2020 NFL Draft: Anthony Gordon, diamond in the rough or career-backup?

Anthony Gordon, Washington State Cougars. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Anthony Gordon, Washington State Cougars. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Anthony Gordon put up some gaudy numbers for Washington State in 2019 but what is his ceiling and is he worth a pick in the 2020 NFL Draft?

Anthony Gordon didn’t get a lot of time to impress as a member of the Washington State Cougars, but he made the most out of his opportunity.  Gordon started out his collegiate career at the City College of San Francisco and lit up the scoreboards.

His ability to torch defenses got the attention of Mike Leach, who brought him to Washington State in 2016. After redshirting in 2016, he spent the next two seasons as a reserve before finally getting his shot in 2019 — after Gardner Minshew left for the NFL.

In his one season as a starter, Gordon was electric. He completed 71.6 percent of his passes for 5,579 yards with 48 touchdowns against 16 picks. However, he still enters the 2020 NFL Draft with a lot more questions than answers. The main question has to be what his NFL ceiling is.

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Right now, Gordon looks to be a Day 3 prospect but what can an NFL team expect? Is he a player who can develop into a starter down the road, or is he going to be a career backup? That’s what scouts have to figure out and here’s a deeper look at the young man they will be trying to figure out.

Arm Talent

This is where Gordon really shines. He’s not exactly throwing lasers out there but Gordon has plenty of strength with his arm to make all the throws. He’s also incredibly accurate and as he showed during the Senior Bowl, he can make throws in a muddy pocket and has enough on his passes to fit the ball into some tight windows.


Gordon is decent in this regard. He senses pressure well and moves in the pocket to buy time. However, he struggles when his first read is covered and 16 interceptions are a lot. Of course, he did throw 689 passes so that’s not the worst statistic of all-time. Still, in the NFL, he’s going to need to do a better job protecting the ball and has to get through his reads quicker.


This is where he will need the most work. Gordon is able to fire the ball off his hands with ease and has great accuracy. However, he’s sloppy with his footwork and he isn’t consistent with mechanics. This hasn’t been as detrimental to quarterbacks in recent seasons since the league is evolving, but Gordon will need to find a better rhythm with his delivery, footwork, etc.


Overall, Gordon is as promising of a third-day pick as there is in this class. His issues are mostly correctable with coaching and you can’t teach the gunslinger mentality he has. Where a real concern comes though is his frame. Gordon is listed at 199-pounds and when he was on the field for the Senior Bowl, he looked even smaller than that.

In all, Gordon looks as though he could become a legitimate NFL starter. Maybe he won’t be Aaron Rodgers but he’s capable of being a game manager that can get hot — think of Nick Foles, Ryan Fitzpatrick, or maybe even his predecessor Gardner Minshew.

Next. Giants are open to drafting Tua Tagovailoa or Justin Herbert. dark

Some team that ends up grabbing him late will feel as though they ended up with a steal. They just need to be patient and help him along the way.