After a strong performance at the NFL Scouting Combine, top running back prospect Melvin Gordon's participation at Wisconsin's pro day Wednesday was limited.
The former Badgers star opted against taking part in the measurable drills, including the 40-yard dash, according to NFL Network's Jenn Brown:
Jenn Brown @JennBrown
Melvin Gordon did not run the 40 at his Pro Day3/11/2015, 3:24:54 PM
Per Zach Heilprin of ESPNWisconsin.com, Gordon was presumably comfortable with his 4.52-second romp at the combine:
Zach Heilprin @ZachHeilprin
Melvin Gordon did not run the 40. Apparently OK with the 4.52 he ran at the combine.3/11/2015, 3:21:34 PM
That time made Gordon the fifth-fastest running back at the combine, according to NFL.com, so there wasn't much incentive involved with trying his hand at the 40 once again.
Even so, Joey Cartolano of Pro Football Focus questioned the logic behind letting that number stand:
Joey Cartolano @JoeyPigskins
"Sitting" on a 4.52? Welp RT @Jason_Galloway: It does not appear Melvin Gordon will run the 40 today.3/11/2015, 4:09:11 PM
Gordon tested out well in the other athletic drills at the combine, so he decided to place all of his focus on the running back positional drills at Wisconsin's pro day.
While Gordon was on the sidelines for a large portion of the event, he finally got involved and looked impressive with his burst and agility, as seen in this Vine courtesy of ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg:
Adam Rittenberg @ESPNRittenberg
Melvin Gordon beginning drills here at Wisconsin pro day https://t.co/PTMz3XFf203/11/2015, 4:38:36 PM
In addition to his ability as a runner, Gordon flashed some strong skills as a pass-catcher, as evidenced by this video from Rob Hernandez of Madison.com:
Rob Hernandez @RobHernandezGLF
Some Melvin Gordon workout video #uwproday http://t.co/UfI0t1b2Tx3/11/2015, 4:55:17 PM
Many interested parties took in Gordon's workout, but the New York Jets took a particular interest in it by putting him through extra drills, per Tony Pauline of DraftInsider.net:
Tony Pauline @TonyPauline
New York Jets putting Melvin Gordon through running back drills at Wisconsin pro-day....3/11/2015, 5:08:20 PM
The Jets hold the No. 6 overall pick in the first round of the 2015 NFL draft, and while it may seem tough to envision a running back being selected that early, perhaps the Jets loved what they saw out of Gordon.
There is no question that less emphasis has been placed on the running back position in recent NFL drafts. Even so, Gordon believes he and other backs are deserving of a spot in the first round, according to Ryan Wood of The Green Bay Press-Gazette.
It's a passing league. It's hard to say if we're a devalued position. Teams are just going with the picks they actually need. I don't know the thoughts that's going through their head. Maybe they didn't feel the running backs the last couple of years were first-round talent. I don't know. We just have to change that this year, and show people that we're capable of going in the first round.
It is clear that Gordon feels as though his body of work at Wisconsin coupled with his combine showing put him in first-round position.
His workload was light Wednesday, but after rushing for nearly 2,600 yards and 29 touchdowns this past season, NFL teams know what they're getting with Gordon.
He is a true workhorse, and that was on full display during positional drills as he proved once again that he has all the tools needed to be a bell-cow back in the NFL.
It remains to be seen if that will lead to a first-round landing spot, but the organization that comes away with Gordon will have plenty to celebrate regardless.
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