Scouting Report: Running back, Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin

NFL Draft Scouting Reports


  • Really good size capable of handling a feature back workload.
  • Quick, agile back that makes people miss in the open field and in the back-field at a high level.
  • Doesn’t lose speed when changing directions, leading to a lot of big plays.
  • Excellent burst to get to the edge or get past the first wave of defenders.
  • Improving as a receiver.



  • Not much of a pass blocker that he may need to be limited early on in his career.
  • Doesn’t have elite long speed, relies more on short burst and quickness/agility for big plays. May not be as effective at the next level.
  • Can be too reliant on looking for the big play, will need to take what the defense gives him more at the next level.
  • Ball security a bit of a concern.



Melvin Gordon is a very talented back that has a skill set that is transferrable to be a feature back at the next level. That being said he might need a year or two, before he’s ready to reach his potential.

Gordon is a tremendous open field runner and does a nice job finding and exploiting opportunities to get him to the open field. His short-area burst and agility both look like major positives for him going forward. What really separates him is his ability to maintain speed through a cut or change of direction; this a lot of times allows him to turn a moderate gain, into a big one.

The concern with Gordon is that his game was a little too reliant on the big play, and he wasn’t forced to fight for tough yards a lot in college. In the NFL he’s going to have to be smarter about when he can make the big play and when he should just take what the defense gives him.

Gordon’s value early in his career could be somewhat dependent on who drafts him. His pass catching ability is still a work in progress, and his pass blocking ability is a big question mark, so a pass heavy team probably won’t get as much initial value from him. Gordon also had strong offensive line play at Wisconsin and may struggle some if he’s forced to play behind just an average line as a rookie.



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