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NFL draft 2015: Scouting report on Wisconsin RB Melvin Gordon

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In the minds of most draft experts, Melvin Gordon will be a first-round draft pick. Here's what you need to know about the Doak Walker Award winner and Heisman Trophy finalist.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

A long lineage of modern-era Wisconsin running backs have preceded running back Melvin Gordon -- from Brent Moss and Terrell Fletcher in the early-to-mid 1990s, up through Ron Dayne and Michael Bennett at the turn of the millennium, and recently with John Clay, Montee Ball and James White.

With all the success collegiately Badgers running backs, however, their results in the NFL have been mixed, and at times, underwhelming.

Enter Gordon -- who combined talent with work ethic to become the most dynamic running back in the history of Wisconsin Badgers football, and now is the best running back prospect from the program to go to the next level.

Gordon capped off his collegiate career with a historic 2014 season, rushing for 200-plus yards six times -- including breaking the FBS single-game record with 408 yards against Nebraska, and came within 42 yards short of Barry Sanders' FBS single-season record for rushing yards in a season.

Now, he's projected to be a first-round draft pick and make an impact for whoever makes the call to the Kenosha, Wis. native.

Tale of the tape

Stat Measurements (from NFL.com)
Ht. 6'1
Wt. 215 lbs
Arms 32 3/8
Hands 9 3/4"

Career stats

(Rushing stats from UWBadgers.com; receiving stats from ESPN.com)

Carries Yards Yards Per Carry TDs Receptions Yards Yards per Catch TDs
2011 20 98 4.9 1 0 0 0 0
2012 62 621 10 3 2 65 32.5 1
2013 206 1609 7.8 12 1 10 10.0 0
2014 343 2587 7.5 29 19 153 8.1 3
Totals: 631 4915 7.8 45 22 228 10.0 4
  • Holds FBS record for career rushing average with 7.79 yards per carry
  • Ranks No. 3 all-time in Badgers history with 4,915 career rushing yards (No. 6 on Big Ten career list)
  • Gordon's 49 total touchdowns ranks No. 3 at Wisconsin and No. 9 all-time in Big Ten all-timewith 49 total
  • Holds Wisconsin rushing average records for the following -- career (7.79 yards per carry), season (7.81 in 2013) and game (19.5 vs. Bowling Green on September 20, 2014)
  • Rushed for 22 career 100-yard games. 19 of those were for 140-plus yards, 7 were for 200-plus yards
  • Awards

  • 2012: Academic All-Big Ten
  • 2013: Doak Walker Award semifinalist, Maxwell Award semifinalist, honorable mention All-America by Sports Illustrated, consensus second-team All-Big Ten, Academic All-Big Ten
  • 2014: Doak Walker Award winner, Heisman Trophy runner-up, Maxwell Award finalist, Walter Camp Player of the Year finalist, unanimous consensus first-team All-American, consensus first-team All-Big Ten, Grange-Griffin Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, Ameche-Dayne Big Ten Running Back of the Year
  • NFL combine results

    40-yard Dash Bench Press Vertical Jump Broad Jump 20-yard Shuttle 60-yard Shuttle 3-cone Drill
    4.52 sec 19 reps 35" 126" 4.07 sec 11.00 sec 7.04 sec

    *Gordon came in second in entire Combine participants in 60-yard shuttle, second for running backs in the 20-yard shuttle, third for running backs for broad jump and fifth for running backs in 40-yard dash

    Strengths

    From B5Q's scouting report of Gordon for a March 2015 Field Gulls article:

    Melvin Gordon possesses a potent combination of power, speed, vision and balance. Gordon can run between the tackles but break to the outside if needed. He showcased his lateral quickness and explosion in short areas with fantastic times in the 20- and 60-yard shuttle at the NFL Combine. He has the strength to break arm tackles, along with agility and balance to keep plays going down the field.

    If teams worry about him not running somewhere in the 4.4s, he led the FBS with 17 runs of 40-plus yards and 10 runs of 50-plus -- along with runs of 10-plus (60), 20-plus (35) and 30-plus (21) yards. All this while facing defenses that routinely stacked the box with eight to nine defenders.

    Weaknesses

    From B5Q's scouting report of Gordon for a March 2015 Field Gulls article:

    He fumbled more in 2014, which is a concern. NFL.com stated he was "stuffed" (runs resulting in zero or negative yards) on 19.2 percent of his carries, but when facing defenses stacking the box to contain a one-dimensional offense that lacked a passing game (116th in FBS), this is a skewed stat.

    Many still question his pass protection and receiving skills. He improved greatly in both from 2014 than 2013 (one of the reasons why he came back for his junior year) though could still add some seasoning due to less experience. He caught 19 receptions and three touchdowns in 2014, the latter which made up 20 percent of the Badgers' passing total.

    Highlights