2. Antonio Gibson
No, Gibson isn’t in danger of losing his job in Week 1. But any unbiased Commanders fan can admit the addition of Brian Robinson Jr. in the third round puts a ton of pressure on Gibson to be more consistent and take care of the football.
By all accounts, 2021 was a success for Gibson. While he led all running backs with six fumbles and only averaged 4.0 yards per carry, he was an absolute workhorse and warrior. The second-year pro played through a stress fracture in his shin and still finished fourth in the NFL in carries and sixth in rushing yards.
Gibson was also a big presence as a receiver out of the backfield, notching 42 receptions for 294 yards and three touchdowns, giving him 10 for the year as well as over 1,300 scrimmage yards, so the arrow is pointing up for AG.
With that said, Rivera didn’t hesitate benching him whenever he committed a costly fumble. Should that happen again, Washington will have a legitimate between-the-tackles runner in Robinson to take over the lead role. That couldn’t be said last year with Jaret Patterson and JD McKissic as the backups.
We like to think this is Gibson’s backfield, but the Memphis product could lose his stranglehold on the job if his fumbling issues return and Robinson, who made a habit out of bulldozing SEC defenders at Alabama, makes the most of his preseason, training camp and regular season reps.