NFL Supplemental Draft 2012: Teams Needing Wide Receiver Must Draft Josh Gordon
Baylor wide receiver Josh Gordon is available in the 2012 NFL Supplemental draft, and he is a player that should be drafted by any NFL team needing a big wide receiver. Gordon is far from a perfect as a prospect, but his physical gifts and his upside are incredibly enticing.
The Baylor football program dismissed Gordon after he violated team rules in 2011. He transferred to Utah, but NCAA rules made him ineligible for the 2011 season. There are questions that Gordon will have to answer, from maturity to decision making.
There will be a risk/reward analysis happening with Gordon. Does a player who has missed a year of football, with a problematic past, warrant a selection in the supplemental draft? Are his imposing physical tools so great that teams must draft him?
Gordon was on the road to stardom after a 42 catch sophomore season. He scored seven touchdowns, showing impressive play-making ability. Gordon was a monster with the ball in his hands after the catch.
Rob Rang of cbssports.com reported that Gordon held his pro day workout on July 10. He weighed in at 6’3” and 224 pounds. He has elite size for the wide receiver position. Gordon ran a 4.52 40-yard dash on his first attempt.
Rang also reported that there were 21 teams at his workout and that Gordon impressed them. We do not know how he interviewed, and that is going to be a significant part of this. If Gordon handled himself well in the interview process, he could be a second-round selection in the supplemental draft.
The St. Louis Rams selected Brian Quick with the first pick in Round 2. The New York Jets drafted Stephen Hill with pick No. 11 in Round 2, and the New York Giants used pick No. 31 in Round 2 on Reuben Randle. Gordon has enough ability to be drafted in the second round of the supplemental draft.
His workout numbers put him in even, or ahead of some other second-round wide receivers from the 2012 NFL draft. Teams went on potential alone with players like Quick, Hill and Randle. That is why teams would be drafting Gordon today, and he might have better long-term potential than any of them.
The NFL is quickly becoming a pass-first league, and it has left teams scrambling to find talent at the wide receiver position. Gordon is a developmental player, but his size and ability gives him a chance to turn into something special in a few years.
A reason that receiver-desperate teams need to draft him is because they would get him now. There would be no wait. He would instantly upgrade the talent level of several NFL teams, and those teams should not hesitate to draft him.
Teams like Cleveland, Miami and Washington should be heavily involved in trying to add Gordon. He easily projects to be a No. 1 receiver for these teams. Certainly, Gordon will require a little seasoning, but the upside is there.
Evan Silva of profootballtalk.com reported that an NFC team had assigned a third-round grade to Gordon. He also reported that Baylor officials thought that Gordon was a superior player to Kendall Wright. The Tennessee Titans selected Wright with pick No. 20 overall in the 2012 NFL draft.
Sporting News draft analyst Russ Lande has given Josh Gordon a second-round grade. Lande cites Gordon's pure physical talent and claims he could be a very productive NFL receiver.
"Based purely on film evaluation Gordon is a better prospect than Brian Quick and Stephen Hill," Lande said, putting Gordon's on-field skill over two second-round picks.
From a scouting perspective, there are a few things that stand out. He has excellent hands, and it would not surprise me if he has large hands, because of the way he catches poorly thrown balls. He also has exceptional vision, as he can find a wrinkle and explode through it to gain yards after the catch. He also uses his body well and could turn into a very physically imposing player in a few years.
Like most raw receivers, Gordon will need to work on his route running, especially getting separation from a defender. He will need to work on his footwork, and the speed he takes in and out of his breaks.
Gordon is a fix for teams that lack play-making ability and depth at the wide receiver position. There are plenty of NFL teams that meet those criteria. He is a gamble, but the upside is too high for any receiver-needy NFL team to pass on him in this supplemental draft.
Gordon is going to get drafted today. The only things to be determined are what team, and what round.
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