Melvin Gordon is seeing his name move..."/> Melvin Gordon is seeing his name move..."/>

Melvin Gordon Moving Up Matt Miller’s Draft Board


Melvin Gordon is seeing his name move up the draft board of an NFL draft scout writer who doubted the Wisconsin Badgers running back’s abilities throughout the season.

Matt Miller, NFL Draft Lead Writer for Bleacher Report, hasn’t valued Melvin Gordon as highly as many other draft scouts. In fact, last fall Miller didn’t think Gordon would hear his name called too early in the upcoming NFL Draft.

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Last October, Miller published a mid-season two-round mock draft that didn’t feature the Wisconsin running back. Gordon fans let Miller hear it on Twitter, and he explained the decision in the next of his regular “scouting notebook” pieces, in which he listed Gordon as one of five players seeing their stock fall.

Here’s what he had to say about Gordon on Oct. 31, 2014.

"“My mentions on Twitter took off when Melvin Gordon was left out of my recent two-round mock draft. Fans want to know why one of college football’s most productive backs isn’t recognized as a top-tier NFL talent.Here’s are the details behind that — Gordon doesn’t have any elite qualities to his game. He’s fast, but doesn’t have great burst. He’s agile, but doesn’t have the power behind his pads to break tackles when his footwork can’t get him free from defenders. And in the NFL, Gordon’s agility won’t be LeSean McCoy-like where he can flat-out make defenders miss. And McCoy, for all his agility, has power to break tackles. I don’t see Gordon having that. His instincts and vision are good, but his athleticism is average for a draft prospect.”"

Miller’s a talented NFL talent evaluator, and given Wisconsin’s running back history in the NFL, I don’t think anyone can blame him for thinking that Gordon could just be another great Wisconsin running back who excels in Madison thanks to a mammoth offensive line, a strong running scheme and big games against weaker teams.

But, as Miller wrote recently, that doesn’t give enough credit to the amazing talent that Gordon is.

Here’s what Miller wrote in his latest scouting notebook, posted March 27, 2015, where he lists him as a top-five riser in the draft:

"Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon celebrates his 4th TD of the game against Nebraska. Jim Oxley photograph“I am not a flip-flopper — sometimes to a fault. But it takes a lot for a player to move even a tiny amount on my rankings, so to come out in late March and say I was flat-out wrong about a player in-season? That’s a credit to the player. I was wrong about Melvin Gordon.When scouting running backs, it’s too easy sometimes to give credit to the offensive line, play-calling and/or competition while focusing on traits over production. But with Gordon you have to acknowledge the production because it came on the back of his traits (vision, balance, speed and agile hips). I’m not ready to put him over Todd Gurley, but Gordon has captured the No. 2 running back spot in this draft and isn’t letting go of it.”"

Clearly, Miller has changed his mind about Gordon.

…to come out in late March and say I was flat-out wrong about a player in-season? That’s a credit to the player. I was wrong about Melvin Gordon.

Where before Miller said Gordon “doesn’t have any elite qualities to his game,” he’s coming around on the Wisconsin product, and is willing to give Gordon more of the credit for his successes than he had in the past.

I couldn’t agree more with Miller on his new conclusion. Gordon has shown time and time again that he is a special prospect. Yeah, he’s not the fastest or the strongest, but he’s been lightning in a bottle for Wisconsin the moment he stepped on campus and he’s been a national name since he did this in the 2012 Big ten Championship.

One lucky NFL team is going to have this guy on their roster next season, and this writer can’t wait to see what Gordon’s professional future holds.

Next: Gordon, Havenstein to the Jets in Miller's Mock