We're passionate about the NFL Draft
By Dwayne Wilton
A running back has not been selected in the first round since the 2012 draft. That could easily change this year. There is a very good possibility that not just one, but maybe even two running backs could go on day one. One of the likely candidates for being drafted on day one is former Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon.
Gordon led the country with 2,587 rushing yards and even though he carried the ball 343 times, he still averaged an amazing 7.54 per carry and had 40 runs of more than 15 yards. At the NFL Combine, he ran a 4.52 40 which surprised me. He plays much faster than that. The NFL Network did a comparison between Gordon and Jamal Charles and it was difficult to tell them apart. The two have very similar styles.
Gordon is taller than most NFL backs (6’1”) and has long legs and takes long strides. He has very quick burst and an attacking running style. His long strides chew up yards very quickly. He can start a play between the tackles and very quickly bounce it to the outside for chunk yardage. Gordon keeps his feet moving constantly and he has good vision to find daylight, even when it looks like the defense has him in their sights. He has a unique ability to turn a small gain into a big play. Not many running backs are equally good between the tackles and getting to the outside, but Gordon can really do both with ease. His style may not be a great fit for zone teams since he likes to freelance at times. I would say the one thing he needs some work on is as a one cut back, trusting his blocks to be there. He also needs some work catching the ball, but that can be developed.
It’s hard to tell who will be the first running back taken. Todd Gurley is also an extremely talented runner with better size than Gordon. However, Gurley is coming off a knee injury. So far he has not been able to perform at the Combine or in front of NFL teams. To me, Gordon is a safer pick that should be able to help a team in week one. His ability to be a home run threat should make him desirable to many NFL teams. In my mock draft I had him going to Detroit. That’s a scary thought adding a break away back to their passing game. Whoever ends up with Gordon will be getting a really good runner that has the ability to take it to the house on any play.