3. Melvin Gordon, Running Back, second Pro Bowl selection
The injury bug slashed a few games off of his season, but Gordon still established himself as one of the NFL’s most potent rushers in 2018.
In his fourth season as a pro, the Chargers’ starting tailback racked up 885 rushing yards and 10 touchdown runs in 12 games played. His 5.1 rushing yards-per-carry average was the best mark of his career. Gordon continued to progress as a pass-catching weapon, as he hauled in 50 catches for 490 receiving yards and four scoring grabs.
The University of Wisconsin grad continued to prove he is one of the NFL’s premier touchdown producers, as his 14 total scores were tied for fifth-best in the league. Moreover, Gordon emerged once again as one of the NFL’s top-notch dual-threat running backs.
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Albeit, he did not produce as a receiver like Saquon Barkley, Christian McCaffrey, or Alvin Kamara, but Gordon was still a legitimate threat as pass-catcher in 2018. The Kenosha, Wisconsin product provided Rivers with a viable receiving target on the majority of his dropbacks, which only elevated their passing attack.
While his receiving game continues to grow, Gordon’s skill-set as a pure runner has developed on a season-by-season basis. The four-year veteran possesses the ability to gash defenses up the middle and sprint around would-be tacklers on the perimeter. His repertoire as a runner is one of the most lethal in the NFL.
The next step for Gordon after the Pro Bowl is to catapult himself into the elite NFL running back category. He is inching closer to that label, and this season’s Pro Bowl nod helps. But staying healthy is a necessity in 2019 if he wants to be in the discussion of upper-echelon tailbacks.