Josh Gordon: NFL Teams That Should Gamble on Maligned WR
The Carolina Panthers need to take a third-round flier on wide receiver Josh Gordon, the hottest player eligible for the NFL supplemental draft on July 12, 2012.
They aren't the only team that could take a gamble on the troubled receiver, though. There are four teams that are in perfect position to take advantage of the opportunity to land this potential star for cheap.
Gordon is a physical specimen who looks the part of an elite NFL wide receiver, at 6'3" and 225 pounds. He ran a 4.52 40-yard dash at his pro day recently, according to ESPN.com, and he has shown in the past with Baylor that he possesses excellent hands to go along with his speed.
As a sophomore at Baylor, Gordon caught 42 passes for 714 yards and seven touchdowns. Those are some impressive averages, but there is a good reason he's sitting here in July headed to the supplemental draft rather than being drafted back in April with the rest of his peers.
Gordon has character concerns. He was dismissed from Baylor after his sophomore year due to a violation of team policy, which he confessed to the Houston Chronicle:
Should teams consider a third-round pick for Gordon?
It was due to a failed marijuana test. It was against school policy, of course, and I was (suspended) in the summer. I've definitely put that part of my life behind me. I don't plan to ever go back there. It was a difficult time, but I learned from it, and I've moved on.
That remains to be seen, but there is no doubt he has the physical tools that scouts drool over at the wide receiver position.
Some team is going to take him this summer for a third-round choice or higher in 2013, so let's take a look at which ones should take the gamble.
The Panthers have an extra third-round pick in 2013, so they are in great shape to take a gamble on Gordon.
Cam Newton needs skilled receivers. After Steve Smith, there's a massive drop-off in talent at that position on the Panthers' roster. Newton's arm is incredibly strong, as we all know, and having Gordon opposite Smith on certain plays would allow the team to stretch the field in ways that will keep defensive coordinators up at night.
Additionally, Gordon's speed and size would be a boon in the red zone. If Gordon pans out, he'll be a huge addition to a growing Newton-led offense.
Which team could use Gordon the most?
The Dolphins, like the Panthers, have an extra third-round pick in their pocket for 2013. They also have even less talent at the wide receiver position than the Panthers—no disrespect to Chad Ochocinco—and desperately need an upgrade.
Gordon reminds me a lot of someone the Dolphins just lost, too: Brandon Marshall. Bringing him in for the price of one of next year's third-round picks would be a huge steal, and their offense would benefit immediately from the coup.
When Ryan Tannehill is ready to step into the starting quarterback role, his arm strength and Gordon's speed would be a deadly combination.
The Vikings have been at a loss at the wide receiver position ever since they let Sidney Rice leave via free agency to the Seattle Seahawks in 2011. I'm not saying they made a bad decision in letting Rice go—they didn't—but they never replaced him, either.
The Vikings don't have the luxury of having an extra third-round pick like the Panthers and Dolphins, but they do have another fourth-round pick next year. They could either gamble on Gordon with their sole third-round pick or they could hope nobody takes him with a third-round pick and use their extra fourth-round pick to get him.
Either way, they need to seriously consider bringing in Gordon to upgrade their wide receiving corps to go along with their killer running game and developing situation at tight end. If they do, the Vikings will suddenly be a dangerous team on offense, and Christian Ponder will be thanking his lucky stars.
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