Football Team

Matthew Berry: Antonio Gibson takes ‘significant leap’ in 2021

Football Team

Expectations for Washington Football Team star running back Antonio Gibson are piling high heading into the 2021-22 NFL season. ESPN fantasy football analyst Matthew Berry is the latest to sing his praises for Gibson, who will be entering his second year this upcoming season.

“I was asked to pick a breakout player, somebody that’ll take a significant leap this year, and I went with Antonio Gibson of the Washington Football Team,” Berry said Tuesday on SportsCenter. “Remember, this is a kid who came into the pros having only had 33 carries in college ever. But he proved last year he could be a running back in the NFL.”

Gibson burst onto the scene his rookie year, accumulating 795 rush yards and 11 touchdowns after being drafted no. 66 overall by Washington in 2020. Gibson’s 11 TDs were the most of all rookie RBs last season, but don’t expect him to stop there: WFT running backs coach Randy Jordan spoke on Gibson’s progression this offseason as the 23-year-old looks poised to improve upon those numbers.

“Well, I’ll tell you this: it’s like night and day from the first time that he started to play the running back position full-time,” Jordan said last month. “He still has a lot of tools. He’s doing a really great job for us so far, and I’m just looking for him to continue to stack practices and continue to perfect his craft.”

 

Take Gibson’s sky-high ceiling and combine it with the seemingly tremendous improvements Washington made to its offense this offseason, and AG just might emerge as a top-five running back in the league. WFT added a solid veteran signal-caller in Ryan Fitzpatrick and gave him weapons to boot, namely Curtis Samuel and draftee out of North Carolina Dyami Brown, among others. Those components could open the field a bit more for the ever-improving Gibson, Berry says.

“In the seven games last year where he got 15 or more touches, he averaged 19.6 fantasy points per game,” Berry said. “I expect the Washington team offense to be a lot better under Fitzy, as well. They added Curtis Samuel, Dyami Brown, better offensive line. Really like [Gibson].”

NBC Sports Washington recently pegged Gibson as worthy of a second-round pick in fantasy drafts. Pro Football Focus listed Gibson as a sophomore NFL star ready for a breakout year earlier this month. Safe to say, Gibson will have the eyes of the league on him come Week 1.