Only Teams Building for the Future or with an Established Back Should Draft Todd Gurley

One of the most dynamic playmakers in this year’s NFL draft is former Georgia running back Todd Gurley. The junior running back also is one of the draft’s biggest question marks as he is recovering from a November surgery to repair a torn ACL suffered in a huge game against SEC foe Auburn.

Due to his injury, Gurley was unable to workout at the NFL combine or at Georgia’s Pro Day held March 18. It is a sure bet teams will have their own doctors examine Gurley’s knee during pre-draft visits. According to reports, Gurley has already visited the Cleveland Browns and Dallas Cowboys. The Miami Dolphins are bringing Gurley in for a visit next week. todd gurley

When healthy, Gurley put up monster numbers at Georgia becoming only the second freshman besides Herschel Walker to rush for 1000 yards as a freshman. He also was a member of the Bulldogs’ track team and ran the 7th fastest 60-meter time in school history at 8.12 seconds. As a fan, you want to stay glued to the television when Gurley’s team is on offense because he has the potential to take it to the house every time he touches the ball. For Gurley’s sake, let’s hope he has not lost his explosiveness from the injury.

Even with the uncertainty surrounding his ACL, Gurley is still considered the top back in the draft. Melvin Gordon is another strong back expected to be drafted in the first round, but it will be a huge surprise if Gordon gets drafted first. If Gurley were not coming off an ACL surgery, I could see him crack the top ten in the draft. In fact, one mock draft has Gurley going as high as pick 6 to the New York Jets.

Gurley needs to be drafted by a team that either has an established running back in place or can afford to let him sit or play sparingly his rookie season. Cleveland and the Jets would definitely be good fits for Gurley because they are still rebuilding and not expected to make the playoffs. The Cowboys and Dolphins are expecting to be in the playoffs this year and have other players who they can draft at multiple positions that can make an immediate impact.

A lot can happen before the draft. The Cowboys are rumored to possibly trade for Adrian Peterson of the Vikings. If that happens, Gurley would make sense replacing Peterson in Minnesota who hold the 11th pick in the draft and can afford to bring Gurley along slowly. We all know Peterson recovered very nicely from that injury not to mention ACL reconstruction back in 2012, and hopefully Gurley will do the same.

Many teams in the NFL could benefit from a healthy Gurley. Yet, it all depends on whether teams are willing to draft a player with “damaged goods”. Having torn the ACL in both my knees, I can speak to how the knee will never be the same as it was prior to the injury. You have to get your hamstring to be stronger than your quads when dealing with this injury. With modern technology, individuals have a wealth of equipment and training regimens that help them recover more quickly than in the past. There is a chance Gurley will not miss any games his rookie season. However, he may miss time or be used sparingly while he fully recovers which is why I think it is in the best interest for Gurley to be drafted by teams that can afford to bring him along slowly.

And that’s as I see it!

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