Melvin Gordon Scouting Report

Posted by Brad On January – 5 – 2015

"Melvin Gordon"

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Melvin Gordon – Wisconsin

Height: 6000      

Weight: 213

Age when drafted: 22

Hometown: Kenosha, WI

Position 1: RB

Position 2: N/A

Collegiate Number: 25

40: TBD

225: TBD



3-cone: TBD

Games Scouted: 2013 – Arizona St, Ohio St, Penn St 2014 – LSU, Nebraska, Ohio State, Auburn

Background: Melvin Gordon attended Bradford High School in Kenosha, Wisconsin. He earned the Wisconsin Gatorade Football Player of the Year after a senior season that saw him rush for over 2,000 yards. Gordon doubled as a track athlete with PR’s of 6.39 at 55 meters and 10.95 at 100 meters. In addition, Gordon excelled as a long jumper with a personal best of 23 ft 7 in. Gordon was regarded as a 4-star recruit and considered Iowa, Wisconsin, and Michigan. Originally he committed to Iowa but chose Wisconsin instead.

As a freshman, Gordon rushed for 98 yards before injuring his groin and receiving a medical redshirt. Stuck behind, Montee Ball and James White as a sophomore, Gordon flashed his gamebreaking ability in the Big Ten Championship Game when he went for 216 yards on just nine carries. 2013 would be Gordon’s coming out party as he rushed for 1,609 yards and 12 touchdowns. Gordon returned to Wisconsin for his junior season in 2014 and solidified himself as a top 3 back in the country. Gordon rushed for 2,336 yards (before Outback Bowl) and 26 TD’s on his way to a Heisman finalist campaign.

Size/Athleticism: Gordon has the speed to run past defenders but NFL defenders may prove to fast to just run by. Gordon’s best work came as a junior running between the tackles and running through would-be tacklers. Anything but compact, Gordon has a longer frame (think DeMarco Murray) than what teams will consider ideal. However, his powerful lower half make up for being a tad high cut. As an athlete, Gordon has some special qualities. He’ll run well in Indianapolis – could go mid-to-low 4.4’s. As fast as he is straight-line, it will be his explosion scores that will impress NFL teams. Ideally, Gordon would max out his frame at around 220 pounds before February’s Combine.

What he does well: Outside of his size and speed, Gordon exhibits almost everything you want from a runner at the next level. Gordon’s vision and patience have gotten increasingly better since stepping foot on campus. He has that special ability to wait, diagnose, and cruise to the second level. Once he’s there, it’s over for the defense as he has the strength to break tackles and the speed to hit a homerun on every touch. Prior to the 2014 season, most of Gordon’s big runs came on the jet sweeps and perimeter runs but that changed a bit this season. Gordon excelled this season running between the tackles. His instincts are off the charts, which could be the factor that pushes him over the edge for me at the next level.

What he needs to do better: Gordon was stifled against Ohio State this season, primarily because of Wisconsin’s inability to throw the ball. However, Gordon put the ball on the ground twice in that game. It’s tough to say he has a fumbling propensity but the ball is on the ground too often for a back that many are considering a first round talent. Gordon often fumbles trying to get the most out of a carry and will have to learn to know when to fold them at the next level. Also, Gordon hasn’t been asked to do much in the pass game at Wisconsin. I don’t think Gordon will make a living catching the ball out of the backfield in the NFL, but he’ll need to show teams he can catch with consistency.

Red Flags: None known

Overall: The question marks on Gordon will be how well he transitions as a 3-down back in the NFL. He hasn’t been asked to catch the ball much at Wisconsin. If Gordon can prove he can catch with consistency in the pre-draft process, I think teams can check that check box. The only other question I have on him is he’s been a bit turnover prone. That’s one that will stick with him until he proves he can hang onto the ball in the big leagues. The negatives aside, Gordon has all the other qualities of a solid back at the next level. With his combination of size, speed, and strength he’s sure to impress NFL talent evaluators. More impressive are his vision, patience, and burst. Teams that like DeMarco Murray will like Gordon. Outside of the physical comparatives, Gordon’s running style is reminiscent of Murray’s. Like Murray, Gordon has progressively become a more physical runner. If he can have a similar career to Murray he’ll be a steal late on day or early on day two.

Grade: I see Gordon as being worthy of a selection in the first round. However, the nature of the RB position may keep him in the early stages of day two.

  • Chip Russell

    put him behind AZ O line and Carson and Fitz and that D, with Andre Ellington as the lightning change of speed guy, the Cards would be reallllllly goood