When the 2015 NFL Draft took place is was very evident that the San Diego Chargers were in the need of a running back of the future. The Ryan Mathews era had come and gone and the team looked for a back who could be the face of the franchise for the next 5 years at least.
When the 15th pick came the team pulled the trigger on a trade to land Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon. There could not have been a better fit for the Chargers team than the speedy Gordon. Chargers fans were shocked to land him and the pick should prove to be a solid draft pick for years to come.
Melvin Gordon is a football player in every sense of the word. He has excelled in his time at Wisconsin and shows great work ethic. That type of behavior and no quit attitude will surely take this young man far in the game of football. The Chargers are banking on that too.
When scouts describe Gordon they first mention his unbelievable burst. Gordon has extreme speed and ran the top time at the NFL Draft combine. His time of 4.52 in the 40 yard dash speaks of his burst and speed. Gordon also had the top times in the 60 yard and 20 yard shuttle run. His breakaway speed will be amazing to see in a Chargers uniform.
When looking at Gordon you will notice the size of him. He has huge arms and combined with that speed should result in a deadly weapon for the Bolts. Gordon has the size to equate to a durable back in the league. His speed is outstanding but the fact he is a decent sized back should result in less wear and tear on his body.
Melvin Gordon briefly held the single game record once held by former Chargers great LaDainian Tomlinson. Gordon’s 408 yards last season in three quarters against the Nebraska Cornhuskers was a record for all of one week. Oklahoma Sooner running back Samaje Perine broke the record the next week when he scampered for 427 yards against the Kansas Jayhawks. The fact Gordon broke that record in three quarters is extremely impressive.
Gordon finished his year last year rushing for 251 yards in the 2015 Outback Bowl. He fell 41 yards short of breaking Barry Sanders all time single season rushing record. Gordon finished with 2,587 yards and 29 touchdowns on 343 carries. He averaged 184.8 yards in his 14 games and was the fastest to reach 2,000 yards in the history of college football when he did it on 241 carries. Gordon finished his college career with six games of over 200 yards rushing.
To say Gordon will be an impact rookie is an absolute understatement. With Danny Woodhead and Brandon Oliver in the backfield with Gordon, the Chargers have a very formidable trio. Woodhead missed much of last season with an ankle injury. Oliver stepped in and proved to be very useful with Woodhead out for the year and Ryan Mathews hurt as usual.
The knock on Melvin Gordon was he wasn’t much of a receiving back out of college. That couldn’t be farther from the truth as he did catch 19 balls for 153 yards and three touchdowns. All though catch passing might not be his strength, Gordon does have the ability to get better. His work ethic and desire to get better should translate into a decent catch receiving back.
So is Melvin Gordon going to be that good? Nobody really knows the answer until we see him in game action against a quality NFL defense. He should perform for the team at a high level. There really is no reason to believe otherwise. Melvin Gordon could easily go down as one of the steals of the 2015 draft. The Chargers did well to target this young man. We will just see what he brings to the table for the Chargers. This season is really going to be an exciting one for the city of San Diego and all the Chargers faithful.