Using his athleticism to uncover his niche on the field, Gordon first found a spot in the rotation on special teams. Displaying his swift speed in Week 9 last season, Gordon made a remarkable touchdown-saving tackle in kick coverage after tracking down Aundrae Allison of the Minnesota Vikings from behind.
While also a viable injury-protection player, Gordon adds stock to name as a kick returner. After returning two kickoffs for 55 yards during his rookie season, he could be a contender to fill the same role in some capacity next season.
CB DeJuan Tribble
In order to remain active on game days, though, Gordon will have to beat out rookie DeJuan Tribble. The Bolts chose Tribble (5'9", 190 lbs.) of Boston College in the sixth round of the draft. Tribble registered four interceptions and five special-teams tackles during his senior season.
Displaying success returning punts, Tribble closed his college career with 55 punt returns for 512 yards, marking a 9.7-yard average. With insistent focus and sure tackling, he recognizes the need to make a smooth transition to the NFL.
"I think that's the biggest thing for me, getting the comfort level and understanding the defense and how I'm supposed to fit in with the defense," he said. "Just going out and competing and working hard, I think I should be fine. One thing is that I'm going to go out there and give my best effort at all times on the field. I'm definitely a team player. I'm very coachable."
Marking 15 interceptions during his college career, Tribble's aggression and field awareness will challenge receivers even at the next level. A possible obstacle for Tribble might be his mending sprained MCL, which caused him to miss three games near the end of his senior season. He feels only optimism towards his recovery.
"It's going pretty good. It's back to 100 percent now and I'm ready to rock and roll and I'm looking forward to having the opportunity of making the team for the Chargers and making the most of my opportunity," he said. "The knee is back to being healthy and it doesn't bother me at all."
In order for him to make a solid impact on the roster, Tribble will have to prove himself to be a dominating force on special teams and beat out Gordon as the fourth cornerback. Gordon and Tribble both have the ability to excel if summoned on defense and special teams, so this will truly be a dog-eat-dog contest.