The news in Wisconsin is that they are on the lookout for a new head coach to take over the reigns after Gary Andersen departed for Oregon State. However, the big news is that Melvin Gordon, one of the school’s most prolific running backs in school history, will declare for the 2015 NFL Draft.
The Junior out of Kenosha, Wisconsin was vital towards the Badgers’ success in 2014. Before I say more about Gordon’s special season, it should be said that the Badgers had a revolving door at the quarterback position. Wisconsin played with two below-average quarterbacks all season in Joel Stave and Tanner McEvoy. Because of that, Gordon needed to be better than special, and he was.
In 2014, Gordon ran the football 309 times for 2,336 rushing yards and 26 touchdowns. He also added 17 receptions for 151 receiving yards and three touchdowns. For years now, the Badgers have produced NFL-quality offensive linemen. Also in that group, the Badgers have produced quality running backs as well. In the past few years, Montee Ball and James White are just two NFL running backs who have made a name for themselves. Although Ball owns the collegiate record for most touchdowns in a season with 39, Gordon projects better as an NFL running back.
Gordon has been compared to Jamaal Charles of the Kansas City Chiefs and it’s not just because they wore the same number. Gordon is a playmaker. At 6-foot-1, 210 pounds, Gordon is a bigger back, but he runs low to the ground, which makes him even harder to bring down. The running back position is a dying breed in the NFL, but Gordon will likely get drafted in the first round of this year’s draft. His elusiveness and power is the best out of any back I’ve seen over the past few years. There isn’t any doubt in my mind that Gordon can be a 1,000-yard rusher in his first professional season. That’s just how good Gordon is. If he can stay healthy, Gordon will no doubt be a top-five running back at the professional level one day.
*Section Photo credit to Mike McGinnis, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to Jeff Hanisch, USA Today Sports.