Ohio State Junior
PROS: Has a quick first step with potential as an edge rusher. More effective rushing the quarterback with his hand off the ground than on it. Has good speed and closing burst to make stop on the backside pursuit. Wraps up and shows ability to make tackle at the point of attack. Is athletic, moves well in space, and shows some potential to work in coverage. Has a good frame and long arms.
CONS: Overly relies on his edge speed and lacks an ideal counter move. Lacks technique that if he doesn't beat blocker with his first step, he's not a factor as a pass rusher. Has trouble shedding blocks and a tendency to try and run around them. Needs to improve his recognition and tends to rely on his superior speed and athleticism to make up for his mistakes. Has limited experience working in coverage and needs to show better awareness in space and get better depth on his zone drops.
OVERVIEW: Gibson is a good pass rusher that plays a hybrid end-linebacker role for the Buckeyes. He reminds a lot of Vernon Gholston, who he replaced, although he's not quite the physical specimen nor does he have the collegiate production. But like Gholston, he's raw, but has potential to be a very good rush linebacker at the next level. Combined for 22 tackles for loss and 9 sacks the past two years as a starter.
NFL FORECAST: Gibson needs polish, but you like his potential with his physical tools, athleticism, and speed. I'm not sure he's ever going to be a top pass rusher, but can be a guy that can give you 5-8 sacks as a 3-4 rush linebacker. He might need a few years to develop on the bench and there is some boom/bust potential with him. I don't think he'll be a complete bust, but it wouldn't surprise me if he never develops the natural feel for playing linebacker and fail to live up to his potential as a pass rusher. But I like his chances if he plays in a 3-4 scheme that will use him like a DeMarcus Ware (i.e. primarily as a pass rusher) and give him at least year if not two to develop. If he isn't impacting and starting by his third season, then he probably never will.
ATL FORECAST: Don't see him succeeding in the same role in Atlanta as he had at Ohio State, which is a hybrid end-linebacker. While he can do it, his length to impact is probably too long to realistically expect the Falcons to develop him. He's athletically gifted, but isn't quite as consistent as I'd want in a starter that replaces Nicholas. He could be an upgrade over Nicholas don't get me wrong, but I think it would take him the better part of two or three seasons before the coaching staff trusts him enough to hand him the starting job. By then, it's probably too late.
VALUE: For a 3-4 team looking for developmental pass rusher, I would take him in the late second or early third.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
POINT OF ATTACK: 2.5
PASS RUSH: 3.5
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.