Is Todd Gurley Still a First Round Pick?

After seeing Todd Gurley go down with an ACL injury on Saturday, the question everyone was asking on Sunday was, “Where will Todd Gurley get drafted?”

Gurley was seen as a top 10 prospect in the upcoming draft, but after tearing his ACL his stock took a major hit. Fading draft stock won’t be a strong enough deterrent for Gurley, who has an insurance policy that will pay out $2.5 million if he has a significant drop in the draft for injury reasons.

The best way to see where Gurley could be taken is to look at a similar situation; in this case Willis McGahee would be an example that we could compare. McGahee was seen as the top running back for most of the season the year he was drafted, and he suffered a knee injury that ended his season. McGahee was seen as a top five pick but the knee injury that tore his ACL, PCL and MCL caused him to fall to the late first round where he was taken 23rd by the Buffalo Bills in the 2003 NFL draft. This could be an ideal example to cite for Gurley except for the fact that in 2003 most teams in the NFL still had a run first offense, but today there is a dominant pass-first mentality, and a running back is not seen as worthy of a first round pick, let alone one who is coming off an ACL injury.

If Gurley is to be taken in the first round it would most likely be the later portion of the first round by a team who does not have an extraordinary need. The teams that come into mind that may have that interest would be the Seahawks, Broncos, or Cardinals. These three teams will most likely have a late first round pick. The best spot for Gurley could be Denver at this point since they would not need him until late into the 2015 season since Peyton Manning does not need a running game until the weather turns. This would allow Gurley to have almost a full year to rehab his knee and learn a new offense. If Gurley falls out of the first round look for every team to consider trading up for him as he would bring extraordinary value as a late round steal.

*Section Photo credit to Kevin C. Cox, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to Dale Zanine, USA Today Sports

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