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NFL Draft Scouting Report: Dakota Gordon, FB, San Diego State

NFL Draft Scouting Report: Dakota Gordon, FB, San Diego State

Dakota Gordon, FB, San Diego State

 

Position: Fullback
Height: 5’10”
Weight: 235 lbs
Year: Senior
Hometown: Clovis, CA
Experience: 2-year Starter

 

Measurables:

40yd dash: NA
Broad jump: NA
Vertical: NA
3-cone: NA
20yd. Shuttle: NA
Bench Press: NA

 

Career Notes:

Dakota Gordon is a true run-blocking fullback who also has the versatility to contribute as a receiver. At 5’10, 235, his relative lack of size did not prevent him from paving the way for a strong SDSU run game, and he possesses traits that will carry over to the next level, especially against the trend of smaller, coverage linebackers such as Deone Bucannon and Mark Barron.

In a very limited rushing role, Gordon averaged a more than respectable 5.1 yards per carry on 37 carries for 187 yards, including 3 touchdowns. He also caught 12 passes for 167 yards with 1 touchdown. A more relevant statistic is the SDSU team average of 233.3 rushing yards per game, with a per-carry average of 4.8. Gordon helped pave the way for two 1000 yard rushers, as well as a third runningback with almost 400 yards.

Gordon has been the starter at fullback for the past two seasons. Prior to his junior season, he played as a FB/RB hybrid at Fresno City College, helping them win their division two years in a row. His wrestling background in high school helps him win leverage battles against larger linebackers and defensive linemen.

Injury Report: 

Gordon has played in every game of his college career and has never had a significant injury.

 

Career Stats: http://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/dakota-gordon-1.html

 

Analysis

Run Blocking: 5/5

                The only apparent flaw Gordon has on the surface is his relative lack of size. However, this lack of size does not show up anywhere on tape. He possesses the functional strength to dominate linebackers at the point of attack, and was even trusted to block interior defensive linemen by himself on occasion, a task which he was more than capable of. On inside runs vs. linebackers coming downhill, he delivers a very strong blow on initial contact that stonewalls them in their tracks. When blocking a defender at an angle, he maintains his balance and wins the leverage battle while keeping his feet moving and using his hands effectively. He possesses a strong understanding and ability to seal off defenders from where the runner is supposed to go. He is athletic enough to get to the outside on tosses and stretch runs, and can effectively block defensive backs on the perimeter.

Pass Blocking: 4.5/5

                Due to SDSU’s run-heavy offense, Gordon did not get many opportunities to protect the QB. Additionally, he was more often used as a receiver than as a pass blocker. However, when he did get the opportunity to pass protect, he performed at a very satisfactory level. He took on blitzing linebackers with the same aggressive mentality as he did in the run game, keeping his pad level low and initiating contact well away from his QB. His footwork was solid and he almost never gave ground, helping keep the pocket clean. He was also trusted to block defensive ends by himself on occasion.

As a Runner: 4.5/5

                Gordon’s background as a runningback is apparent, as he shows the ability to keep his pad level low while accelerating with decent burst through the hole. He is nearly impossible to bring down by any single defender, and even when in the grasp of multiple tacklers, he keeps his feet moving and twists forward for extra yards. He is even more dangerous when in open space, as he has decent speed but also good footwork and vision to negotiate his way between tacklers, to go with his hammer-dropping power and boom-laying mentality.

As a Receiver: 4.8/5

                While not a featured receiver in SDSU’s offense, Gordon showed the ability to reliably make open catches as well as make catches in traffic with the knowledge that he would take a hit immediately after the catch. He has the ability to transition quickly from a receiver to a runner, and once he has the ball in his hands in space, no single defender will be able to bring him down.

Summary: 

A powerful run-blocker, Gordon is extremely versatile in his ability to also contribute as a runner and receiver. His strength is already equal to that of fullbacks with 20 pounds on him, and an offseason in an NFL weight room will only help him get stronger. He possesses great football intelligence, with good vision for his runningbacks and a great understanding of leverage. He is athletic enough to block any defender on the field, and can stay on the field to pass protect and serve as a receiver.

Overall Grade: 4.7

 

If drafted by the Packers:

                Obviously, it is unlikely that the Packers are looking to draft another fullback just a year after taking Oklahoma standout Aaron Ripkowski in the 6th round. However, if Gordon falls far enough in the draft, Ted’s proven strategy of taking the best player available would lead to selecting the fullback from San Diego State. He is a better run blocker than Ripkowski is currently, and a far more dangerous runner and receiver than John Kuhn. The selection of Dakota Gordon might spell the end of Kuhn’s time as a Packer, and it could help return the Packers run game to its 2014 peak.

 

Video:

 

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (4) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Gordon looks tremendous on this video against the 7-6 Cincinnati Bearcats. Gordon was the MVP for the Hawaii Bowl game despite rushing only 3 times for just 7 yards. He did have 4 receptions for 58 yards, but mostly it was for his blocking. PFF has him as the best blocking FB, bar none. He looked very natural as a receiver, with ability to adjust and pretty good COD. The author assigned very high grades. Given positional value, that should equate to a 3rd or 4th round prospect. There are issues, though.

Gordon is 5' 9.25" tall and 236 Lbs. Not a guy who can put on more weight. He looks like a bowling ball and wouldn't look out of place in any WI dive bar. He did bench 30. His 4.81 forty at his pro day makes him an uncertain candidate for STs. My wife would have liked his hair. Probably an UDFA, but....

Erik Fretland's picture

Great point about the grading. I was simply grading on a 5 point scale with 5 being what the ideal fullback would be capable of. I was definitely not implying that he should be drafted anywhere other than late on day 3. You're probably right about not being able to put on more weight (apparently he was the biggest gym rat on the team already), but I believe his lower center of gravity will help make up for his slight weight disadvantage.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I wasn't clear: I wasn't criticizing you, Erik. Based on that tape, my grades would have been right where yours were. Gordon looked tremendous blocking and very natural catching the ball.

To respond to Ibleedgreenmore, I suspect Gordon will be a UDFA. If TT suspects that Gordon can block NFL players even close to as well as he did in this tape, he's worth an UDFA contract.

Ibleedgreenmore's picture

My question is why a fullback, we need a lot more and already have two now.

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