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NFL Draft 2015 Prospect Profile: Running Back Melvin Gordon

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Taking a look at a number of prospects who might be options for the Indianapolis Colts in the 2015 NFL Draft. Today, we look at Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon.

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

The 2015 NFL Draft will be held on April 30 through May 2 in Chicago, and it is a time where the 32 NFL teams will look to add some pieces to improve both this year and in future years.  The Indianapolis Colts currently have nine picks in the Draft, including at least one in each round, and therefore they should be active on Draft day.  Who might they target?  We're taking a look at a number of different prospects, and today we take a look at Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon.

Background

Gordon, 6-1, 213 pounds, rushed for 4,915 yards and 45 touchdowns during his four-year career at Wisconsin, setting an FBS record by averaging 7.8 yards per carry over his career.  He also added 22 receptions for 228 yards and four touchdowns receiving.  In his senior season in 2014, Gordon rushed for 2,587 yards (second-most in FBS history) and 29 touchdowns, winning the Doak Walker award as the nation's top running back, being the runner-up for the Heisman trophy as college football's best player, and being a unanimous first-team All-American.  He topped 100 yards in 12 games in 2014 and topped 200 yards in six games.

Pros

Gordon is a talented running back with outstanding acceleration and great open field skills.  His speed is best shown by his burst and he can make plays that aren't always there as a result, as he has shown the ability to be able to make defenders miss  He has good vision and does a very good job when running outside of the tackles - though he does possess solid skills in the power run game as well.

Cons

As a receiver, Gordon still has significant work to do and likely isn't a three-down back at the NFL right away.  He may have to learn to rely less on his acceleration and versatility skills in making people miss at the NFL level, forcing him to become a better runner inside the tackles.  He dealt with some fumbling issues at Wisconsin as well, which could be a concern if he doesn't hold on to the football better.

Big Board Rankings

NFL.com - 13th overall, number 2 running back

CBSSports.com - 22nd overall, number 2 running back

Mocking the Draft - number 2 running back

Mock Draft Predictions

Stephen Reed's most recent mock draft: selected by New England Patriots, 32nd overall

Josh Wilson's most recent mock draft:  selected by Dallas Cowboys, 27th overall

How Would He Help the Colts?

The Colts need to add a running back in the draft and they likely will look to do just that.  They signed veteran Frank Gore this offseason to be their starter, and he should still be a good player for Indy for the next year or two - but the Colts need a long-term option at the position as well, and that's likely what they'll look for in this year's draft if they do indeed target a running back at some point.  Drafting a running back would give Boom Herron and Zurlon Tipton competition for playing time in 2015 while also providing a guy the Colts could hopefully develop into their starting back.

Simply put, Melvin Gordon could be that player.  He could step in for the Colts in 2015 and play a role behind Gore while being developed to be the team's long-term starting running back.  And talent-wise, Gordon certainly fits that description and therefore would be an interesting consideration for the Colts.

But, of course, the Colts have a bigger need than running back, and that is the defensive side of the football.  They would be wise to address that side of the ball with their first round pick, and considering the depth that is available at the running back position, the Colts could get a solid back in one of the middle rounds rather than the first round.  Because of that, I don't think it's too likely that the Colts actually take Gordon, because I think there will be other solid options at the position for them to take later and be able to address defense in the first round.  Gordon certainly is a good running back and would help the Colts, and he might in fact be gone by the time the Colts pick.  Even if he's still there, however, I don't think he'd be among their top targets.