A New "Shew": Is Anthony Gordon on Bears' Radar?
The Anthony Gordon hype machine is on full tilt after his Senior Bowl performance, which can't be good for the Bears if they had hoped to take him later in the draft.
Gordon seems capable of so much more than what he showed at the Senior Bowl, after an extraordinary final season at Washington State in the Air Raid offense of coach Mike Leach.
And what he showed in the Senior Bowl definitely wasn't bad. Justin Herbert stole all the headlines but Gordon threw two touchdown passes and completed 8 of 12 for 69 yards. In the process, he displayed the quick release and various arm angles that led to a standout season as Gardner Minshew's successor at Washington State.
"I came out swinging when it was my time," Gordon said. "I guess that kind of correlates to my time at Washington State. I spent a lot of time waiting, but when my time came I was ready."
One of the big criticisms of Gordon has been he played only once season, much like Mitchell Trubisky.
"You know, I only started one year but as some people would say, I had two years worth of throws wrapped into one," Gordon told reporters.
Gordon was second in passing yards (5,579) to LSU's Joe Burrow (5,671) and led the country in passing yards per game at 429.2. He threw it an astounding 689 times in the offensive system which all but ignores the running attack, completing 493.
At the Senior Bowl, there were questions about Gordon because he hadn't been under center or commanded the huddle. All the play calls came at the line and he was always in the shotgun at Washington State. But he handled both fairly well.
He also showed a good feel for the pass rush and moved around in the pocket, although he seems to lack much scrambling ability. The ability to avoid a rush was apparent during the regular season when he was sacked just 20 times despite the 689 attempts.
Gordon threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Notre Dame's Chase Claypool and a 5-yard pass to Liberty's Antonio Gandy-Golden. The second one was interesting for scouts because Gordon's arm isn't supposed to be big but he got the ball there while off balance and in a crowded end zone.
In it's scouting report of Gordon, Draftnetwork.com pointed out his arm angle. He is a former baseball player, like Patrick Mahomes.
"He displays good in-pocket mobility with subtle movements to evade the rush and deliver the football from the pocket," Draftnetwork said. "He has a quick 3/4 release that allows him to get the ball out of his hands quickly."
On film, anyway, Gordon seems to have a better grasp of how to read defenses and go through progressions than many college quarterbacks.
While Gordon was playing in what some might call a gimmicky offense, it has to be pointed out Mahomes, Jared Goff, Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray all played in similar style offenses at different schools. And many NFL offenses already have elements of the offense in theirs.
If it's a gimmicky style, it didn't stop Mahomes from succeeding.
Draftnetwork.com did point out Gordon ".. has far too many instances of ill-advised throws in tight windows. ... His arm strength is only sufficient and his accuracy on deep balls has been spotty."
Drafting a quarterback is something Bears GM Ryan Pace talked about doing every year, or at least on a regular basis, when he was hired in 2015. And the only one they've drafted in his time with the team is Trubisky.
"It's something we talk about," Pace said. "It just hasn't been something that's aligned up in recent drafts. Doesn't mean it's something we don't believe in, something that can happen. It just hasn't happened in recent drafts."
There's a candidate from Washington State who likely would be available in Round 2 when the Bears have two picks, or even later if they traded down.