Melvin Gordon: Atlanta Falcons should make a move


The Atlanta Falcons will be looking for a running back in the 2015 NFL Draft. They need a back who can transform a ground game that ranked 24th in the NFL last year — Melvin Gordon can be the man.

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In his final two seasons with Wisconsin, Gordon rushed 549 times for 4,196 yards and 41 touchdowns, according to ESPN Stats.

His 2,587 yards on the ground in 2014 broke the single-season rushing yards record for the Badgers. Per Sports Reference, Gordon finishes his four years in Wisconsin ranking third in all-time rushing leaders.

The Falcons are seemingly committed to rebuilding their ground game after releasing veteran Steven Jackson and allowing Jacquizz Rodgers to walk in free agency.

New head coach Dan Quinn likes what he has in young Devonta Freeman, who will be entering his second season in the NFL. Freeman had a quiet rookie year, not starting a single game. He finished with 68 carries for 248 yards and a touchdown.

Quinn expects more from the former Florda State back, but the likelihood is he will be joined with a rookie from the upcoming draft.

In comes Gordon.

Melvin Gordon has the potential to become a star in the NFL. He has good size at 6’1″ and 215 pounds, and he has the physical tools to succeed in the Falcons’ offense.

Walter Cherepinsky of ranks Gordon second among running backs in this year’s class. He wrote:

"“At the Combine, Gordon ran a little slower than expected but still produced a quality time. He did well in the field work. Gordon is a play-maker with excellent speed to along with enough size and toughness to be an every-down back. He has excellent cutting ability, vision, patience and balance. Gordon needs development on diagnosing and picking up blitzes, but he was almost consistently dominant in 2014.Gordon ended his 2014 season like he started it: tearing up an SEC defense. He totaled 251 yards on 34 carries with three touchdowns against Auburn. Gordon ran hard all game and left it all on the field. He didn’t play like he was trying to protect himself or attempting to avoid injury.”"

Gordon’s biggest strength is his speed, and he has plenty of it. Once he gets into open space, good luck trying to bring him down.

Adding him into the Falcons offense could be a scary proposition for opposing defenses. The Falcons already have their quarterback in Matt Ryan; they have their big-time receiver in Julio Jones. Gordon would complete the trio by becoming the star in the backfield.

Jan 1, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; Wisconsin Badgers running back Melvin Gordon (25) warms up before the start of the 2015 Outback Bowl at Raymond James Stadium. Wisconsin defeated Auburn 34-31 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

So where is Gordon likely to fall?

Well, it all depends on who you ask. Some people believe Gordon will be a first-rounder, and could be taken before Todd Gurley, who is nursing a torn ACL.

Recent history suggests teams are reluctant to take running backs in the first-round. The last time it happened was in 2012, when Trent Richardson was taken third-overall by the Cleveland Browns. The same year, the Buccaneers selected Doug Martin 31st-overall and the Giants took David Wilson a pick later.

Not a single running back has gone in the first-round since. Maybe that will change this year, but maybe he will fall into the second-round.

Either way, the Falcons should be prepared the make a trade up in the second-round, and maybe even into the bottom of the first-round to pick him up.

With the eighth-overall pick, the Falcons could pick up a pass-rusher such as Vic Beasley. With one glaring need filled early, they should be aggressive in fixing the running game by targeting arguably the best back in this year’s class.

Gordon has the potential to become a premier back in the NFL, and could add a whole new dimension to the offense.

Yes, the Falcons need to fix their defense, but by adding Gordon, the team will be in a position to put up a lot of points, in turn taking pressure off the defense. Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff would be able to focus on defense with other picks.

Is trading for Gordon a risk? Sure.

Is the risk worth taking? Absolutely.

Next: Atlanta Falcons: 5 Burning Questions

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