Playing time was hard to come by the past few years for Memphis running backs.
Darrell Henderson was a third-round pick by the Los Angeles Rams last year, while former Tigers teammate Tony Pollard was a fourth-round pick by Dallas.
And Pollard barely touched the ball compared to Henderson and Patrick Taylor, who finished second on the team in rushing yards in 2018 and entered this past season as RB1.
As for Antonio Gibson? He barely played at all in 2018 after transferring from East Central Community College, getting most of his reps at wide receiver, where he caught just six passes for 99 yards and two touchdowns.
But scouts and draft analysts alike are now well aware of the 6-foot-2, 220-pound senior. Gibson and Taylor recently received invitations to the upcoming Scouting Combine, held Feb. 23-March 2 in Indianapolis.
Imma ball all season for last season, back when I was on the bleachers they left me needing 🙏🏾💙🐅 pic.twitter.com/gePlMJt7Xq
— Antonio Gibson 👑💯 (@AntonioGibson14) December 21, 2019
Gibson didn’t put up gaudy rushing or receiving totals, finishing with 369 yards and 4 touchdowns rushing and 735 yards and eight TDs receiving. It’s that he put up those numbers on very limited attempts. Gibson carried the ball just 33 times and caught 38 passes, giving him averages of 11.2 yards per carry and 19.8 yards per reception. He also added 23 kick returns for 645 yards and another TD.
Now, scouts are waiting to see how he tests at the Combine.
“The stage is set for Gibson, a supremely explosive athlete who is electric with the ball in his hands, to have a strong showing as a sleeper prospect at the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine,” writes Andrew DiCecco of Pro Football Network. DiCecco named Gibson as one of his 10 sleeper prospects who are primed to improve their draft stock at the Combine.
Gibson will likely be put through running back and wide receiver drills – he played as a RB at the Senior Bowl but is currently listed as a receiver in the official list of Combine prospects.
“If he tests well in Indianapolis, however, it’s feasible to think he can garner top-10 consideration at his position,” DiCecco said.
Gibson is the No. 138 prospect in the latest Fanspeak-Steve big board and is listed as a running back.