Will he or won’t he?
That’s the No. 1 question surrounding Wisconsin Badgers running back, Melvin Gordon.
The red-shirt sophomore will soon be faced with a decision that not only weighs heavily on himself, but also has a larger-than-life impact on the Badgers backfield.
After his season, Gordon is eligible to enter the 2014 NFL Draft to be held next May.
Some of his clout – he currently leads the Badgers in rushing and is ranked seventh in the nation (156 att., 1,306 yards, 12TD’s). His 8.4 yards per carry average this season ranks first among the nations top 20, D-1 running backs.
If Gordon decides to take his talents to the pro level, his chances of getting selected in the first round are high. Other competition at the top of the board as far as running backs go are Ka’Deem Carey (Arizona) and Lache Seastrunk (Baylor).
Gordon is the top running back to come off the board on many of the early, expert mock draft boards. Looking ahead to the 2015 NFL Draft, Gordon would face some stiffer competition among the top of the leader board with T.J. Yeldon (Alabama) most likely being alongside him the top running back. Others in that class could include De’Anthony Thomas (Oregon) and Todd Gurley (Georgia).
What should Gordon do?
I believe Gordon should stay for his junior year in Madison.
We’ve all seen his skill set this season and it’s no fluke. Gordon possesses all the tools of a talented NFL runner and has shown great maturity during his time at Madison.
If he entered the upcoming draft, he would likely be the most valued running back on all of the draft boards, appealing to many NFL teams looking to take a running back, early.
All that aside, if Gordon did leave for the NFL after this season, he puts a TON of pressure on himself.
Let’s be honest, living up to those first round standards is tough. Just ask Montee Ball in Denver.
The most high of standards Gordon would need to live up to are those which he places on himself. We’ve seen many running backs fail to live up to those standards … Ron Dayne, William Green, Ki-Jana Carter, just to name a few.
If he waits a year he throws himself into the mix with a three or four very talented running backs in the 2015 draft, but I still believe he will be a top three player in the draft.
Should he go, the one who benefits most remains in Madison – Corey Clement.
Clement has looked very good in the opportunities he’s been given during this 2013 season and he’s only a freshman – one very promising aspect of the deal for Wisconsin. Still, it leaves holes at the No. 2 and No. 3 spots in the backfield with James White, a senior, on his way out after this season.
In the end, it’s Melvin Gordon’s decision to make, and he will have to live with it no matter which way he goes. Be aware though, and let’s not lose sight that both options would still be very beneficial for Mr. Gordon. If he sticks around for his senior year, expect to see similar results next season.