It wouldn't be a surprise if no running back is selected in the NFL draft's first round for the second year in a row, but surely Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon wonders if that would be the case had he entered the draft.
He told reporters late last week that he has no regrets even though the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel recently reported that he was the top back on some draft boards this year.
"Some guys thought I should have left," Gordon, who will be a junior this fall, told the Wisconsin State Journal. "They're just like, 'I told you so.'
"Some guys are like, 'You know what, Mel? You're here now, nothing you can do about it. Just show them you're the best coming out next year.'"
Gordon said that is his plan. He rushed for 1,609 yards in 2013, 10th-most nationally and second in the Big Ten (behind Nebraska's Ameer Abdullah). But his production dropped in the second half of the season; he had six 100-yard games in the Badgers' first seven outings but just two in their final six contests.
Gordon shared time with James White in the Badgers' backfield, but Gordon's workload still seemed to affect him. He averaged 15.8 carries in 2013 but exceeded that number only once in the final four games. White was a senior in '13, and Gordon will share time with Corey Clement this fall. Still, Gordon will be the unquestioned No. 1 back and has to prove he can handle 18-plus carries a game.
Gordon also has to show he can be an effective receiver. He has 291 career touches from the line of scrimmage in his career, with just three of those being receptions. To that end, he told the State Journal he sometimes will work out with wide receivers this offseason.
"I feel I can catch," he said. "I just have to get the opportunity in the game, to show people. And I will this year. For the people who don't think I can catch, I'm definitely aiming to prove them wrong."
Gordon also needs to show he knows how to block. Regardless, he will head into the season as one of the nation's top two or three backs and a top-10 guy on most preseason Heisman lists.