How much potential does Melvin Gordon have?

By Evan Hayes
Nov. 18, 2016

Right now the NFL has a handful of incredible running backs that can do anything their teams ask as far as rushing, receiving and pass protection goes. With so many players reaching the elite status at the position one of them stands out, not with what he is doing now but how much better he could potentially become, Melvin Gordon.

Melvin Gordon had one of the greatest seasons in the history of college football in 2014 posting 2587 rushing yards and 29 rushing touchdowns the second most single season rushing yards and fifth most single season rushing touchdowns. These numbers that he posted with Wisconsin were slightly overlooked due to the equally great college running back Todd Gurley who was taken 10th in the draft while Gordon was taken 15th. Now, last season Gordon just could not seem to find any traction in the NFL rushing for 641 yards and averaging 45.8 yards per game while not scoring a single touchdown. 

It is fair to say that Gordon has improved greatly from last season since he this season has rushed for 838 yards averaging 83.8 yards per game while finding the endzone a total 11 times. Gordon has shown this season that while not being overwhelmingly powerful and not having break away speed, he does have a seemingly perfect stride and agile frame to evade almost any tackle. His cuts and footwork has become one of the best in the league which allows him to burst in between the tackles almost untouched for big yards or goal line scores. 

Now, the real question was how much potential does Gordon have or is this the peak? With the success that he has shown in college posting one of the most prolific seasons in history and his incredible improvement in just his second NFL season he has much more room to grow. His potential is to become not a power back but the perfect median between a power and speed back with great receiving and rushing skills. He has already shown that he has the footwork of a speed back with the elusiveness to run up the middle while also showing that he can catch the ball at a high level out of the backfield.

Right now Gordon has 33 receptions for 346 yards and 2 touchdowns, which without any doubt is very solid but he does have a handful of drops which he could improve on. Gordon is one of the best all purpose backs in the league and can become the best with just a bit more work on his footwork and ability to catch the ball. He has made a massive stride already in the league and it will be interesting to see if he can take another and become the new centerpiece of the San Diego Chargers.