Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon draws NFL comparisons

(Photo: Rick Wood)

The

power running era of Wisconsin football seems to be on hold for the 2013 season, thanks to senior running back James White, and now redshirt sophomore running back Melvin Gordon.

According to Rotoworld’s NFL draft expert Josh Norris, Gordon draws early comparisons to Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson. Norris says Gordon runs tall and has great north-to-south speed along with quick moves between the tackles.

He remind me a bit of Chris Johnson, but he also shows flashes of Jamaal Charles in the way he makes such clean strides up the field. Gordon doesn’t possess the raw speed that Charles or Johnson demonstrate, but they’re all similar in their running styles, and at times, their vision. Gordon seems to thrive on his patience in Wisconsin’s zone blocking scheme which shows he has a knack for reading defenses at the point of attack.

He’s already eclipsed his rushing yards form 2012 (621) with 624 yards off 53 carries this season. He’s also seen the endzone eight times this year, seven rushing touchdowns and one receiving touchdown.

So far, Gordon is out performing his senior counterpart James White. On less attempts, Gordon has more yards, a better average on the ground and more than double White’s touchdowns.

Gordon shows most of his skills in space with above average acceleration past the initial blockers. In the zone blocking scheme that Wisconsin runs, he knows where the offensive lineman will be which allows him to time is acceleration appropriately. Zone blocking can only work if your lineman have the intelligence, chemistry and quickness to get to their assigned spots consistently. They have, and because of this, Gordon averages a nice 11.8 YPC and a highly impressive one touchdown per 7.5 touches.

This week, Gordon faces an Ohio State defense with future NFL players like Ryan Shazier and C.J. Barnnett that will give Gordon his toughest challenge yet. He’s all the way up to No. 3 in our Running Back Rankings, and another solid performance against OSU may boost him even higher. As of now, he’s a second-third round grade with a lot of upside.

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