Oct 12, 2013; Madison, WI, USA; Wisconsin Badgers running back Melvin Gordon (25) during warmups prior to the game against the Northwestern Wildcats at Camp Randall Stadium. Wisconsin won 35-6. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports



After trading up from pick 17 to pick 15, the Chargers selected Wisconsin’s running back Melvin Gordon. Gordon has already become a fan favorite without playing a single snap. You all know of the stats, of the record-breaking game he had against Nebraska and the LT comparison. He was a sensational back in college, showing great vision and unbelievable lateral movement coupled with great speed at the college level. He was the top running back on many people’s big boards, and a no-brainer pick for the Chargers at 17.

So what’s all the negativity about? Melvin Gordon has some flaws, just like 99% of the players in any draft class. But Gordon ran behind the best offensive line in college football a year ago, and didn’t have to do much work. Gordon is “very in love with the sidelines”, meaning he will, more times than not, try to use his speed and bounce out of a hole to get to the sidelines and outrun defenders. With a 4.52 40-yard speed, he might not be able to do that in the pros.

Gordon lost 6 fumbles in his last seven games while fumbling in 50% of his games played in 2014. His fumble problems got worse after beginning his collegiate career with one fumble in 2012, then four in 2013 and seven in 2014. That can only get worse while at the next level.

But did the Chargers really need to move up two spots to take him? San Diego swapped their first-round pick with San Francisco and traded their 2015 fourth-round selection and 2016 fifth-round pick to nab him. It wasn’t necessary to move up and lose more picks, for a team who lacks depth and is in a slight rebuild mode. The 49ers were still targeting Arik Armstead and the Texans have Arian Foster and Alfred Blue. There is a high chance Gordon would have still been there. This was one of the deepest RB classes the NFL has seen in recent years. The team could have been able to get impact starters (Duke Johnson, Jay Ajayi, Ameer Abdullah, TJ Yeldon, Tevin Coleman) in rounds two and three, while drafting BPA (best player available) at 17. This trade only really makes sense if the Bolts trade back and get more picks.

At the end of the day, the pick was fine. Gordon is a heck of a back and one who can be put in as the starter day one.

Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!

Zak Darman

5 Responses to Should the Bolts have moved up to draft Melvin Gordon?

  • Churchill Robinson says:

    We have to trust in TT that he knows what he’s doing. To me I’m glad to have him on our side rather than face him. It’s a chance you take when you move up for a player and it may take a little time for them to adjust to the NFL as it is a step up. Let’s just keep the faith and trust that he will be well worth the move. GO BOLTS !!!

    • Zak Darman
      Zak Darman says:

      Thanks for your reply. I agree, would much rather face him than have him on another team in the AFC West. In Tommy T we trust

  • OPBolt says:

    There was also a chance that the Chargers either knew, or had strong indications that there was a very high likelihood that Houston would take him if he was still on the board. The only real question is whether he was so much better than the #3 rated RB that it was worth the cost. The Chargers thought so, especially to resurrect half of their offense.

    Getting a top game changer at 17 (er…I mean 15) – priceless (probably). I mean seriously, the only way to evaluate this move is in Feb 2016. Will it have been worth it if he gains 1500 yds with 12-15 TDs, helps us grind down QBs like Manning and saves defensive snaps by dominating TOP, helps free up receivers by forcing teams to cheat up to the line, etc,, etc.?

    Regarding fumbling – I disagree with your assessment that it will only get worse. Remember when LT and RM first came in – too many fumbles. But both improved (LT improved dramatically) with coaching.

    So, I was a Malcom Brown advocate and I wish Gordon had cost less, especially the 2016 pick. This could also prove to be the best pick since LT. Would you have given up these picks to get him?

    • Zak Darman
      Zak Darman says:

      I appreciate your comment, and thanks for reading! A few of my biggest concerns with trading up for him, is what you said earlier about him being that much better than the #3 option, which I am not too sure about. This was a deep RB class as well which I did state in the article

      Regarding your fumbling issue, with coaching I agree it can get better. But it is still a little worrisome that its gotten worse throughout the last few years. Just hope for the best 🙂

  • Bruce says:

    Tough call! Telesco seems to fall in love with certain prospects and becomes desparate to get them rather than to wait it out. Only time will tell whether Gordon is that much better than the #3, #4 and #5 ranked RBs

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