Melvin Gordon   RB   Wisconsin

TALENT BOARD ROUND 1

STRENGTHS
Melvin reminds me a lot of the Kansas City Chiefs RB, Jamaal Charles. He has the strength and lateral agility to set up blocks and the lower body bulk and leg strength to run through the tackles. He also has the speed to gain the edge on sweeps and off-tackle running plays. Melvin runs with excellent vision. He doesn’t take the big hit and his lateral agility leaves the LB’s grasping at air most of the time. He understands situational football as well as down and distance running. He is very smart and, at the college level, does a good job blocking for his quarterback and picking up blitzes. Melvin is the type of back you can build your running game around because he knows how to impact while playing with the nagging injuries most running backs feel are too much to play with.

CONCERNS
Fumbles, fumbles, fumbles! I don’t care how many yards you get in a college game. In the NFL, if you fumble, you won’t see the field – it’s that simple. Melvin reminds me of Jamaal Charles’ running style, but he doesn’t seem to have the consistent hands out of the back field to catch like Charles has, which could be a big problem for him at the next level. His size demands that Melvin be able to block for his QB and catch the ball consistently or he won’t get on the field enough to impact. He needs a little more bulk on his upper body to handle pass blocking. He also has to get more serious about learning better blocking techniques and reading defenses. Melvin is an impact player but right now he is not a “complete” impact player. It’s up to him to be serious about improving the little things that will make him a better and more valuable player.

BOTTOM LINE
Melvin has the potential to be a franchise and impact running back for the team that selects him, but must become more focused on learning all the little things a franchise running back needs to learn or he will become only a one or two year wonder. Attention to the details such as reading defenses and techniques for blocking blitzing linebackers will help to round out his skills at this position. If your running back doesn’t do these two things well, he becomes expendable in spite of his talent to impact when running the ball. Melvin has not improved at the college level in these two areas and that suggests to me that the priority to improve is lacking for some reason. In my opinion, this is a big question mark, but then again, what player coming out in the draft does not have some question marks? When a running back can adjust mentally to what is happening on the field as the play is called, he becomes as valuable to the offensive line and quarterback as the offensive line and quarterback are to him. Melvin has that type of talent which makes him a potential franchise running back and 1st round talent in my book.

Drew Boylhart
DEC/2014