gibson. Gibson mostly lined up as a receiver at Memphis and as a runner, he pretty exclusively ran the ball between the tackles from shotgun. The versatile weapon can play all over the field but he is ironically green at the position that he figures to make the biggest impact at: Running back.
Gibson had just 33 total carries during his two seasons at Memphis. But Washington drafted him to be a running back. It’s easy to see why given his strong 6-0, 228-pound frame and his elusiveness. But is he ready to shoulder a full workload at running back? That remains to be seen.
The big thing to watch with Gibson will be about how the Redskins scheme to get him touches. If they can get the ball into his hands often, he could make a big impact on offense in a Christian McCaffrey-type role (note, that’s a McCaffrey-type role; nobody’s expecting him to be McCaffrey as a rookie). But if Gibson has trouble adjusting to being a full-time back, he could only be used sparingly in that role and see more time on special teams as a returner.
Gibson isn’t expected to emerge in a crowded running back stable, so it may be a surprise to see him break out early in his career. But he has the talent needed to do it. He’s definitely a player to watch and truly is a boom-or-bust player in 2020.