“Flash” is a great descriptor for former Baylor wide receiver Josh “Flash” Gordon, who is entering the 2012 NFL Supplemental Draft. At least 6’3″ and 220 pounds, the wide receiver’s game is built upon explosive and dynamic physical attributes. If he were to participate at a Pro Day or an NFL Combine, I believe an in-shape Gordon would produce results that would place him in similar company with Jets wide receiver Stephen Hill.
I watched three games of Gordon and scored each of these performances with my Rookie Scouting Portfolio grading system. All three games were from his sophomore year: Kansas, Texas Tech, and Illinois. Gordon earned a 79.5 on a 100-point scale in all three games.
For those of you not familiar with my system, Gordon’s grade is consistent with a high-round prospect with skills that immediately give him a shot to see the field early as a high-end reserve or situational starter. If I were to give Gordon a potential score, it would be a franchise starter grade. I don’t think there is anything on the field that a receiver is required to execute that he can’t learn and perform at a high level.
What holds Gordon back might be the same things that held back Charles Rogers, Mike Clayton formerly of the Buccaneers, both NFL starters sharing the name Mike Williams, and to lesser extents, Dez Bryant, Randy Moss, Chad Ochocinco, and potentially Justin Blackmon: immaturity and insecurity. Gordon has two marijuana-related incidents and an arrest surrounding debit/credit card abuse that involved a $2000 bond. He was benched once for the first quarter of a Baylor game, suspended from the team a second time, and then suspended indefinitely for violating team rules.
Utah head coach Kyle Whittington gave Gordon a second chance, but after the receiver sat out 2011 to comply with NCAA rules, he never joined the team. The reasons behind this decision were never disclosed publicly. I’m not going to delve further into Gordon’s off-field behavior or speculate if he’s physically, mentally, or emotionally at place to compete in the NFL.
I’m only going to tell you what I see if he has his mind right. We can only wait and see. The information I’ll provide in the next post will be play-by-play logs of what I observed from Gordon in these three games. If you’re new to this blog, check out my series of posts on Stephen Hill, Marvin Jones, and Greg Childs to learn what I’ll be doing with Gordon’s performances.
Here’s a parting thought to this preview: If not for his off-field issues and a year away from college football, I would place Gordon in my top five or six receivers in this 2012 class based on talent and budding skill at his position. If you’re a risk-friendly fantasy owner, Gordon deserves your attention. Depending on the team that selects Gordon and any accompanying workouts that demonstrate tangible (non-PR-spin) positive information about his conditioning and mindset, he’s a player I would draft as my 12th to 25th player off the board in fantasy drafts.
For more analysis like this at every skill position, purchase the Rookie Scouting Portfolio. Order the 2012 RSP and get the 2012 RSP Post-Draft Analysis at no charge. Past RSPs (2006-2011) also available for download here.