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Melvin Gordon runs 4.52 in 40 at NFL Scouting Combine

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While this year's running back draft class is considered a good one, the group turned in an underwhelming day Saturday in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine.


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Michigan State's Jeremy Langford, considered a third-day selection, had the best time, at 4.43 seconds. And just two other backs -- Florida State's Karlos Williams and Texas A&M's Trey Williams -- broke the 4.5 barrier. Karlos Williams, a potential third-day pick, ran 4.48; and Trey Williams, who looks to be a late-round selection or undrafted free agent, ran 4.49.

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Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon is one of the top two backs available; the other is Georgia's Todd Gurley, who is recovering from ACL surgery. Gordon (6-foot-0 1/2, 215 pounds) ran is 40 in 4.52 seconds, which was fifth-fastest of the day but a bit slower than expected.

Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Marshall Faulk, who was serving as an on-field analyst for the NFL Network's coverage of the combine, wasn't worried about Gordon's 40 time.

"He has enough speed -- he can break the long run," Faulk said.

Faulk and NFL Media analyst Mike Mayock both said they were impressed by Gordon's ability to work "in a phone booth," or a small area. And Faulk said Gordon's background at Wisconsin means that Gordon definitely knows how to run between the tackles.

Gordon rushed for 2,587 yards this season -- second-most in FBS single-season history to Barry Sanders' 2,628 in 1988. He also had 29 rushing TDs this season.

An impressive 40 time was turned in by Northern Iowa's David Johnson, a 6-0 1/2, 224-pounder who was clocked in 4.50 seconds. Faulk said that in doing some prep work for the combine, four coaches told him, "Look out for that kid," when talking about Johnson. "He's smooth," Faulk said.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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