Jan 1, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; Wisconsin Badgers running back Melvin Gordon (25) runs the ball in the second half against the Auburn Tigers in the 2015 Outback Bowl at Raymond James Stadium. The Badgers defeated the Tigers 34-31 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports
The draft process for an NFL team is a long and tedious one. Scouts keep their eyes peeled on college players year round even though the actual hype begins shortly after the NFL’s regular season ends. We are headed into full blown draft season, an exciting time that reaches its peak when teams are officially on the clock beginning April 30th.
This year we are tracking every player that the Baltimore Ravens talk to or reportedly show interest in. Whether it be a workout, interview, team visit, or simply a rumored bit of interest, we are going to cover them all. We’ll take a look at each prospect and discuss whether or not that particular player might represent a good pick for the Ravens.
Aside from Georgia’s Todd Gurley, the consensus top rated running back in the 2015 draft class is Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon. Both are considered first round talents, though Gordon is not coming off a major injury like Gurley’s ACL tear. One of three Heisman finalists this past season, Gordon dominated at the college level with his elite athleticism.
Unlike Gurley, Gordon is unproven as a pass catcher and needs to work on his instincts in regards to inside running. In college he tended to bounce outside too much, and often got stuffed as a result. Gordon often used his speed instead of his strength to finish runs, and he fumbled six times over his final five college games. He also needs to work on his pass blocking, which may relegate him to two down work early in his NFL career.
For the team willing to work on his weaknesses, Melvin Gordon will reward with elite balance and acceleration along with the talent to become a top NFL running back. Gordon has impressive burst and can transition without losing speed. He averaged a gaudy 7.6 yards per carry the last two seasons and uses his bevy of moves in the open field to turn small gains into big ones.
Melvin Gordon’s college career reminds scouts of Reggie Bush, but Gordon is physically stronger and possesses a skill set more reminiscent of Jamal Charles. Finishing his career only 41 yards shy of Barry Sander’s record for most rushing yards in FBS history, Gordon absolutely dominated at the college level and seems primed to make an impact in the NFL as well – once he improves his pass blocking and catching.
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