The Supplemental Draft has had some intriguing names in recent years: Terrelle Pryor, Jeremy Jarmon, Jared Gaither and Paul Oliver immediately come to mind. Outside of maybe Pryor, few players have generated as much conversation as former Baylor wide receiver Josh Gordon.
His reasons for entering the Supplemental Draft are reportedly due to financial reasons. The complete truth is largely unknown. Gordon transferred from Baylor to Utah and was eligible to play this season. A Utah spokesperson told me that Gordon participated in fall practice. He was off the team before spring practice, however.
Gordon is holding a pro day Tuesday. There, NFL teams (and pestering media types) will get a better indication of his skill set after not officially taking a snap since 2010. That year for Baylor, Gordon had 42 catches for 714 yards and seven touchdowns.
Since it was announced Gordon was in the Supplemental Draft, bored writers have been largely falling over themselves praising Gordon. Russ Lande of Sporting News gave Gordon a late second-round grade. Here's the walk-away from Lande's scouting report:
Off 2010 film he showed better hands and run after catch ability than Kendall Wright who was drafted in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft. Gordon definitely needs to improve his route running, but in terms of pure physical talent he is very gifted and has the talent to be a highly productive NFL receiver. Overall, had Gordon played at Baylor in 2011 he likely could have come out early and been a first or second round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.
Strong opinion, which is respectable and not unexpected from Lande. Matt Waldman, whose work is incredible, took nearly 3,000 words (!) to make the claim for Gordon being a "mix between a raw Terrell Owens and Demaryius Thomas" and that "his potential could be as limitless as Calvin Johnson." That's mighty praise for a player who, in 2010, had just two games of more than 100 yards receiving and seven of 50 or less. Yes, yes, I know, don't judge a player based on stats.
It's true, it's probably more apt to judge Gordon based on his 6-foot-4, 220-pound frame, or his reportedly sub-4.4 40-yard dash. But you have to wonder about how and why he bounced from Baylor to Utah to the Supplemental Draft. And although the number of prospects in the Supplemental Draft is always light on drafted players, very few offensive skill position players have been picked. Even fewer had an impact in the NFL.
Strip away all the positives and negatives, though, and we really have no idea where Gordon will truly end up. The lazy conclusion is that the Washington Redskins will use a pick on him. It's true, Washington doesn't have a first-round pick next year. But the team has an extra pick in the fifth round next year. Gordon was also a college teammate of the Redskins' top pick this year Robert Griffin III. And Washington isn't afraid of risking a pick in the Supplemental Draft – the team used a third rounder on defensive end Jeremy Jarmon in 2009.
Then there's the wonderfully anonymous source who told Evan Silva of Pro Football Talk that an NFC team would use a third-round pick on Gordon. That same source believes Gordon is a better player than Tennessee Titans first-round pick Kendall Wright.
So the obvious conclusion is Washington. But just like the standard NFL Draft, we really have no clue. Someone's guess will probably be right. Many will be wrong. We'll find out for sure Thursday.
Check out a good, measured analysis of Gordon done by Josh Norris of RotoWorld here. Here's a good summation:
Sure, he offers a 6'3 frame and is said to run a mid 4.4 forty, but to me the positives nearly end there. Straight-line speed is great, but he struggled to bend when changing directions on breaking routes, albeit a small route sample size at Baylor.
Here's a Baylor/Kansas State game cut up from Aaron Aloysius. This was arguably Gordon's best game. In it, he had seven receptions for 141 yards and two touchdowns.
Where do you think Gordon will end up? Let us know in the comments. For more on Baylor, dig on Our Daily Bears.