Getting around the edge
Gordon also has a great ability to get to the edge and turn his run upfield at the numbers. He has the athleticism to outrun defenders to the sideline and turn the corner, which is necessary for an RB in the NFL. If there’s nothing availbe up the middle, Gordon will definitely be able to bounce it outside.
On zone runs and pull plays, Gordon demonstrated adequate patience to let his blockers open up holes for him. While it’s not something he had to do too often because of the excellent offensive line in front of him, Gordon has the ability to wait for his blocks to develop and then hit the hole.
Gordon displays an excellent sense of balance on his runs. He’ll be able to break shestring tackles and stay upright in a number of situations.
I would include gifs of Gordon catching passes, but just like in his tape, that won’t be found in this article. Ok, that’s not entirely true. Gordon did catch some passes, but only had 22 receptions in his career at Wisconsin (19 his senior year). I can’t say he’s a bad receiver because I simply don’t have enough information on it. His hands seemed inconsistent and he didn’t look comfortable catching the football in the plays I did see, but again, that’s based off of limited information. He wasn’t asked to receive. Sure, he ran some flat routes and was there as a relief valve for some dumpoffs after chipping, but that was about it. Pass catching is huge these days for RBs in the NFL, and not being asked to do it at Wisconsin is going to hurt him a little. Gordon’s biggest value as is as a runner, and I don’t think he’ll be spending much time on the field in third down situations no matter where he goes in the NFL, in his first year at least.
Gordon is a very willing pass protector. He doesn’t shy away from trying to block opponents, but he’s unrefined. It may have been what he was coached to do, but he attacks defenders the line of scrimmage at the snap on pass plays. In a lot of schemes in the NFL, the RB is responsible for sitting back a little and then either helping out a struggling lineman of picking up a free rusher. Gordon didn’t really show that he can do that in college. It will require coaching, but he should take to it. As you can see in the gifs above, his attacking style can lead to some really impressive plays, like the first two where he pancakes the defenders. In fact, the first block really demonstrates the total package in what you want from a RB in pass protection. He’s able to get a free rusher on the other side of the QB, which isn’t easy. However, he needs to be more consistent. Gordon’s attacking style can also lead to him overrunning the defender, whiffing completely. Those kinds of missed blocks turn into sacks in the NFL and need to be corrected.