The final Gopher who may potentially be drafted is Mohamed Ibrahim, one of the best running backs in Gopher history.
Well, we are now profiling a true Gopher legend who surpassed Darrell Thompson to be the program’s all-time leading rusher and sits atop the leaderboard for touchdowns.
In the 2018 season both Shannon Brooks and Rodney Smith went down with injuries and Ibrahim ended up starting 9 games. He rushed for 1,160 yards in that freshman season with 9 touchdowns. During the elite 2019 season, Ibrahim took a backseat to Smith for most of the season, rushing for just 604 yards.
Then in the shortened 2020 season, Ibrahim dominated the Big Ten, leading the conference in rushing and touchdowns, while accumulating 153.7 yards per game and was named the Big Ten RB of the Year.
Then disaster struck in the 3rd quarter of game 1 of the 2021 season when Ibrahim ruptured his Achilles and was lost for the season. So 2022 was necessary to bounce back and Ibrahim demonstrated that he had fully recovered from the injury without any
40 yd dash: 4.52
Ibrahim has never blown anybody away with this elite speed or impressive power as a running back. But what he does have it fantastic decision making and decisiveness. He doesn’t end up making the wrong read and limiting his potential yardage. He always seems to make something out of nothing, not because he’s pushing through the pile with sheer strength, but he’s made the right decision and maximizing positive yardage.
Is he strong? Yes. Is he elusive? Yes. Is he fast? Yes. But none of those attributes jump off the page or separate him from other running backs. He’s just elite at knowing what to do on every play.
“Hard-hat running back who operated with toughness, vision and a feel for cut timing in the Minnesota inside/outside zone attack. Ibrahim’s decisiveness stands out, but he’s missing an elevated burst to clear second-level tacklers without taking bumps and bruises. He’s not going to run away from NFL defenders, so creativity will be important to keep runs alive. His injury history, paired with his combative running style, could be a concern for some teams, but his no-nonsense running approach and innate feel for the end zone will be easy for coaches to love.”
So how will he fit in the NFL? Well, I suspsect that Ibrahim will be drafted rather late with lower expectations coming into training camp. But the thing with Mo is that he will be one of those guys who will make the team because the staff knows he is reliable and trustworthy on the field. He’ll make the team as a 3rd running back who can do special teams, he will quickly be valuable in pass protection and when given the opportunity he will be productive on the field.
Will be a 6th or 7th round pick, maybe even not drafted at all and will get to pick his opportunity a little bit.