Arizona's interest in DeMarco Murray and other running backs proves that Bruce Arians (and general manager Steve Keim) know full well that improving at this position is important. Gordon is the legitimate homerun threat at running back that the Cardinals' offense has been missing, and showed better hands than expected during his pro day workout.
San Diego has been doing its homework on several of the top running backs in this draft class, including Gordon. He might be the early favorite for offensive rookie of the year if he lands with the Chargers.
Consolation prize for the Cards after Gurley went earlier. They need a feature running back and Adrian Peterson isn't looking like an attainable option at this point in time.
STRENGTHS: Well-rounded skill set and is elite in two areas: balance and acceleration. Goes zero to 60 in a flash and bursts to top speed quickly with the vision and patience to follow blocks and find holes to daylight.
Has the natural balance to bounce off contact without losing momentum with a physical nature to break arm tackles. Lowers his pads and keeps his legs pumping to generate deceiving power. Hits top speed in a flash to quickly get to the second level and beyond.
WEAKNESSES: Good, but not elite overall athlete. Unproven as a pass-catcher. Only average power. His body type isn't ideal, with a high-cut frame and only average bulk throughout (similar skill-set as Jamaal Charles).
COMPARES TO: Reggie Bush, Lions. Bush?s sheer athleticism and speed allowed him to dominate college football much like Gordon did. While Bush is shiftier, Gordon is stronger, but both guys catch the ball extremely well and have similar body types. Neither had to do much work at the line of scrimmage in college in terms of identifying the hole and being patient. Much like this has hurt Bush in the NFL, it could hinder Gordon.
--Dane Brugler & Brandon Thorn
Wisconsin has had an excellent run on running backs over time, most recently Montee Ball and James White. But Gordon, one of three Heisman Trophy finalists last season, has the natural talent to be the best NFL running back the Badgers' program has ever produced.
Gordon was already thought of as a borderline first-round pick entering the 2014 season, and then steadily built on his resume as he finished second in FBS history with 427 rushing yards - 41 yards shy of Barry Sanders' record set in 1998. With Todd Gurley's knee injury, Gordon is the odds-on-favorite to be the first running back drafted in the 2015 class.
After redshirting in 2011, he saw limited playing time in 2012 behind Ball and White, but produced stats that would have led some other teams in rushing (621 rushing yards, 10.0 yards per carry). With Ball off to the NFL, Gordon and White shared the running back duties in 2013 with White leading the way with carries, but Gordon had a team-best 1,609 rushing yards, averaging 7.8 yards per rush and 123.8 yards per game.
He burst onto the national scene on Nov. 15, rushing for a single-game FBS record 408 yards against Nebraska (a record later broken by Oklahoma's Samaje Perine with 427 yards). Gordon broke the old mark of 406 rushing yards set by LaDainian Tomlinson in his TCU days and, amazingly enough, he broke the record on the final play of the third quarter.
02/17/2015 - 2015 DRAFT SCOUT PRE-COMBINE TOP 64 DRAFT PROSPECTS: 21/1. *Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin, 6-1, 207, 4.52, 1...After Montee Ball and James White, Gordon is Wisconsin's latest and greatest running back contribution to pro football. In 2014, he showed agility and acceleration reminiscent of former temporary Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush and a jump cut that would make LaDainian Tomlinson proud while bursting for 2,587 yards rushing, only 42 yards short of Barry Sanders' FBS record 2,628 yards (Oklahoma State, 1988). Scout sources say he ran 40 yards in the low 4.4-second range last spring. Gordon doesn't have the power to push many piles, is still refining the art of receiving and may need to readjust his compass to true north more quickly in the NFL, where dancing should be limited to the end zone. But his natural abilities still make him a home-run threat whenever he touches the ball, such as those 17 runs of more than 40 yards last year. Gordon is the odds-on favorite to renew faith, or at least interest, in the once-glamorous running back position. - Frank Cooney, The Sports Xchange