How Did Social Media React to Detroit Lions’ First-Round Draft Picks?

How Did Social Media React to Detroit Lions’ First-Round Draft Picks?

The Detroit Lions surprised many observers – and perhaps some of their Michigan sports betting backers – with their first-round selections as the NFL Draft began on Thursday in Kansas City, Mo.

Detroit chose running back Jahmyr Gibbs out of Alabama with the No. 12 overall selection. Then with their second pick of the first round, the Lions took Iowa linebacker Jack Campbell 18th overall.

But it seems that the needle did not move all that much for the two new Lions players, at least in terms of popularity on social media.

The Lions are the preseason favorites to win the NFC North, with +155 odds at Caesars Sportsbook Michigan.

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Social Media Numbers For New Lions

BetMichigan monitored the Instagram accounts of each player selected in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft to see the growth from April 26 to the morning of April 28 to see how being drafted changed these prospects' social presence.

Gibbs was No. 22 out of 31 NFL first-round picks in Instagram followers added. He added 7,100 followers (from 81,300 to 88,400). He also finished 28th in percentage growth. Gibbs had the fewest added followers among all offensive skill position players (QB, RB, WR, TE).

Campbell was No. 29 of 31 for Instagram followers added among first-round selections on Thursday. He added only 2,800 followers (from 7,600 to 10,400). However, he was 16th in percentage growth because he had low followership prior to draft day. Of all defensive players selected, Campbell added the fewest followers.

Lions coach Dan Campbell (no relation to his team’s new linebacker) is the favorite to be named NFL Coach of the Year, with +800 odds at BetMGM Sportsbook Michigan.

More About New Detroit Lions

Gibbs, at 5 feet 9, 200 pounds, rushed for 926 yards and seven touchdowns in 2022 at Alabama after transferring from Georgia Tech, where he played from 2020-21. He also caught 44 passes for 444 yards and three TDs last season for the Crimson Tide, so the Lions will probably look for him to be a passing target out of the backfield. That could be something worth monitoring for customers at Michigan sportsbook apps next season.

The pick was considered a surprise because conventional wisdom nowadays warns against using high draft picks on running backs. And Gibbs was the second running back taken, after Bijan Robinson of Texas was selected eighth overall by the Atlanta Falcons.

Even Gibbs expressed surprise about where he was selected.

"I feel great," Gibbs told ESPN. "I didn't know I would get picked as high as I did because running backs don't get picked as high in this new age and new era of the NFL draft, but it was pretty shocking to me.

"But I'm grateful for the city of Detroit."

In the 2022 draft, Breece Hall was the first running back off the board, at No. 36 overall to the New York Jets. The last time two RBs went in the top 12 overall was in 2017, when Leonard Fournette and Christian McCaffrey both were selected in the top eight.

Gibbs has +1600 odds at FanDuel Michigan to be the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. 

Jack Campbell had 265 tackles and four interceptions over the past two seasons combined with the Hawkeyes.

As a senior he won the Butkus Award as the nation's top linebacker and was also named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year.

Lions Very Active in Trades

Lions backers can use the DraftKings Michigan promo code to get +2500 odds on the team to win the Super Bowl for the first time.

The Lions were originally slated to pick sixth in the first round. But the Arizona Cardinals traded up from the No. 12 spot, swapping places with the Lions. In exchange for the No. 6 overall pick and a third-rounder (No. 81 overall), Detroit received the No. 12 pick, a second-round pick (No. 34 overall) and a fifth-round selection (No. 168 overall).

As of early Friday afternoon, the Lions have three second-round picks coming tonight, then on Saturday’s final day Detroit has three fifth-round picks and two sixth-rounders. But don’t be surprised if the team bounces up and down the board again like it did on Thursday.

Check out the top Michigan sportsbook promos at BetMichigan, then shop around for all kinds of Lions future bets.

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Jim Tomlin writes and edits for In 30 years as a journalist he has worked for publications such as the Tampa Bay Times, Saturday Tradition, Saturday Down South and FanRag. He now lends his sports and gambling expertise to BetMichigan among other websites.

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