Almost every year, a major injury or two manage to shake up the shape of the first round of the NFL draft. This season is no different. Going into this week, Wisconsin RB Melvin Gordon and Georgia RB Todd Gurley were considered to be the top two running back prospects for 2015, with many scouts considering Gurley to be a first round pick. Some "experts" have projected Melvin Gordon in the first round as well. This season's running back crop is a deep and talented one, and at least one running back will likely be selected in the first round. A few weeks ago, the "sure thing" was Todd Gurley. After this week, it's Melvin Gordon. One play or one game can change the dynamics of an entire draft, and that happened this week.
Before tearing his ACL, Gurley was projected by some sites as a potential top 10 pick. Now that Gurley is potentially out for the season, expect his draft stock to drop heavily. However, Gurley might not fall completely out of the first round. Gurley has been compared to Marshawn Lynch by some scouts, and could still slip into the first round. While some scouts will see shades of Ki Jana Carter and shy away from Gurley due to his injury, others will try to compare him to Adrian Peterson and may be willing to roll the dice early. I think at the end of the day, this injury drops Gurley into the second round of the draft. He's a better pass-catcher than Gordon, but Gordon is a better pure runner, and doesn't have the injury baggage now unfortunately carried by Gurley.
Melvin Gordon is the big gainer this week. He has been projected to fall near the end of the first round or the beginning of the second round by most sites. After Gurley's injury, his draft stock will improve. Combine that with a monster 408 yard, 4 TD game this week against Nebraska, and Gordon is putting the final touches on an outstanding season. Gordon is a first round caliber talent and may have been the best running back available in the 2015 draft even before Gurley's ACL tear. That being said, Gordon, who has been compared to Jamaal Charles. Know who's single game rushing record Gordon just broke? LaDainian Tomlinson's. With a strong finish to the 2014 season, Melvin Gordon will cement his draft stock and will now likely be the first RB selected in the 2015 draft. In fact, while I've had a first round grade on Gordon for a while, this injury likely cements his spot in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft.
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