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gianmarco

***Official Melvin "Flash" Gordon*** Thread of Love

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Also, this is an excellent read as well and I completely agree. I don't think the coaching staff is doing Gordon any favors by pulling him. Again, I think he's a guy that needs to just get in there and it's going to click all of a sudden for him.

Chargers need to keep Gordon in

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Just Win Baby,

Some of us think that Melvin Gordon will be a very good NFL RB.

You do not.

He has had a poor rookie season.

Please stop being such an arrogant jerk about it.

Thank you, and have a nice day.

I have never said I don't think Gordon can be a very good NFL RB. I have said that I didn't expect it to happen this year due to the combination of his weaknesses (pass catching, pass protection, fumbling), this coaching staff's preference for RBBC, and the presence of Woodhead and to a lesser degree Oliver and Brown, but he could improve his weaknesses and expand his role if/when Woodhead declines. I compared him to Mathews and suggested that his best case for now would be to match Mathews' 2013 season, which was a very good season. :shrug:

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Actually, the reason I abandoned the conversation was noted by others. You were being quite toolish in your responses. You can read the quote below.

Ok, you win. None of those opinions during his pro day, OTAs and minicamp mean anything. Appreciate your local input.

I thought we were having a nice exchange here. Sorry my opinion and input doesn't fit your perspective.

Well, as an unbiaed observer, you were being a bit dickish through the whole thing.

I didn't see it that way, and I still don't. :shrug:

1) Your main argument was that he wasn't good at catching the ball and that his pass protection wasn't good and that Woodhead would clearly have that role. From the start of the season, he's been involved in the passing game. And, since week 8, Gordon's role in the passing game has increased substantially while Woodhead's has decreased. In those last 6 games, Gordon has 19 catches to Woodhead's 21. The fact that Gordon has 32 receptions already with 3 weeks left to go seems to me that they seem to trust both his hands as well as his pass protection.

So regarding those opinions from your quote about his Pro Day, OTAs, and Minicamps and rebuttals to my links since they were related to how he well he could catch, I feel just fine since the reports I linked discussed how well he did in the passing game and he has similarly caught the ball just fine.

Melvin Gordon: 32 receptions on 36 targets. He leads ALL NFL RBs in catch % of targets.

So, I'll come right back to you: Do YOU still think he can't catch the ball very well considering that was actually our argument prior to the season?

His catch rate is impressive, and shows that he has improved in that area. (He isn't #1 in catch rate, though; Bell's catch rate is 92%.)

However, his catch rate is boosted by his usage in the passing game. If I knew where to find average depth of target statistics, I expect they would show Gordon's is among the lowest among all RBs. What I can find shows that he has caught 25 passes behind the LOS, 7 passes thrown 1-10 yards beyond the LOS, and none thrown further than that. He is also catching passes from a very accurate QB, which helps his catch rate.

Assessing a RB's receiving performance obviously goes beyond catch rate. Gordon is averaging just 5.8 ypr, which is poor. Data Dominator shows that 74 RBs have caught at least 10 passes this season. In that group, Gordon ranks #64 in ypr. Also, of Gordon's 32 receptions, only 8 have resulted in first downs. As someone who has watched every down of every Chargers game this year, IMO some of this is because he isn't a natural/confident pass catcher, at least not yet.

These are reasons that Gordon ranks #37 among RBs in receiving DYAR and DVOA. Football Outsiders also shows that Gordon has fewer Effective Yards than actual yards, which is an indicator that he played "worse than standard stats would otherwise indicate."

As for Gordon's increased usage in the passing game, it may indicate the team has gained confidence in him, but that isn't a given. It has come at a time when Allen and Oliver were out, and Floyd, Stevie, Inman, and Green have all missed time, and also while the OL has been continually shuffled due to injuries. It's hard to gauge if his usage would have increased to the same degree if the offense was healthier. It is also true that this team's season has been effectively over for a while now, and it makes sense to give Gordon more reps, since he is obviously the long term starting RB, whereas Woodhead and Brown cannot really be part of the team's long term plans at their ages.

For some reason, you commented above that Gordon's 32 receptions shows the team trusts his hands and pass protection. I get the hands comment, but I don't know why you would say his reception total shows the team trusts his pass protection. I don't have access to pass blocking snap counts, but I can see that Gordon only has 1 third down reception all season, and it was on 3rd and 4. From the statistics available to me, it doesn't seem like he is playing much in obvious passing situations, suggesting he isn't being asked to pass block much.

The bottom line is that there are 3 RBs on the team (Woodhead, Oliver, Brown) that are better in the passing game. That was true when we had our initial exchange about Gordon, and it remains true today.

2) He has been almost a complete disappointment in the run game so far this year. His 3.6 ypc is awful. He has 0 TDs. He's missed some opportunities for sure. That said, that O-line is atrocious. While it would be nice if he could have done more with less, I can't knock him completely as a rookie behind that line. Mostly because.....

3) He's tied for 8th in the NFL for runs of 20+ yards. His yards after contact and missed tackles are excellent (one of the only metrics he's done well in). But....

4) His fumbling is DEFINITELY an issue that needs correcting. That will cause him to lose his job faster than anything else he's done.

Overall, it's been a disappointing rookie season for sure but I'm not bailing on him yet. I think there is definite promise. He seems like the kind of guy that once that light switches on, he's going to excel.

I agree with all of these points.

Part of what prompted my posts last summer was that I felt many were overrating Gordon for fantasy purposes, because they were underplaying Gordon's weaknesses, underrating Woodhead, and/or unfamiliar with McCoy's style, and thus they had unrealistic expectations about how much Gordon would play and how much he would touch the ball. As I expected, his playing time has been limited by RBBC and by the team's unwillingness to use him in all game situations, and his known weaknesses (pass catching, pass blocking, fumbling) have all contributed to that.

Like I said then, his best case is to get better in the passing game and earn Woodhead's snaps by the time he declines or leaves the team. I'd say Gordon has made marginal progress at that this season, but the real improvement is likely to happen in the offseason. Hopefully, he will show more substantial improvement next year.

In the end, though, if you're going to bump a post like that to puff your chest (even though you claim that's not why you did), make sure you're actually bumping it for the right reason. You look a little silly saying "I told you so" when you were arguing against the one area he has done exceptionally well in: catching the football.

I disagree that he has done "exceptionally well" catching the football, for the reasons described above. IMO it is fair to say he has done better than I expected but not as well as you seemed to expect when we discussed this last summer.

Edited by Just Win Baby

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In the end, though, if you're going to bump a post like that to puff your chest (even though you claim that's not why you did), make sure you're actually bumping it for the right reason. You look a little silly saying "I told you so" when you were arguing against the one area he has done exceptionally well in: catching the football.

I disagree that he has done "exceptionally well" catching the football, for the reasons described above. IMO it is fair to say he has done better than I expected but not as well as you seemed to expect when we discussed this last summer.

When the knock against a guy coming in at RB is that he can't catch well and he's currently 2nd in the NFL in catch % for RBs with 32 catches on 36 targets, then trying to go into his DYAR and where he's catching the ball and how many turn into first downs is a lot like "but, but, but......LOOK".

Guys that can't catch a football don't catch >90% of their targets no matter who their QB is or where it's being thrown to them. Period. It's ok to say you were wrong. Because you were.

The guy is likely going to finish the year with ~40 catches. I NEVER expected him to get that many catches as a rookie (especially with a healthy Woodhead all year). And I NEVER expected him to catch over 90% of a pretty large number of targets. And I was about the biggest Gordon fan there was. What I expected was a higher YPC and more than 0 TDs (:lmao: @ 0 TDs). Give the guy a 4.3 ypc average (so 900 total yards instead of 790) and just 6 total TDs and he's a top 15 RB right now, albeit in an injury riddled RB year.

Point being, I was expecting him to maybe catch 20-25 balls as a rookie and figured that would limit his upside as a rookie. I definitely expected more rushing yards and rushing TDs. But, going back strictly to our argument, he far exceeded my expectations and most certainly even moreso exceeded yours. Now, if you want to discuss how effective he's been from a statistical standpoint in terms of contributions to the success of the team, then sure, it can improve. His YPR is low and his effectiveness is lacking. But that has nothing to do with our original argument. We weren't arguing that the guy would put up low DYAR numbers. We were arguing that he couldn't catch a football out of the backfield. The numbers this year show he can most certainly catch a football. The scouting reports that he couldn't catch a football were incredibly overblown and you were in line with their thinking. The preseason reports that I quoted during our discussion all talked about how well he was doing in that area throughout the preseason and so far this year that has been much more of the case.

I'm sorry my opinion and input doesn't fit your perspective.

Edited by gianmarco

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Also, you wrote:

His catch rate is impressive, and shows that he has improved in that area. (He isn't #1 in catch rate, though; Bell's catch rate is 92%.)

However, his catch rate is boosted by his usage in the passing game. If I knew where to find average depth of target statistics, I expect they would show Gordon's is among the lowest among all RBs. What I can find shows that he has caught 25 passes behind the LOS, 7 passes thrown 1-10 yards beyond the LOS, and none thrown further than that. He is also catching passes from a very accurate QB, which helps his catch rate.

You can look Woodhead up there too. Woodhead only has 1 throw beyond 10 yards as well. So, it's not as if the other RBs are typically running these downfield routes either. Now, Woodhead definitely has a higher % of balls in 1-10 yards beyond the LOS compared to Gordon, but he still caught most of his balls behind the LOS. And Woodhead, catching from the same "very accurate QB" caught 59 balls on 81 targets (73%). That's 22 balls not caught. And unless you think almost all of those were further downfield, then he's catching at a lower % than Gordon (you know, the guy whose weakness is catching the football).

Also, Gordon's splits are hilarious. He caught 25 balls for 111 yards behind the LOS. That's 4.4 ypr. But he caught 7 balls for 75 yards for 10.7 ypr between 1-10 yards beyond the LOS. And since he only dropped 4 total targets (and who knows if those were inaccurate targets from Rivers anyway), and his longest catch is only 18 yards (so not skewed by 1 really long reception) then why isn't the coaching staff utilizing him more in those routes where he can excel? Even if all 4 of his "drops" were in that range, then catching 7 of 11 targets at 63% would be acceptable considering his ypr. And it certainly seems he's capable of catching a football given those numbers, wouldn't you say?

Edited by gianmarco

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In the end, though, if you're going to bump a post like that to puff your chest (even though you claim that's not why you did), make sure you're actually bumping it for the right reason. You look a little silly saying "I told you so" when you were arguing against the one area he has done exceptionally well in: catching the football.

I disagree that he has done "exceptionally well" catching the football, for the reasons described above. IMO it is fair to say he has done better than I expected but not as well as you seemed to expect when we discussed this last summer.

When the knock against a guy coming in at RB is that he can't catch well and he's currently 2nd in the NFL in catch % for RBs with 32 catches on 36 targets, then trying to go into his DYAR and where he's catching the ball and how many turn into first downs is a lot like "but, but, but......LOOK".

Guys that can't catch a football don't catch >90% of their targets no matter who their QB is or where it's being thrown to them. Period. It's ok to say you were wrong. Because you were.

The guy is likely going to finish the year with ~40 catches. I NEVER expected him to get that many catches as a rookie (especially with a healthy Woodhead all year). And I NEVER expected him to catch over 90% of a pretty large number of targets. And I was about the biggest Gordon fan there was. What I expected was a higher YPC and more than 0 TDs ( :lmao: @ 0 TDs). Give the guy a 4.3 ypc average (so 900 total yards instead of 790) and just 6 total TDs and he's a top 15 RB right now, albeit in an injury riddled RB year.

Point being, I was expecting him to maybe catch 20-25 balls as a rookie and figured that would limit his upside as a rookie. I definitely expected more rushing yards and rushing TDs. But, going back strictly to our argument, he far exceeded my expectations and most certainly even moreso exceeded yours. Now, if you want to discuss how effective he's been from a statistical standpoint in terms of contributions to the success of the team, then sure, it can improve. His YPR is low and his effectiveness is lacking. But that has nothing to do with our original argument. We weren't arguing that the guy would put up low DYAR numbers. We were arguing that he couldn't catch a football out of the backfield. The numbers this year show he can most certainly catch a football. The scouting reports that he couldn't catch a football were incredibly overblown and you were in line with their thinking. The preseason reports that I quoted during our discussion all talked about how well he was doing in that area throughout the preseason and so far this year that has been much more of the case.

I'm sorry my opinion and input doesn't fit your perspective.

Pass catching is about more than just literally catching passes, it is about ability to contribute as a receiver. Part of that is catching the ball, and, as I already said, he has been better than I expected on that front. But his productivity with those catches has been poor. I don't see how anyone can deny that.

The knocks on him were pass catching, pass blocking, and fumbling, not just pass catching. There was also reason to question how well he would play behind a poor OL. All of those concerns proved to be valid.

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In the end, though, if you're going to bump a post like that to puff your chest (even though you claim that's not why you did), make sure you're actually bumping it for the right reason. You look a little silly saying "I told you so" when you were arguing against the one area he has done exceptionally well in: catching the football.

I disagree that he has done "exceptionally well" catching the football, for the reasons described above. IMO it is fair to say he has done better than I expected but not as well as you seemed to expect when we discussed this last summer.

When the knock against a guy coming in at RB is that he can't catch well and he's currently 2nd in the NFL in catch % for RBs with 32 catches on 36 targets, then trying to go into his DYAR and where he's catching the ball and how many turn into first downs is a lot like "but, but, but......LOOK".

Guys that can't catch a football don't catch >90% of their targets no matter who their QB is or where it's being thrown to them. Period. It's ok to say you were wrong. Because you were.

The guy is likely going to finish the year with ~40 catches. I NEVER expected him to get that many catches as a rookie (especially with a healthy Woodhead all year). And I NEVER expected him to catch over 90% of a pretty large number of targets. And I was about the biggest Gordon fan there was. What I expected was a higher YPC and more than 0 TDs ( :lmao: @ 0 TDs). Give the guy a 4.3 ypc average (so 900 total yards instead of 790) and just 6 total TDs and he's a top 15 RB right now, albeit in an injury riddled RB year.

Point being, I was expecting him to maybe catch 20-25 balls as a rookie and figured that would limit his upside as a rookie. I definitely expected more rushing yards and rushing TDs. But, going back strictly to our argument, he far exceeded my expectations and most certainly even moreso exceeded yours. Now, if you want to discuss how effective he's been from a statistical standpoint in terms of contributions to the success of the team, then sure, it can improve. His YPR is low and his effectiveness is lacking. But that has nothing to do with our original argument. We weren't arguing that the guy would put up low DYAR numbers. We were arguing that he couldn't catch a football out of the backfield. The numbers this year show he can most certainly catch a football. The scouting reports that he couldn't catch a football were incredibly overblown and you were in line with their thinking. The preseason reports that I quoted during our discussion all talked about how well he was doing in that area throughout the preseason and so far this year that has been much more of the case.

I'm sorry my opinion and input doesn't fit your perspective.

Pass catching is about more than just literally catching passes, it is about ability to contribute as a receiver. Part of that is catching the ball, and, as I already said, he has been better than I expected on that front. But his productivity with those catches has been poor. I don't see how anyone can deny that.

The knocks on him were pass catching, pass blocking, and fumbling, not just pass catching. There was also reason to question how well he would play behind a poor OL. All of those concerns proved to be valid.

JWB:

This is my last post on this. You're creating a new argument that we never had. Again, here is the original post that details what our discussion was. I suggest you reread it.

https://forums.footballguys.com/forum/index.php?/topic/724802-official-melvin-flash-gordon-thread-of-love/page-5#entry18230734

1) We had ZERO discussion on fumbles

2) I admitted that he'll need work on pass pro

3) We disagreed on his ability to CATCH A ####### FOOTBALL.

I had read multiple reports that he was CATCHING THE FOOTBALL well and not dropping balls. I documented them. This year, he has caught 32 balls on 36 targets. I'm not sure how much more clear this can be. We had ZERO discussion on ypr, DYAR, contributions as a receiver, or productivity with the receptions after he actually caught the football. You're creating some argument that we never had and never discussed. Again, based on your initial posts to me, your recent bump, and your continued insistence that the points WE discussed have been in your favor, you seem far more interested in being seen as right than actually looking at what we talked about and what's happened.

So again, I'll just gracefully bow out and declare you the winner. I've wasted far too much time on this already.

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Oh, and just a general note. Since the discussion came up about how poor Gordon was as an actual receiver partly based on his poor 5.8 ypr:

I was mistaken because Gordon is 2nd to L. Bell in catch %. The interesting thing is that L. Bell's YPR this year is 5.6 , which is actually LOWER than Gordon's (previously described as poor). I guess Le'Veon isn't that good at catching a football either.

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I didn't make any of these posts seeking an argument or seeking to prove anything. I was simply interested in discussing Gordon, since he plays for my favorite team. Obviously, I handled it poorly.

For the record, yes, I was wrong about Gordon's ability to catch passes. His catch rate shows that he is better at it than I thought. I have posted this multiple times now.

I am interested in continuing to discuss Gordon independent of that past exchange and the fact that I was wrong about his ability to catch footballs.

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I need another season of poor play to call him a wasted pick. Just as I always need 2 seasons of solid play to call somebody good. Just so you know that a good or bad season wasn't a fluke.

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Literally 1st and goal at the 1 were he's already been plenty involved in the gameplan. Who gets that carry? Scrony little white boy Woodhead. I don't f###ing get it.

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Headed to IR. 201 touches without a TD; the record is 250

He actually has 217 touches. He had 201 entering the game and added 15 carries and 1 reception.

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Headed to IR. 201 touches without a TD; the record is 250

He actually has 217 touches. He had 201 entering the game and added 15 carries and 1 reception.

Oh ok; sorry about that. Thanks for the update

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I hate it when injuries derail a player's bid for an all-time record.

Hopefully he comes back strong and can lock that one up a couple games into next season.

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Fumble rates, like injuries, are often more a matter of luck than anything else.

But not in Gordon's case. He's not holding onto the ball as securely as he should. It's not just bad luck; it's a real problem that needs to be fixed.

He looks fantastic running the ball, though.

My main concern, more than the fumbles, is that the OL is so consistently terrible that he's going to develop bad habits in his footwork. He's going to get hesitant. He's going to start expecting to get hit as soon as he touches the ball, and that will detract from his ability to hit the hole whenever there actually is one.

I hope that doesn't happen.

Do you still feel that way on the bolded?

I saw a lot of impressive attributes in him as a runner this season, but some things to be disappointed about as well. He has a good combination of power and balance. (The touchdown called back against the Lions was an impressive display of balance.) He didn't seem as fast in the NFL as I was expecting based on his college highlights. I thought he missed some holes here and there, but for the most part I think he showed pretty good vision and lateral cuts.

He kind of reminds me of Ryan Mathews, who I also think has an underrated combination of power, speed, and balance -- but I think Gordon looks like the better overall runner due to his better lateral agility and moves.

For all the positive things I can say about how his natural skills look to me, though, the fact remains that he didn't get very good results. With each passing week, I have been forced to revise downward my estimate of the probability that he has what it takes to be a very good NFL running back. I would have had to revise it downward more sharply if he was failing to make big gains despite competent blocking. But the fact that the Chargers' run-blocking was so consistently poor makes it harder to evaluate Gordon's season.

I still think he has the physical skills to become a very good NFL running back, but I'm significantly less confident in that position now than I was before the season started.

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Will finish his rookie season with a lower YPC, fewer TDs, fewer 100+ yard rushing games, fewer receptions, and a lower yards per catch than Branden Oliver in 2014. I know the blocking is bad, but if he can't outproduce a street free agent in this situation then he probably wasn't worth the #15 overall pick. He was remarkably pedestrian all season.

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One of my main buy-low targets this offseason. I think he'll turn it around with a few tweaks to the O, experience, and the team being fully healthy.

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FWIW, the author of the article I posted about Gordon's season above called in to the Dave and Jeff show this morning while I was listening. He said in preparation for that article, he went back and watched film of Gordon's final season at Wisconsin, then watched all of the film from the Chargers' last few games. He repeated his concern about Gordon's vision and decisiveness, as outlined in the article. He went on to say that he is afraid Gordon cannot be successful without playing behind a fullback, and he thinks the Chargers need to incorporate that into their offense in order to really assess if he can be a good NFL RB.

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Will finish his rookie season with a lower YPC, fewer TDs, fewer 100+ yard rushing games, fewer receptions, and a lower yards per catch than Branden Oliver in 2014. I know the blocking is bad, but if he can't outproduce a street free agent in this situation then he probably wasn't worth the #15 overall pick. He was remarkably pedestrian all season.

Wow. That really puts how poor his season was into context. Also, while the blocking has been bad this year, it was just as bad if not worse last year, when the Chargers had the worst interior OL (C/G) play in the NFL. The fact that UDFA Oliver had more success in a very similar situation is not encouraging.

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FWIW, the author of the article I posted about Gordon's season above called in to the Dave and Jeff show this morning while I was listening. He said in preparation for that article, he went back and watched film of Gordon's final season at Wisconsin, then watched all of the film from the Chargers' last few games. He repeated his concern about Gordon's vision and decisiveness, as outlined in the article. He went on to say that he is afraid Gordon cannot be successful without playing behind a fullback, and he thinks the Chargers need to incorporate that into their offense in order to really assess if he can be a good NFL RB.

So, basically, he needs a tour guide to show him the way. Not a good long-term vote of confidence.

It is absolutely AMAZING to me that just 4 months ago, there were heated discussions about him vs. Todd Gurley. These two "talents" aren't even close.

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I have to confess that I didn't like Gordon before the draft and was surpised he went in the first round,

I took a look and saw how he's struggled and have to guess Gordon owners are frustrated so I'm starting to dig to see if their is anything here in case an owner is looking to bale and I can get a bargain.

Question for anyone who took him. What did you like about him when you took him?

I can't put my finger on it but for some reason I simply did not like what I saw leading up to the draft. Now that we've got a chance to see him, he's struggles and put the ball on the ground but I think one thing that isn't his fault but has lead to him not getting many touches is how incredible that Rivers is playing right now. So if Gordon puts the ball on the ground the coaches will have a quicker hook but if the passing attack slows down they won't be as hasty to take away his touches.

I would like to hear the case why people liked this guy so-much when they took him because I sense a bargain, that is if Gordon is special so why did people like Melvin Gordon so much in the first place?

I liked him because he was big enough, quick enough and ran with good vision. That said, I now hate his landing spot. Woodhead is solid and will be in the mix next season too, and San Diego is passing well, why would they move away from that? Also now we see that he has trouble fumbling and he isn't a great blocker or pass catcher. I hoped he would become a poor mans Jamaal Charles but now I'm worried his flaws are worse than we all thought and that these flaws and his landing spot will keep him in a RBBC the next two years minimally.

Yeah, Woodhead is killing right now.

Per Gordon. I can't put my finger on why I didn't like him but I heard the buzz and was looking forward to seeing him and caught a game where he ran for big yards but he didn't impress me for 'whatever' reason. He did his job but I didn't see one specific thing that stood out about him. I thought of the Bobby Bowfinger line 'She was like a zip code in Kansas. Good but didn't have IT.'

Wow, Very disappointing rookie season.

---------------------------------------------------

Chargers RB Melvin Gordon out for year with knee injury.

Matt Harmon Retweeted Adam Schefter

Gordon finishes his rookie season with 185 carries for 641 yards (3.5 Y/A) and zero touchdowns.

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Melvin Gordon will be the greatest bargain in 2016

By all measures, it was a disappointing rookie season for Gordon. The Wisconsin product continued the trend of former Badger star running backs flopping the pros, running for 641 yards and a shocking zero touchdowns on 184 carries. Still, there’s plenty of reason to believe he can buck that trend next season. Gordon averaged 2.22 yards after contact per carry, good for 18th in the league. Gordon was better in that predictive stat than Matt Forte, Devonta Freeman and LeSean McCoy. He also forced 34 missed tackles, seventh most in the league. Gordon forced more missed tackles than Freeman, Thomas Rawls, Mark Ingram, Lamar Miller and Forte. He was the No. 16 back by ADP this season, burning anyone who bought in on the idea of him as a potential Offensive Rookie of the Year. That, as well as the perception of Wisconsin running backs once they reach the pros, will help push Gordon down draft boards in 2016. He’ll prove to be one of the best buys at any position next season.

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Melvin Gordon will be the greatest bargain in 2016

By all measures, it was a disappointing rookie season for Gordon. The Wisconsin product continued the trend of former Badger star running backs flopping the pros, running for 641 yards and a shocking zero touchdowns on 184 carries. Still, there’s plenty of reason to believe he can buck that trend next season. Gordon averaged 2.22 yards after contact per carry, good for 18th in the league. Gordon was better in that predictive stat than Matt Forte, Devonta Freeman and LeSean McCoy. He also forced 34 missed tackles, seventh most in the league. Gordon forced more missed tackles than Freeman, Thomas Rawls, Mark Ingram, Lamar Miller and Forte. He was the No. 16 back by ADP this season, burning anyone who bought in on the idea of him as a potential Offensive Rookie of the Year. That, as well as the perception of Wisconsin running backs once they reach the pros, will help push Gordon down draft boards in 2016. He’ll prove to be one of the best buys at any position next season.

The avg. yards after contact stat is relevant here, but I have to call out blatant abuse of statistics in the missed tackles section...

Rawls didn't play much until late in the season, and missed the last couple games as well. Expect a lot of underwhelming backs surpassed his accumulation of missed tackles. Many of the other names on that list also played injury-shortened seasons.

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FWIW, the author of the article I posted about Gordon's season above called in to the Dave and Jeff show this morning while I was listening. He said in preparation for that article, he went back and watched film of Gordon's final season at Wisconsin, then watched all of the film from the Chargers' last few games. He repeated his concern about Gordon's vision and decisiveness, as outlined in the article. He went on to say that he is afraid Gordon cannot be successful without playing behind a fullback, and he thinks the Chargers need to incorporate that into their offense in order to really assess if he can be a good NFL RB.

So, basically, he needs a tour guide to show him the way. Not a good long-term vote of confidence.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with playing with a fullback. Obviously it's how many of the old school greats played, and some into more modern times. LT with Lorenzo comes to mind.

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Melvin Gordon will be the greatest bargain in 2016

By all measures, it was a disappointing rookie season for Gordon. The Wisconsin product continued the trend of former Badger star running backs flopping the pros, running for 641 yards and a shocking zero touchdowns on 184 carries. Still, theres plenty of reason to believe he can buck that trend next season. Gordon averaged 2.22 yards after contact per carry, good for 18th in the league. Gordon was better in that predictive stat than Matt Forte, Devonta Freeman and LeSean McCoy. He also forced 34 missed tackles, seventh most in the league. Gordon forced more missed tackles than Freeman, Thomas Rawls, Mark Ingram, Lamar Miller and Forte. He was the No. 16 back by ADP this season, burning anyone who bought in on the idea of him as a potential Offensive Rookie of the Year. That, as well as the perception of Wisconsin running backs once they reach the pros, will help push Gordon down draft boards in 2016. Hell prove to be one of the best buys at any position next season.

I find this piece interesting because it doesn't say anything about reasons Gordon will improve. Instead, the author essentially only says that his stock, and thus his ADP, will be down.

He mentions Gordon's YAC and missed/broken tackles and even characterizes YAC as 'predictive.' But he doesn't come out and actually predict that Gordon will play better. I suppose that is implied.

Does anyone have any data that shows that either YAC or broken/missed tackles are actually predictive?

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Rotoworld:

Melvin Gordon - RB - Chargers

Melvin Gordon will undergo surgery on his left knee.

Details are unavailable, but it's likely just a clean-up operation after cartilage damage landed Gordon on I.R. in Week 16. Minor or not, however, knee surgery isn't exactly ideal for a 22-year-old running back coming off a woefully ineffective rookie year. For now, Gordon should be considered likely to be ready for the offseason program.

Source: Michael Gehlken on Twitter

Jan 4 - 2:45 PM

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I've been trying to get him on the cheap for three weeks. Zero luck so far. All responses I get are either "No interest in trading Gordon" or the more detailed "I expect Gordon to live up to expectations in Year 2 and wouldn't sell for less than his pre-season value."

Separate question:

What draft pick is he worth to you today? I am particularly interested in JWB's view, since I more or less expect the believers to slot him around 1.03, but am curious to see the nay-sayers view.

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I've been trying to get him on the cheap for three weeks. Zero luck so far. All responses I get are either "No interest in trading Gordon" or the more detailed "I expect Gordon to live up to expectations in Year 2 and wouldn't sell for less than his pre-season value."

Separate question:

What draft pick is he worth to you today? I am particularly interested in JWB's view, since I more or less expect the believers to slot him around 1.03, but am curious to see the nay-sayers view.

Those owners are taking a big risk. If he has another season like the last, he will be a step above Trent Richardson in terms of value. I would not trade the 1.06 for him. I would say a late round first for him is now fair value. Edited by Gandalf

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I think Gordon is one of those guys who is worth more to his owners than to potential acquirers. Your experience (and mine as an owner) supports this.

Having drafted him high and held him all year, to cast him back into the pool in favor of another RB from lower in a rook draft, who might also not develop into anything of value, is unattractive. On the other hand, no one is likely to give up a premium rook pick for a player that already had a shot at proving himself and came up short.

I'd be willing to give a lower 1st to get him, but would want a higher 1st to deal him away.

One thing I would consider, if this works in your league, is whether a 2017 1st would work. The high/low value of such a pick is more uncertain, but if the Gordon owner in your league thinks (as I do) that next year's draft will be deeper at offensive skill positions, it might be an attractive offer.

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I've been trying to get him on the cheap for three weeks. Zero luck so far. All responses I get are either "No interest in trading Gordon" or the more detailed "I expect Gordon to live up to expectations in Year 2 and wouldn't sell for less than his pre-season value."

Separate question:

What draft pick is he worth to you today? I am particularly interested in JWB's view, since I more or less expect the believers to slot him around 1.03, but am curious to see the nay-sayers view.

Those owners are taking a big risk. If he has another season like the last, he will be a step above Trent Richardson in terms of value. I would not trade the 1.06 for him. I would say a late round first he now fair value.

You take a risk keeping any rookie that doesn't immediately deliver his rookie year. Not just something unique with Gordon. It's part of fantasy.

Edited by ShamrockPride

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I've been trying to get him on the cheap for three weeks. Zero luck so far. All responses I get are either "No interest in trading Gordon" or the more detailed "I expect Gordon to live up to expectations in Year 2 and wouldn't sell for less than his pre-season value."

Separate question:

What draft pick is he worth to you today? I am particularly interested in JWB's view, since I more or less expect the believers to slot him around 1.03, but am curious to see the nay-sayers view.

Those owners are taking a big risk. If he has another season like the last, he will be a step above Trent Richardson in terms of value. I would not trade the 1.06 for him. I would say a late round first he now fair value.
You take a risk keeping any rookie that doesn't immediately deliver his rookie year. Not just something unique with Gordon. It's part of fantasy.

Yes. At the same time, people will give rookies a second chance. Gordon is now on his second chance and Woodhead is still in the mix with an sub-par offensive line. So yeah will take my chances on a rookie

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I've been trying to get him on the cheap for three weeks. Zero luck so far. All responses I get are either "No interest in trading Gordon" or the more detailed "I expect Gordon to live up to expectations in Year 2 and wouldn't sell for less than his pre-season value."

Separate question:

What draft pick is he worth to you today? I am particularly interested in JWB's view, since I more or less expect the believers to slot him around 1.03, but am curious to see the nay-sayers view.

I expect I would not be willing to pay what it takes. I would give a late first. I might go as high as 1.6 but I haven't really assessed the 2016 rookie draft yet, so I'm not sure.

Whisenhunt's return is a positive, but I still expect RBBC, with both Woodhead and Oliver getting playing time. So I expect Gordon's upside to remain capped next season. OTOH, the state of RBs nowadays means he could still be a top 20 RB even with that RBBC.

And then perhaps Woodhead is gone in 2017. And maybe the coaching staff too, though that could cut either way for Gordon. Still plenty of uncertainty IMO.

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I would pay a 1.06-1.07 without hesitation, but no owner bites at that price.

The Trent comparison gets thrown around a lot these days, but I think that's a pretty exceptional case. I could easily bring up LeVeon's rookie season or Ingram's early struggles with more relevance than T-Rich.

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I've been trying to get him on the cheap for three weeks. Zero luck so far. All responses I get are either "No interest in trading Gordon" or the more detailed "I expect Gordon to live up to expectations in Year 2 and wouldn't sell for less than his pre-season value."

Separate question:

What draft pick is he worth to you today? I am particularly interested in JWB's view, since I more or less expect the believers to slot him around 1.03, but am curious to see the nay-sayers view.

Those owners are taking a big risk. If he has another season like the last, he will be a step above Trent Richardson in terms of value. I would not trade the 1.06 for him. I would say a late round first for him is now fair value.

You would be taking a risk by trading him away for a late first as well though.

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Whisenhunt plans to jumpstart Chargers' run game

Excerpt:

The biggest job for Whisenhunt is to get first-round selectionMelvin Gordon moving forward. Gordon averaged 3.5 yards per carry on 184 attempts for 641 yards during his rookie campaign and never saw the end zone. Gordon suffered from indecisiveness, never displayed an ability to break a tackle and had a fumbling problem.

Whisenhunt attributed some of those struggles to being a rookie and dismissed the fumbling as an indictment on Gordon's future.

"Obviously one thing that jumps into everybody's mind are his fumbles, but if you think back to Tiki Barber and what a great player he was, well he struggled with fumbles early on, too. So let's not panic about that," Whisenhunt said. "Yes, it is something we've got to work on, but Melvin is a talented guy. The important thing for us is what does he do well from a run game perspective? Is it a power/counter scheme, or is it a zone scheme? What are his strengths, and how do they fit with us? How can we put him in those situations? I think it is important he gets reps, and comfortable with the courses he is taking. Last year, he didn't get a chance to be exposed to that, so it will be easier for him with us having him for the whole offseason. He is also a good receiver, and catches the ball well out of the backfield. I'm excited about what he is going to be, and I am looking forward to that."

Whiz noted that he would use Gordon in the Ryan Mathews-role (Mathews earned 1,255 yards under Whisenhunt in 2013), with Danny Woodhead falling back into his pass-catching place out of the backfield.

Edited by Faust

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Melvin Gordon (knee surgery) is participating "without sign of limitation" in San Diego's voluntary practices.

 

However, Gordon seemed to admit he still wasn't 100 percent with his comments after practice. "No question, I'll be ready for training camp," Gordon said. "I'm not even worried about that." Gordon underwent an operation to clean up some cartilage damage in early January. Admittedly "terrible" as a rookie, Gordon needs a full camp and preseason as he looks to improve on his dismal 3.48 rookie YPC.

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Gordon should be primed for a breakout season. One would hope his pass protection and fumbling issues will be improved with a season of NFL experience and an offseason to work on those things. He already proved he can be an adequate receiver but may also improve in that area.

Now he just needs to prove he can be the runner he was drafted to be. Fortunately, there are some notable positives on that front:

  1. OC Whisenhunt is back. When he was the OC in 2013, the Chargers were #6 in rushing attempts and #13 in rushing yards. Mathews was RB12 and Woodhead was RB19 that season (PFR scoring).
  2. The OL should be much improved, for a number of reasons:
    • Better health seems very likely.
    • Changed OC and OL coaches.
    • Drafted a highly regarded center and signed a highly regarded C/G in Slauson.
  3. The team drafted Gordon's college FB, and presumably intends to run more plays with a FB as a lead blocker.
  4. Some might take it even farther and say that signing TE Cumberland and drafting TE Henry should improve the run blocking at TE. I am hopeful that is true, but not confident of that. Reviews on Henry's blocking in college have been mixed.
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Wow, just when I started feeling optimistic about Gordon: San Diego Chargers running back Melvin Gordon had microfracture surgery in January

Quote

The words "microfracture surgery" send a chill down the spine of sports fans everywhere (think Myles Jack sliding out of the first round despite being a top five talent). It can be and, more often than you'd like to think, is a career-ender. It is, at the least, career threatening.

In this case, there seems to be quite a bit of optimism. Gordon's timetable for return was four-to-six months (which we're roughly in the middle of at present). It's impossible to say at this time if this is realistic or if Gordon's surgery will have a lasting impact on his ability to play football in the future. But it's worth noting that very few NFL players have had sustained success following this procedure.

Expressed optimism or not, this is scary news for the Chargers who burned multiple picks trading up for and drafting Melvin Gordon. His rookie year suggested strongly that he was a potential bust. Ending that season with microfracture surgery makes it even more likely.

On the bright side, it should be easier for Telesco & co. to (if necessary) move on from Gordon due to injury than due to continued poor performance.

Not good. Off the top of my head, I know these RBs had microfracture surgery:

  • Terrell Davis (2002) -- never played again.
  • Reggie Bush (2008) -- played several more seasons; 3 of them were good seasons, but the 2 seasons immediately following the surgery were among his few worst; the injury presumably contributed to the Saints decision to let him go.
  • Maurice Jones-Drew (2011) -- had surgery following the best season of his career; played 3 more seasons but never regained his form.

So this is a small sample size, and Gordon is younger and carrying less mileage than these guys. Still, this totally changes his outlook. His dynasty stock is likely in free fall right now.

ETA: Doesn't it seem curious that the team has not added a RB? Heck, this makes it a bit surprising that Telesco let his favorite RB Donald Brown go. I'd like to believe this indicates that Gordon will be able to recover in time for this season, but it's hard for me to assume that Gordon will be the first RB I know of who has this surgery and then gets better.

Edited by Just Win Baby

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Wow, that would be a shame. As bad as he was last season, I felt he showed potential at Wisconsin.

It is not that hard to find plug-and-play options at RB if it comes down to that for the Bolts. Woodhead and Oliver aren't terrible. There will be bodies out there during and after training camp as well.

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If Gordon indeed had microfracture surgery he is dead to me in dynasty leagues.  If people want to bet on him being an exception GL with that.  He'll likely never become anything now.

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9 hours ago, Just Win Baby said:

Wow, just when I started feeling optimistic about Gordon: San Diego Chargers running back Melvin Gordon had microfracture surgery in January

Not good. Off the top of my head, I know these RBs had microfracture surgery:

  • Terrell Davis (2002) -- never played again.
  • Reggie Bush (2008) -- played several more seasons; 3 of them were good seasons, but the 2 seasons immediately following the surgery were among his few worst; the injury presumably contributed to the Saints decision to let him go.
  • Maurice Jones-Drew (2011) -- had surgery following the best season of his career; played 3 more seasons but never regained his form.

So this is a small sample size, and Gordon is younger and carrying less mileage than these guys. Still, this totally changes his outlook. His dynasty stock is likely in free fall right now.

ETA: Doesn't it seem curious that the team has not added a RB? Heck, this makes it a bit surprising that Telesco let his favorite RB Donald Brown go. I'd like to believe this indicates that Gordon will be able to recover in time for this season, but it's hard for me to assume that Gordon will be the first RB I know of who has this surgery and then gets better.

Just to add one more from memory: DeShaun Foster

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Wow this is huge news.  I'm shocked they didn't draft a running back late in the draft.  I suppose this explains why he underachieved last year.  I'm not sure what my draft strategy will be with SD RBs but I will likely target Woodhead in PPR leagues.

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30 minutes ago, buddhacwru said:

I suppose this explains why he underachieved last year.

Not necessarily. From ESPN:

Quote

Gordon was injured during the second quarter of San Diego's final home game of the 2015 season on Dec. 20 against the Miami Dolphins, taking a blow to his left knee during a run.

The implication is that the need for surgery occurred because of that hit to his knee, which was at the end of his disappointing season.

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