San Diego Chargers: Melvin Gordon will be Offensive ROY


I am calling it right here and right now: former University of Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon is going to be the next franchise back of the San Diego Chargers.

Unless the Bolts trade him away or cut him, Gordon is going to be the San Diego Chargers starting running back for the next five to 10 seasons and the undisputed NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.

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Now both of those statements are a little bit crass I will admit, but, let’s look at the facts here. First let’s break down Melvin Gordon, the Chargers rookie running back in the National Football League and then Melvin Gordon, the athlete.

In terms of potential Offensive Rookie of the Year candidates, there are a lot of different backs, receivers and quarterbacks that can potentially swipe the trophy. Quarterbacks Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston, wide receivers Amari Cooper, Kevin White and DeVante Parker (recovering from offseason foot surgery) and running backs  Todd Gurley and Tevin Coleman will all definitely give Gordon a run for his money.

Out of those seven rookies, I think that Cooper probably has the best chance at beating out Gordon. I believe that Gurley is a phenomenal athlete but doesn’t have the talent around him to make him a standout rookie. Coleman could be an interesting player this season considering Atlanta’s lack of a running game this past season and he will look to take carries from Devonta Freeman this season. He will be the next best runner of this 2015 draft class.

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The receivers will all have amazing seasons, there is no doubt about that. The Cooper-Carr connection will be alive and well in 2015 and you can expect big things from Chicago’s Kevin White with the quarterback situation in Chicago. DeVante Parker, Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston will all have great, but not exceptional seasons in 2015.

So considering the rookie talent that is slated to be in the running for the award, Gordon should be one of the front runners.

Gordon has the starting job in San Diego and will be playing behind one of the strongest offensive lines in the AFC. The situation could not be any more beneficial for Gordon. Not to mention, Gordon has earned the trust of all of his coaches and coordinators by showing up day-after-day in the offseason thus far, working out early in the morning and looking for extra reps.

May 26, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; (EDITORS NOTE: caption correction) San Diego Chargers quarterback

Philip Rivers

(17) hands the ball off to running back Melvin Gordon (28) during organized team activities at Charger Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

According to Eric D. Williams of, “Melvin Gordon gives the Chargers a home-run threat at running back. Gordon exceeded expectations during offseason work, which is impressive, considering goals were high for the Wisconsin product after he was selected in the first round of the draft as the replacement for the departed Ryan Mathews. However, Gordon has to take the next step in training camp, which means playing fast and physical, as well as keeping up with a fast-paced San Diego offense led by Philip Rivers.”

Gordon has genuine upside this season and is going to do huge things in San Diego with the support and admiration of his fellow teammates and superiors.

As well, aside from his work ethic and drive, Melvin has huge potential with his skills on the football field. He has the hard work and dedication, but there is now doubt of his physical capabilities.

At the combine Gordon was a top performer among running backs in the 40-yard dash (4.52 s), broad jump (126″), and the 60-yard and 20-yard shuttles (11.0 s, 4.07 s). He has an unbelievable burst reminiscent to that of current Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles. And even though he doesn’t have the receiving skills like that of Charles, Gordon has the burst, work ethic and breakaway speed that has made Charles one of the best backs in the league season after season.

By just looking at his highlight tape one can see his ability to find holes and hit home runs. It is no wonder why he was so successful in college during his time as Wisconsin.

During his senior season, Gordon rushed for 2,587 yards and 29 touchdowns on 343 carries (7.5 yards per carry) in 14 games (184.8 yards per game). MG ended up breaking NCAA, Big 10 and Wisconsin records all over the board. In 2014, Gordon became the NCAA’s fastest player to reach 2,000 yards rushing in a season after doing it on 241 carries and also became Wisconsin’s leader in rushing yards (2,587) and games of over 200 yards (6) in a season.

If he can stay healthy with the Chargers, there is no reason that he can’t win the title of best offensive rookie. Gordon has the talent and the hard work: the winning combination for a rookie. The fact that he has impressed early on in training camp is so crucial to his success this year. A work ethic like that only comes along once in a long while so the Chargers should hold on to him as long as they can.

Plus, think about the last two San Diego first-round rookie running backs. LaDainian Tomlinson is going to be a Hall of Famer and Ryan Mathews was one of the AFC’s best rushers.

If it’s in the cards, Gordon is going to be here in San Diego for a long, long time.

Next: San Diego Chargers OTA Update

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