One stat shows just how surprisingly elusive Melvin Gordon III is

Oct 23, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; San Diego Chargers running back Melvin Gordon (28) runs the ball against the Atlanta Falcons in the second quarter at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

After signing Melvin Gordon III to a two-year deal back in March, the Broncos organization was enthusiastic about Gordon’s diverse skillset and the attributes he brings to the table. Checking in at 6’1” and 215 lbs, Gordon is capable of running over defenders and using his bigger frame to his advantage.

According to Pro Football Focus, Gordon is fourth in the NFL in missed tackles forced on runs since 2017, with 117 broken tackles. Only three players, Derrick Henry, Kareem Hunt and Chris Carson have broken more tackles than him over the past three seasons and all three are bigger running backs who rely on power.

In addition to his ability to break tackles, Gordon still possesses great speed, so the combination of power, balance and quickness make him a tough guy to bring down.

Gordon, a two-time Pro Bowler, has racked up over 1,000 yards from scrimmage in three of his five seasons in the NFL. After not scoring a touchdown in his rookie year, Gordon has averaged almost 12 touchdowns a season in his last four years. Furthermore, Gordon has caught over 40 passes in four of his five seasons and has eclipsed 400 yards receiving in three of his five.

Interestingly enough, in his five seasons playing in Chargers backfield, Gordon has averaged 4.0 yards per carry, whereas Phillip Lindsay has averaged 4.9 yards per carry in his two seasons in Denver. This drastic difference in YPC could be due in part to Gordon running behind insufficient offensive lines.

Although John Elway has stated both Gordon and Lindsay will have key roles in the offense, Gordon’s two-year contract worth $16M suggests that he will be the lead back in the one-two punch. As of right now, it is unclear which running back will get the majority of the snaps and carries. However, it is fair to estimate that Gordon will receive the lion’s share of the work in goal-line situations and pass-catching.

If Gordon is able to stay healthy and clean up his ball security issues, he certainly has the talent and elusiveness to be one of the most dynamic running backs in the entire NFL.

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