Wisconsin junior tailback Melvin Gordon, the nation's leading rusher, said on "The Dan Patrick Show" Wednesday morning that he is turning pro.
Gordon's decision comes as no surprise; he is a Heisman finalist after rushing for 2,336 yards and 26 touchdowns, and showed improvement this season as a blocker and receiver.
Gordon is expected to be one of the first two running backs selected in the 2015 draft. Whether that will be in the first or second round is the question. There has been no running back selected in the first round in either of the past two drafts.
Gordon (6-foot-1, 213 pounds) rushed for 1,609 yards in 2013 while sharing time with current New England Patriots rookie James White. He is one of the most explosive players in the nation and averages 7.6 yards per carry, which is first nationally among the 40 players with at least 195 attempts. Cfbstats.com shows that he leads the nation with 54 runs of at least 10 yards, 31 of at least 20 yards (12 more than anyone else), 20 of at least 30 and 16 of at least 40; he also is tied for the lead with nine runs of at least 50 yards. He has run for more yards by himself than 86 teams.
While there are some who question his competition and physicality, NFL Media analysts Daniel Jeremiah and Bucky Brooks rate Gordon highly. Jeremiah noted that Gordon was stymied in the Big Ten championship game against Ohio State but wrote that, "He's already proved he's a gifted player." Last month, Jeremiah wrote that "all the NFL people I talk to are in love with him."
Brooks wrote last month that Gordon "is a threat to score from anywhere on the field" and that "he exhibits excellent quickness and acceleration in the hole while also displaying the patience and 'pitter-pat' to get to the second level. Gordon seemingly cruises through the line to get to the second level, but he shifts gears rapidly to run away from defenders in traffic."