You may recall that I posted a few hours ago about Josh Gordon's Pro Day tomorrow, and it turns out that Gordon's inclusion in this year's Supplemental Draft may be a circumstance of some note. ESPN's Adam Schefter has been tweeting all afternoon about the teams likely to spend up to a second round pick on Gordon, focusing on everyone in the NFC East save the Giants (yes, that includes the Cowboys), and the Colts, Dolphins, Browns, and Panthers.
He also included this:
Josh Gordon is bigger, faster, stronger than former Baylor teammate Kendall Wright. As far as supplemental drafts go, he is a rare talent.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 9, 2012
I'm not buying all of that, though I do like reading the words "rare talent" in reference to a former Baylor player. Gordon is certainly bigger (6'3", 230 vs. 5'10", 196), and may well be stronger, but despite Wright's disappointing Combine time of 4.61 in the 40, I don't think Gordon is faster. Wright improved on his time significantly at Baylor's Pro Day and was generally considered to be a guy that plays faster than he runs on the track. He definitely looked that way while putting together the greatest WR career in Baylor history and one of the best individual seasons of all time from a Big 12 receiver.
The fact is that with these two players you're looking at different things. At Baylor (and probably in the NFL), Wright was someone who lined up on the inside and did a high percentage of his damage inside the hash marks. Gordon, at least when he played here, did his work outside the numbers in the role Terrance Williams filled this past season. Both stretch the field, but Wright has the added athleticism/agility to make plays with the ball in his hands. If you gave me a choice between the two I would probably take Wright after thinking long and hard about it. I think he fills more varied roles.
Gordon will always be one of those cautionary tales of a guy with all the talent in the world not getting his stuff together in college because he simply could not make the right decision. From his well-chronicled troubles with marijuana (remember the incident at Taco Bell?) to his ultimate expulsion from the program, Gordon was a guy that could have made a serious impact in Baylor's offense. Luckily for him, teams are almost always willing to take talent where they can get it, and he seems to have finally made a good decision to head to the League.
On that note, something that really interests me about Gordon's situation is that he seems to have benefited greatly from the Supplemental Draft process. Because he sat out in 2011, I seriously doubt that Gordon would have been considered for a high draft pick had he declared for the Draft in April. There were too many other options available for teams to choose from. Now that most impact free agents have been signed and the Draft has come and gone, teams with needs at WR in 2012 have to take him (Gordon) higher than they otherwise would have because players of his talent level don't typically come on the market like this. I'm not completely familiar with the requirements you have to meet to go into the Supplemental Draft, but it does make me wonder if other talented players will consider doing the same thing.