Melvin Gordon has made it no secret that he has strived throughout the NFL's draft season to position himself as the first running back to be chosen, ahead of Todd Gurley. And as long as Gordon's high school coach is immune to the smokescreens that NFL clubs are reputed to float in the media about their draft plans, four teams are apparently prepared to make that happen.
"I've had about four people tell me that if he's available at their pick, that's who they're going to take," Kenosha (Wisc.) Bradford High School coach Jed Kennedy told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. "Melvin's not cocky, he doesn't get caught up in the other stuff, he just keeps doing his thing and hopefully lets his actions speak for it. And when it's all said and done, he's going to be a first-round kid."
Now, a couple of qualifiers:
1) Just because an NFL scout or personnel executive made such a comment to a high school coach doesn't necessarily mean that person holds the ultimate authority to make the pick, or that opinions can't change;
2) On the scouting trail, things sometimes are said on a whim.
Still, it creates all the more intrigue for the Gurley-Gordon first-round subplot.
Gordon is widely projected to be picked in Thursday's first round, but he's projected to be chosen after Gurley in five of six mock drafts by NFL Media analysts. The lone dissenter: Bucky Brooks, who foresees Gordon to the San Diego Chargers at No. 17 and Gurley to the Arizona Cardinals seven picks later.
But if four NFL clubs have Gordon already written in pencil -- pending his availability -- that suggests Gurley's presumptive standing as the first running back chosen might not be quite so secure.