Melvin Gordon’s first year in the NFL wasn’t very kind to him, which was an unfamiliar sight to those who watched him play in college.
The former Badgers running back and current San Diego Chargers player now has to shake off the label of “bust” following his rookie year which saw him rush for only 641 yards and fumble the ball six times. That stat line is quite the contrast from his senior year at Wisconsin, when Gordon ran his way into the record books at Wisconsin, as he holds 11 Badgers records along with three national records.
Where did it go wrong for Gordon?
In an All 22 article by Nate Atkins, Gordon’s biggest issues were pass protection and fumbling. However, the Chargers didn’t provide much help. According to Football Outsiders they only ran the ball 27 percent of the time on offense last year, and on passing downs, when the running back was the target, the Chargers elected to throw to veteran Danny Woodhead instead of Gordon.
Atkins writes that shedding the “bust” label is easier said than done, but if Gordon can cut down on his fumbles and utilize his open-field explosiveness, which is what made him great at Wisconsin, then he could have a shot at locking down the Chargers running back position for good.
The Chargers also have to meet him halfway and provide him with an offensive scheme which can fully utilize his skills.