Photo Credit: AP
Photo Credit: AP

This past May, the Chargers and Rams decided to take a chance on a now overlooked position in the NFL, running back. Both Melvin Gordon and Todd Gurley had very successful college careers that lead to them being drafted in the first round. Gurley was having a terrific season at Georgia before tearing his ACL, ending his season and his college career. That injury, however, did not scare the Rams off as they used the tenth pick overall on Gurley. Gordon had a great season at Wisconsin and when he declared for the draft, there was no doubt that he was one of the two best running back prospects in the draft, along with Gurley. These two backs will often be compared together because they were both first round picks. In my opinion, one of them will be on top in that comparison, especially this upcoming season.

(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

The Rams selection of Gurley seemed very surprising at the time, considering they already had a full set of running backs on their roster, including Zac Stacy and Tre Mason. Stacy was coming off a very poor season last year, which was disappointing to the team after he had a solid year in 2013. With Gurley selected and the team already having a young running back on the roster, the Rams decided to trade Stacy to the Jets and avoid any turmoil in the locker room. Mason had a very solid year for the Rams in 2014, but with the selection of Gurley, one would think Mason will be limited to a backup role once the season starts. The one advantage to Gurley going to a team like the Rams is that if he is not healthy to start the year, the Rams have a capable running back, Mason, to take over the starting role. The Rams recent trade for Nick Foles will definitely help stabilize their quarterback position, which will help the offense as a whole. With the risk of Gurley not being ready and with Mason on the roster, I expect Gurley’s numbers to be a little down from what they would be if he were completely healthy and the opening week starter. Rust will need to be shaken off, coming back from a knee injury like his.

(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

The Chargers selection of Gordon made a lot more sense, considering they lost their starting running back, Ryan Matthews, in free agency and their pass catching back, Danny Woodhead, is coming off a broken fibula. Gordon should fit right in with what the Chargers are doing offensively. He can run between the tackles and is a very good receiving running back (as shown during the NFL draft process). The Chargers having a need at running back, were able to get the most talented, NFL-ready running back available, due to Gurley’s injury. The Bolts’ already have a very good quarterback, Phillip Rivers, and two excellent pass-catchers, Keenan Allen and Antonio Gates. Being surrounded by these great players should really help Gordon from pressing too hard in his rookie year and focus on what he does best. For that reason, I expect Gordon to put up great numbers this upcoming season and prove to the people who say that in today’s NFL, the running back position is overrated, wrong.

Although both running backs have the talent to succeed at the NFL level, I believe that Gordon was put in a better position to succeed right away. The Rams offense will be much improved from the past few seasons. However, the Chargers have more proven players in place which will make Gordon’s transition to the NFL easier than Gurley’s.

 

Colby Gatz covers the Red Sox and Patriots for MFST, you can follow him on Twitter @bostonfan_15

Colby GatzAnalysisFootballNFLNFL Draft#Melvin Gordon,San Diego Chargers,St. Louis Rams,Todd Gurley  This past May, the Chargers and Rams decided to take a chance on a now overlooked position in the NFL, running back. Both Melvin Gordon and Todd Gurley had very successful college careers that lead to them being drafted in the first round. Gurley was having a terrific season...Why go anywhere else for sports and entertainment?