When the 2012 supplemental draft gets underway Thursday, July 13 there will be considerable interest in former Baylor wide receiver Josh Gordon.
Some are saying the wide out will be taken within the first three rounds of the draft (which would cause that team to forfeit the corresponding pick in the 2013 college draft). So what does Gordon bring to the table?
In preparing for the supplemental draft, I called a good friend who works as a scout for an AFC South team. He told me that "had Gordon stayed clean, he had A.J. Green-like potential. Big, strong, really fast. And if he had played with RG3...it would have been lights out."
The issue is that Gordon never had the chance to develop, nor did he get to play with an improved Robert Griffin III. In that respect, "Flash" Gordon never had the advantages that 2012 first-rounder Kendall Wright had.
When asked, Baylor officials said Gordon was the more talented receiver of the two. Based on our scout's take and the word of Baylor officials, Gordon's potential is through the roof.
Gordon is nicknamed "Flash" for a reason. Take his 94-yard catch-and-run touchdown against Kansas in 2010 as evidence of his ability to make something out of nothing.
He has the body size (6'4", 220lbs) to matchup well against bigger cornerbacks and be a target in the red zone, but unlike most big receivers he also possesses the burst to run away from defenders after the catch.
This is one of the major reasons our scout friend compared him to A.J. Green. Gordon showed the ability to extend away from his body to make catches without hesitation and uses his hands to lock the ball in well. He's well ahead of many other receivers with just one year of experience.
There is the reason that Gordon is even available in the supplemental draft, and it has to be discussed. While at Baylor, he was arrested for marijuana possession and was subsequently suspended. He then left the program, enrolling at Utah—where he never played football due to NCAA transfer rules.
All this builds up a player who hasn't played since 2010 and had just one season as a starter in college football. Gordon's lack of experience will bring question marks about his route-running skills (although he has worked on this during his time away from the field) and his knowledge on the field.
The good news for Gordon is that he's not a quarterback, and that one year of starting isn't a major downfall for a receiver. Players like Rueben Randle and Stephen Hill were drafted high in the 2012 NFL draft without great experience or production, but loads of potential. Gordon falls in to that same category, albeit with a red flag due to the arrest.
All it takes is one team to take a chance on him, and based on Gordon's potential, his name should be called early in the supplemental draft. If the Cleveland Browns, Washington Redskins, Carolina Panthers or Miami Dolphins are reading, take a long look at Gordon this week. You need him.