I wrote on Monday that if it were 1986, or even 1996, there's no way a player like Melvin Gordon would last very long in the NFL draft, certainly not until Round 2. And while a running back hasn't been taken in Round 1 in each of the last two years, both Gordon and Todd Gurley, if healthy, are going to be in consideration in that range. They're totally different types of backs, but they could each help an NFL offense right now.
Those two both inch up this week on the latest board.
I'll keep scouting reports consistent week to week throughout the season and only make changes regarding recent performances, unless my evaluation shifts. That said, let's dive back into "the process" and another season.
An asterisk denotes a junior for the 2014 season; two asterisks denote a redshirt sophomore.
Protection has been a problem in this offense, but I think that's good for Mariota as a prospect. He'll be more ready for it. As a player he combines above-average accuracy and anticipation with an ability to get through his progressions and elite athleticism. How well he can take apart a defense with tools other than his legs matters in terms of how he is viewed as a prospect, but his ability to throw on the run or to simply take off and pick up chunk yardage as a runner is a major plus.
Quick for his size, he can line up all over and won't get pushed around when he's inside. At his size, around 290 pounds, he's a special athlete who could line up as a defensive end and drive a tackle back or line up on the outside shoulder of a guard and create problems with power and quickness, as well. He's the kind of disruptive, versatile lineman who can succeed in any system. A potential No. 1 pick.