Ranking 5 best draft picks of Ron Rivera’s tenure with Commanders

(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) Antonio Gibson
(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) Antonio Gibson /
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(Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports) Antonio Gibson /

Antonio Gibson – Commanders RB

  • Round No. 3 (Pick No. 66) | 2020 NFL Draft

Much has been made about running back value in the modern-day NFL. Teams are increasingly reluctant to pay players at the position given their short shelf-life, which is also transitioning to the draft with very few ending up being high-end first-round selections in recent years.

There are always rough diamonds at the college level that come from nowhere to become productive NFL players immediately. While Antonio Gibson had a superb career with Memphis before coming to the next level, some analysts weren’t convinced he could become a force during his pre-draft evaluation process.

This was not an opinion shared by the Washington Commanders. Gibson was taken No. 66 overall in 2020, immediately earning prominent involvement in the run game and also as a pass-catcher out of the backfield.

Gibson earned his first 1,000-yard rushing season as a sophomore, which was another positive step en route to proving his doubters wrong. However, the introduction of Brian Robinson Jr. forced him into a rotational role in 2022, which he adjusted to well all things considered.

If there was one knock on Gibson, it’s from a yards-per-carry standpoint. But considering where the Commanders picked him up and the promise of more to come under Eric Bieniemy, he deserves a spot on this list.