“Don’t believe the hype,” was once famous words that were uttered by the musical savant/child prodigy named Flava Flav. My articles would be so much better if I had a hype man dancing around and screaming the entire time I was writing. Every single season we hype the rookie running backs up and they let us down like the hair of Rapunzel. If you draft Melvin Gordon at his current ADP which is 29, you’re going to either have to work the waiver wire like it’s a full time job or you’re going to have difficulties making the fantasy playoffs. Your first three picks of your draft have to be home runs and Gordon might be a double. Don’t let an unproven rookie running back be the reason for your demise.
First of all, I’m not a believer in Wisconsin running backs just because they have burned me numerous times in the past. I feel like their college numbers always seem inflated which puts their value through the roof. I’m not saying Gordon won’t be an exceptional back in due time, but his price tag is so high right now, that I’ll act as a window shopper when he’s available during my drafts. Physically, Melvin Gordon seems like the clone of Jamaal Charles. Both are 6’1″ but Gordon is roughly 15 lbs. heavier which could be the reason for a slower 40’ time (Charles 4.38/Gordon 4.52). But I think vision and agility are more important than running in a straight line when it comes to being an NFL running back. So don’t delve too far into 40’ times.
To say Melvin Gordon had an exemplary college career would be an understatement. He put in enough work to be lauded as the best running back in college last year by winning the Doak Walker award. During his senior campaign, he ran for 2,587 yards, averaging 7.5 yards a carry and scoring 29 times. Not to take away from his stats but the gaping holes he was running through at Wisconsin were big enough for him to moonwalk through while wearing bedazzled fingerless gloves. As good as these stats are, why would a running back who averaged 25 carries a game only have 19 receptions throughout the entire season? Maybe Wisconsin’s offense doesn’t involve the running back in the passing game, but it’s hard for me to believe that a Division I collegiate coach wouldn’t find ways to put his best player in space with passes. So his catching ability might be in question. But I really don’t want to believe San Diego used a first round draft pick on a two-down back either. So far, the San Diego beat writers have been saying that Gordon has been having problems pass blocking. This is the number one thing that will prevent you from being an every down back.
Let’s rewind to his debut in week 1 of the preseason. He looked rather average while gaining 11 yards on 6 carries. His inability to run the ball in this game wasn’t the problem because you can’t have a great game every time you play. Danny Woodhead coming in the game for one play and scoring a touchdown on an eight-yard scamper is the issue. Because you have to wonder how much is Woody going to play. Woodhead missed last season because of a broken leg, but is sure to put a sizable dent into Gordon’s snaps simply because he’s a far superior pass catcher and pass blocker. Woody can steal some carries as well, he’s small, agile and is as fast as a man trying to clean up his apartment before his date arrives. He ran a 4.38 40’ time during the combine.
I’m not trying to deter you from taking Melvin Gordon, just not at the price that he’s at right now. If you look at all the guys ahead of him, their proven every down backs. Don’t believe the hype and pass him by like the Pharcyde and this will increase your chances of making the fantasy playoffs.