There were not many who thought that two riders would break into the top 12 of the NFL draft Thursday.
The Atlanta Falcons made a surprise pick at No. 8, drafting running back Bijan Robinson coming from Texas to become the first team to select a top-20 running back since the New York Giants drafted Saquon Barkley in 2018.
And then the Detroit Lions selected Jahmyr Gibbs at No. 12 Alabama, surprising even Gibbs with the pick.
NFL DRAFT ANALYST FACES SPIRIOUS RESPONSE OVER SO-CALLED ‘INSENSITIVE PROVERB’
«I feel great,» Gibbs said, according to ESPN. «I didn’t know I would be drafted as high as I did because running backs don’t get drafted as high in this new era and new era of the NFL draft. But it was pretty shocking to me.
«But I’m thankful for the city of Detroit.»
CLICK HERE FOR MORE SPORTS COVERAGE ON FOXNEWS.COM
Gibbs’ selection at No. 12 makes him the Lions’ highest-drafted running back since Barry Sanders in 1989, and is the second consecutive Alabama player selected by Detroit with the 12th pick in the draft.
«I didn’t really put the two 12s together, but obviously that’s one of the most respected programs in college football.» lions general manager Brad Holmes said. «I have a lot of respect for the coach [Nick] They knew and what he does there, and you know what kind of product and what kind of football player he’s putting out. So it turned out that [Gibbs] He was one of our best players that we really liked a lot and we’re glad we were in a position to get him.»
In the previous four drafts, four running backs were selected in the first round, but all were outside the top 20.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
«Yeah, I thought about the 1920s because that’s where the running backs tend to be,» Gibbs said.
In his three college seasons, two in georgia tech and one at Alabama: Gibbs rushed for 2,132 yards and 15 touchdowns.
In his senior year with the Crimson Tide, Gibbs rushed for 926 yards and seven touchdowns, adding 444 passing yards and three passing touchdowns.