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Melvin Gordon

College production often means little

Melvin Gordon made his NFL debut Thursday night, looking a little tentative out there for San Diego. Plenty of preseason left for him to impress, of course. Gordon had a huge final season of college, rushing for more than 2,500 yards at Wisconsin last year. That's more than any back drafted in the first two rounds over the last 15 years.

That college production doesn't ensure he'll be a great pro. The table below shows all previous running backs drafted in the first two rounds since 2000, sorted by rushing yards in their final season of college. Some great backs near the top of that list (LaDainian Tomlinson, Matt Forte), but plenty of duds (J.J. Arrington, Ron Dayne), too. Note that two of the disappointments also went to Wisconsin: Dayne and (so far) Montee Ball. Although, also note that the best of those runners began his career with the Chargers (Tomlinson).

1ST AND 2ND-ROUND RBS, 2000-2014
YearRdPkPlayerCollegeNFL TeamAttRunTD
200115LaDainian TomlinsonTexas ChristianChargers369215822
2008244Matt ForteTulaneBears361212723
2003127Larry JohnsonPenn StateKansas City271208723
2009127Donald Brown Connecticut Colts367208318
2005244J.J. ArringtonCaliforniaCardinals289201815
2008255Ray RiceRutgersRavens380201225
2006127DeAngelo WilliamsMemphisPanthers310196419
2010251Toby GerhartStanfordVikings343187128
2014254Bishop SankeyWashingtonTitans327187021
200514Cedric BensonTexasBears326183420
2000111Ron DayneWisconsinGiants303183419
2013258Montee BallWisconsinBroncos356183022
200814Darren McFaddenArkansasRaiders325183017
2010112Ryan MathewsFresno StateChargers276180819
2012261LaMichael JamesOregon49ers247180519
200017Thomas JonesVirginiaCardinals334179817
2013248LeVeon BellMichigan StateSteelers382179313
2003123Willis McGaheeMiamiBills282175328
200612Reggie BushSouthern CaliforniaSaints200174018
2008113Jonathan StewartOregonPanthers280172213
2012132David WilsonVirginia TechGiants290170910
2011257Mikel LeshoureIllinoisLions281169720
2008123Rashard MendenhallIllinoisSteelers262168119
201213Trent RichardsonAlabamaBrowns283167924
2004126Chris PerryMichiganBengals338167420
2004130Kevin JonesVirginia TechLions281164721
2000131Trung CanidateArizonaRams253160212
2001127Michael BennettWisconsinVikings294159810
2011262Daniel ThomasKansas StateDolphins298158519
2002116William GreenBoston CollegeBrowns265155917
2001238Anthony ThomasMichiganBears287155117
2004124Steven JacksonOregon StateRams350154522
2014257Carlos HydeOhio State49ers208152118
2009253LeSean McCoy Pittsburgh Eagles308148821
2006121Laurence MaroneyMinnesotaPatriots281146411
2008124Chris JohnsonEast CarolinaTitans236142323
2014255Jeremy HillLouisiana StateBengals203140116
2009112Knowshon Moreno Georgia Broncos250140018
2000119Shaun AlexanderAlabamaSeahawks302138323
2010258Ben TateAuburnTexans263136210
2007112Marshawn LynchCaliforniaBills223135615
2010259Montario HardestyTennesseeBrowns282134514
2013261Eddie LacyAlabamaPackers204132219
2001258Travis HenryTennesseeBills253131411
2006245LenDale WhiteSouthern CaliforniaTitans197130226
2012131Doug MartinBoise StateBuccaneers263129918
2004241Tatum BellOklahoma StateBroncos213128616
2004243Julius JonesNotre DameCowboys229126810
2012250Isaiah PeadCincinnatiRams237125915
2002118T.J. DuckettMichigan StateFalcons236123611
2013237Giovani BernardNorth CarolinaBengals184122817
201019C.J. SpillerClemsonBills216121216
2002251Clinton PortisMiamiBroncos220120011
2009131Beanie Wells Ohio State Cardinals20711978
2011256Shane VereenCaliforniaPatriots231116716
200515Cadillac WilliamsAuburnBuccaneers239116513
2008122Felix JonesArkansasCowboys133116211
2002234DeShaun FosterUCLAPanthers216110913
2002256Ladell BettsIowaWashington220105611
200717Adrian PetersonOklahomaVikings188101213
2007263Brandon JacksonNebraskaPackers18898910
2002254Maurice MorrisOregonSeahawks1699609
2005254Eric SheltonLouisvillePanthers14693820
2001249LaMont JordanMarylandJets21392011
2006260Maurice Jones-DrewUCLAJaguars18691417
200512Ronnie BrownAuburnDolphins1539139
2006130Joseph AddaiLouisiana StateColts18791110
2007249Kenny IronsAuburnBengals1988934
2011128Mark IngramAlabamaSaints15887514
2010130Jahvid BestCaliforniaLions14186716
200015Jamal LewisTennesseeRavens1828178
2001123Deuce McAllisterMississippiSaints15976716
2004255Greg JonesFlorida StateJaguars1446187
2007250Chris HenryArizonaTitans1655818
2011238Ryan WilliamsVirginia TechCardinals11047710
2013262Christine MichaelTexas A&MSeahawks8841712

--Andy Richardson

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