Versatile Threat Worth a Look

The Bears are looking to draft a cornerback who can contribute immediately. Kansas CB Charles Gordon could not only handle a prominent role in the secondary, but also in the return game.

Gordon is garnering a wide range of opinions from franchises with teams grading him anywhere from an early second round choice all the way to a late second day.

The multipurpose player was awarded All-Conference honors at cornerback and special teams last season. Defensive numbers included 21.5 tackles, 2 interceptions and 3 pass break-ups. He averaged 9.7 yards on 41 punt returns, while lining up at receiver and posting 34 receptions for 313 yards and 2 touchdowns. As a sophomore, he was an All-America and All-Conference selection when his 7 interceptions tied for the most in the country to go with 57 stops and tipped 8 passes.

The knock on Gordon has been his lack of top end speed to go with his five-foot-10, 180-pound frame. His 40-time (4.62 seconds) has pushed him down draft boards. Scout.com rates him as a four-star player, but as the seventh best prospect at the position.

Remember another undersized cornerback with questionable speed coming out of the Big 12. Nathan Vasher intercepted 17 passes at Texas, but fell to the second day of the draft because he lacked size and a great 40 time.

In two years with the Bears, Vasher has 13 interceptions and already has a trip to the Pro Bowl on his resume.

Gordon's hands are definitely not a question. He set Kansas freshman records with 57 receptions for 769 yards. Aside from competing for the nickel job as a rookie, he could immediately contribute as the punt returner and possibly even work in the rotation at wideout.

With other needs, the Bears could decide to go with a tight end or linebacker with the 26th overall selection. Gordon would be a solid choice in round two, but an absolute steal if he were still on the board when the Bears are on the clock in the third round.

TFY Preview Scouting Report
Positive:
Explosive athlete who impacts the game in a variety of ways. Quickly diagnoses the action at cornerback, works well with safeties and immediately breaks to the throw. Displays good footwork pedaling in reverse, loses nothing in transition and has opposing quarterbacks throwing away from him. Reads receivers' eyes then quickly makes a play on the ball. Soft-handed receiver continually making the difficult reception down the field with defenders draped on him.

Negative: Lacks top-end speed and not winning foot races. Has trouble battling big opponents.

Analysis: A tremendous athlete who contributes in all phases of the game, Gordon is a playmaker every time he steps on the field. The greatest value is his potential as a shutdown cornerback, yet the versatility to break games open as a return specialist will get him on the field as a rookie.


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