Recently, Pete Prisco of CBS put out a list identifying one player from each of the league’s 32 teams that is “on the spot” in 2016.
As soon as you read that sentence, you likely started generating ideas in your head of which member of the San Diego Chargers he chose. One of the first names that came to mind should have been Melvin Gordon.
Though linebacker Manti Te’o could just as easily be on the list, Gordon was a first-round draft pick that was a big disappointment last season, something that has been discussed at length. That said, it’s really no surprise he lands on Prisco’s list. Below is what Prisco had to say regarding his decision:
“The Chargers drafted him the first round in 2015 with the idea he would become their feature back and put up big numbers. As a rookie, it just didn’t happen. The line wasn’t good, but Gordon gained just 641 yards and had a 3.6 yards-per-rush average. That isn’t good enough. He hurt his knee late in the season and had micro-fracture surgery on his left knee in January. When he comes back is up in the air, but when he does he has to be better”.
That is all true, but how much of the blame for those numbers should rest on the shoulders of Gordon? Does he get a free pass because of the poor offensive line play? Or, was it just rookie jitters as he tried to adapt to the professional level?
Whatever the case, the Chargers will need him to be much more reliable in his second year. But Prisco touches on an important issue—Gordon’s offseason microfracture surgery.
How Gordon bounces back from that will likely determine how effective he will be in 2016. If he has another year like he did last season, the dreaded “bust” label will be thrown around far more frequently.
Do you agree or disagree with Prisco? Should a different Chargers player—such as Te’o—be on the list instead? Let us know in the comment section below.