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Preseason Top 10 Draft Prospects: Big Ten

By David Seigerman




Melvin Gordon rushed for 1,609 yards and 12 touchdowns as part of Wisconsin's running back rotation last season. Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images.
Melvin Gordon rushed for 1,609 yards and 12 touchdowns as part of Wisconsin's running back rotation last season. Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images.


Let's start with the lone negative in Gordon's game: he's an incomplete back.

You may not have to be part of the passing game at Wisconsin, but if you plan to stay on the field in the NFL, you have to have that club in your bag. That doesn't mean Gordon needs to become James White II; but he does need to have a role in the passing game. If not, he's either giving the defense an automatic run key when he's in the game or he's on the bench in potential passing situations -- which, in today's NFL, is every single down.

Gordon's lack of experience as a receiver and in pass protection could be the only things keeping him out of the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft. Because as a running back, he's dynamite.

What's so striking about Gordon is that he seems to be in full stride by the time he crosses the line of scrimmage. He moves laterally as smoothly -- and as fast -- as he does vertically. And when he makes adjustments or stops and cuts back against traffic, he's back to full speed instantly. 

Gordon can find holes to explode through between the tackles, and he's even better off the edge. He has excellent field vision, always surveying the defense as he turns the corner. He'll gain extra yards downfield by breaking tackles, but more often it's finding his way to open space that creates big plays.

He's behind Todd Gurley on my Way Too Early Big Board, and may be behind T.J. Yeldon at the moment -- if only because of his inability to contribute in the passing game. Once he shows he can check that box, too, Gordon could challenge to become the first back off the board in 2015.