WR Antonio Gibson, Memphis

6’0” – 228 lbs. – 4.39

Played his first two seasons at East Central Community College, predominantly as a wide receiver but also rushing the ball and returning kicks. Transferred to Memphis and caught six passes in his first season, then took on a major role last year and caught 38-735-8 (19.3), rushing 33-369-4 (11.2), and returned kicks, including one for a touchdown. Was listed at 6’2” on the team’s website but measured in two inches shorter at the Combine; still, has very solid size for either a running back or wide receiver at the pro level.

Tended to take most of his snaps out of the slot during the games reviewed, but would also line up in the backfield and carry the ball out of shotgun formations much like a typical running back. As a receiver, usage consisted mainly of making himself available for screens on run/pass options, but did run some more traditional wide receiver routes. Not the most nuanced or technical receiver. Able to make some basic releases at the line of scrimmage and makes effort to sink his hips into the route stem, but doesn’t look particularly explosive outside of his breaks, preventing him from gaining too much separation versus man coverage. Tends to settle into coverage rather than improvising to create lanes.

At his best with the ball in his hands, which is why many are projecting him to more of a running back and return specialist role at the next level. Has the raw speed to win the edge on sweeps out of the backfield, as well as to hit home-runs once he’s in the open field. Makes big cuts in the open field to shake defenders one-on-one. Does run a little bit high, but still shows some violence and natural power to lower his shoulder, drive his legs, and pick up additional yardage after initial contact. However, would really need to improve his blocking if asked to convert to running back, as the same aggression and physicality doesn’t really carry over into that aspect of his game.

Touched the ball only 101 times over two years with the Tigers, but looks like explosive enough, powerful enough, and elusive enough on his touches that it would be a surprise if some team didn’t take a chance on him, potentially as early as the mid-rounds. Offers immediate value as a kick returner, and there’s a pretty good chance he’ll be able to contribute offensively for a creative coordinator as well. Somewhat reminiscent of Cordarrelle Patterson.

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