2020 Raiders Draft Prospect
Name: Antonio Gibson
Weight: 220 pounds
If you look deeper than Gibson astounding YPC (11.7), there is a comfort in his running. With his lean, balance and leg drive, Gibson shakes tackles and bolts forward. Between the tackles, he will lower the shoulder, fighting for extra yards. Meanwhile, on the boundary, Gibson shows a slight wiggle to slip past the first tackler.
Due to the array of his roles, Gibson adjusts to the pass. Granted, on longer routes, he brings more of a catch radius and dexterity. Underneath, the quicker pass will bring the secure, stab, and quicker transition. On top of this, contact does not dissuade him from making the grab. In fact, he plays to contact.
As a wideout/returner, Gibson gets to burst in a hiccup. Despite a bigger frame, his wide stride and kick gobbles ground and allows him to pull away in the open. The presence of a third gear to shed coverage and ability to streak downfield should translate.
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The slant and post will find Gibson winning with pure athletic talent. In fact, his whole route tree will give him an advantage. The go looks like a potential money route. With his athleticism and some next level fine tuning, watch the harnessing of the skills.
Can you remember a time when the Raiders lacked receiver and return talent? As of this writing, punt returners averaged less that seven yards an attempt. In addition, kickoffs bring home a pedestrian 23.4 yards per. More importantly, the receiving, backs, tight ends, and wideouts tally a meager eleven yards a catch. That will never scare defenses and grab no one’s attention. The entire receiving corps, except for Hunter Renfrow, needs an overhaul.
The Raiders lack diverse offensive playmakers. That is to say, the roster lags behind other explosive AFC teams. New England uses James White as a de-facto wideout from the backfield. In Los Angeles, Austin Ekeler terrorizes defenses. Hardman and Hill will line up all over the field. Gibson, a Day Three possible selection ticks all the boxes that the Raiders need. For Jon Gruden’s offense to reach a new level, they need to scare teams and provide matchup nightmares.
Imagine a linebacker covering Gibson on the wheel route. Additionally, the Raiders would employ a special teams threat that would actually do more than return kicks. Dwayne Harris inhabited a roster spot based solely on his kick return abilities. Gibson could easily fill a return specialist role and provide the offense a new wrinkle. Gruden could slip Gibson into the Trevor Davis spot on sweeps and reverses, as well as regular handoffs from a traditional backfield. The NFL continues to evolve. Gruden and the Raiders need to follow suit.