Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin – 2015

Redshirt junior who has declared for the 2015 NFL draft.

Positives: Great height and adequate bulk for the position. A very creative back with excellent vision for cutback lanes and very small creases both behind the line and in the open field. The vision works well with his good lateral quickness and change-of-direction quickness, letting him slide around behind the line well to find open running lanes. He is also patient and waits for his blockers. Once he finds a crease – even a small one – he has excellent burst and ability to stop and restart his momentum to get up to speed immediately. He keeps his body squared while he is making moves, giving him more directions to choose from, and tends to gain yards while he is also making moves. He then has above-average speed to get downfield either through the line or around the corner. He also shows above-average power and good balance after contact, churning very well through arm tackles. He runs with good body lean and always seems to fall forward after contact. He’s also willing to finish his runs hard, lowering his shoulder into defensive backs down the sideline or stiff-arming his way into the end zone. Agile and can leapfrog defenders in the open field and spin away from tacklers at the line. As a receiver, he has above-average hands and can extend to snag fast passes. Above-average hand size.

Negatives: Though he has shown pretty good hands in limited use, he lacks experience as a receiver and will probably need to work on his routes in the pros. He has also had difficulty in pass protection over his career, though he improved in that in 2014.

Projection: Round 1. The only holes in his game seem pretty small compared to his strengths. Many people say he’s the top running back in the draft, and is consistently in analysts’ top-five rankings – if not the top back, then the second back behind Todd Gurley. To me, he’s still the second-best back in the draft, but behind TJ Yeldon. If he makes it to Round 2, that would be a huge letdown.

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