Stop me if you've heard this before: "Melvin Gordon could be an elite running back in the NFL." After the NFL scouting combine, general managers and scouts alike are once again enticed by the potential of the former Wisconsin back. In an article on Wednesday, Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report compared Gordon to Marshawn Lynch not necessarily because of their styles of play, but because of their impacts to a team.
Comparisons like these are always dangerous. Someone is always the next someone, and most of the time that someone is really the next someone else. Lynch is special, and that means he is, well, special. There are not many like him.
This is definitely a valid point. I'm as much of a fan as Gordon as anyone, but realistically speaking, quite frequently highly touted players turn into busts. However, what impresses me about Gordon is two things. One, the sheer amount of production at the college level. The man was 41 yards short of Barry Sanders' single-season rushing record and in this day in age, defenders are bigger, faster and stronger.
Second, Gordon's ability to produce the season he did while going into it with a lot of hype shows that he already has been put under pressure and hasn't crumbled. It's reassuring to know that Gordon was able to be a superstar when people expected him to be just that.
This is not to say that Gordon will have a Lynch running style. Few people do. I'm saying teams view Gordon as a guy who can give depth to an offense like Lynch. Or Murray. Or Justin Forsett.
I view Gordon as a perfect running back for a team with a young quarterback that could use a stud of a running back to take some pressure off the QB. Take a team like the Minnesota Vikings, for example. It seems less likely that Adrian Peterson will rejoin the team, and it became very apparent after last season that Matt Asiata and Jerick McKinnon just won't cut it. Perhaps with Gordon, the Vikings won't have to look to Teddy Bridgewater as the sole producer of offense and instead could turn to Gordon on critical third-and-shorts that maybe Asiata or McKinnon would've been less reliable on.
Regardless of which team Gordon lands with, combine week reminded scouts of the type of player Gordon is. It seems more likely he will be taken in the first round and I doubt that that decision ends up backfiring.
1. Wisconsin has Interest in CB Jones | badgerblitz.com ($)
2. Ben Skowronek Ready to Visit | badgerblitz.com ($)
3. #19 on Wisconsin's 2016 Class | badgerblitz.com
4. Wisconsin Offers Hansford on his Birthday | badgernation.com
5. Badgers offer Miami-Commit Rasul | badger247.com
1. Spring QB Preview | badger247.com
2. Gordon Going Through Draft Process With Former Teammate | jsonline.com
Wisconsin Heads to Ohio for B1G Championships | Madison.com