Shelton Gibson was one of the first home run recruits for Dana Holgorsen at West Virginia.
Gibson’s speed and size made him an ideal fit for Holgorsen’s air raid offense when Gibson was recruited from 2011 to 2013. Coming out of high school in Cleveland, Gibson was one of the top-ranked recruits in the state of Ohio.
He arrived in Morgantown with a load of hype and it’s safe to say Gibson had delivered when he played for the blue and gold. Gibson chose to forego his senior year at West Virginia to enter the NFL Draft.
His arrival with the Philadelphia Eagles, who drafted him in the fifth round, was not as heralded as it was with the Mountaineers. Gibson did garner a lot of attention and even drew comparisons to a star-studded wideout in DeSean Jackson.
Gibson may not have the opportunity to make a name for himself, or follow in the footsteps of Jackson. It was reported that Gibson may be waived from the Eagles prior to the start of the 2017 season in a week.
Jeff McClain of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports Gibson will likely not make the team, but he could end up on the Eagles’ practice squad. That’s not to say Gibson won’t be able to prove himself at the NFL level at a later date. He will actually make a nice living for himself on a professional practice squad.
However, it seems like a waste of talent as Gibson should arguably be at the peak of his playing career right now. He is only 22, but Gibson is coming off a sparkling 2016 season with the Mountaineers.
Last year, Gibson had 43 catches for 951 yards and eight touchdowns. The year before was almost as productive as Gibson had 37 catches for 887 yards and nine touchdowns.
What made Gibson even more lethal was his yards after the catch. In 2015, Gibson had a long reception of 70 yards and last year he added a pass from 71 yards out.
That production would have increased for another year had Gibson stuck around to play for the Mountaineers as a senior. He would have easily been the WVU football team’s No. 1 receiver. With Will Grier in the mix, it would have been so nice to have such an established threat for the Florida transfer to throw to in his first game as a quarterback in more than two years.
Gibson didn’t have the best training camp for the Eagles. In fact, it may have been the worst training camp of any rookie drafted in 2017. He may have fit in perfectly with the speed of the NFL game, but it was the simple fundamentals that held him back.
Gibson just couldn’t catch the ball. He had too many drops in camp and in preseason games. He was a liability at receiver. It’s a shame because Gibson had such a great career at WVU, nobody could have foreseen these struggles.
Had Shelton Gibson decided he needed another year at West Virginia, which he obviously did, he would have had another opportunity to work with receivers coach Tyron Carrier and hone his skills to better prepare for a professional career.
One more year in college, a potentially record-breaking season, would have allowed him to move up the draft board, make more money, and maybe land on a better team who could have better suited his skills.