With such a short turnover from Supplemental Draft entries to the actual live auction draft itself (on July 12th), it’s not easy for scouts in both the NFL as well as non-NFL scouts to get the necessary information to make an informed opinion on a prospect.
Our scouting report on Josh Gordon features his background information as best we can gather from the internet, as well as all of his scouting notes on the film I’ve seen. However, I dove deeper into his background, speaking to people at Utah and Baylor about his character and ability to adapt to the NFL as a person.
I spoke with someone at Utah in the Athletic Communications Department. Here’s what they said on Josh Gordon:
“It wasn’t the right situation for Josh so we parted ways.”
That’s it. Not anything special, but it still left some concerning issues. What made it not the right situation for JOSH? And the “we” in the parted ways leads me to believe it wasn’t just Josh leaving the program: they wanted him out. Just trying to get as much out of the minimal information I can.
However, someone in close to the Baylor football program was much more helpful. Keep in mind that these comments are made without bias. The person does not still have contact with Gordon, and Gordon was dismissed from Baylor University. Gordon has little to zero connection to Baylor as of now outside of still keeping in touch with some coaches.
“I’ll tell you what I’ve been telling the NFL: Josh is a great kid, super talent, just bad decisions. All the coaches here liked him.”
“He was arrested in October 2010, and suspended for 4 quarters, spread out over a couple of games I believe, but then failed a Baylor drug test late last spring. The Baylor administration kicked him out of school for the failed drug test, but Coach Briles went to bat for him with the ‘higher ups’, trying to let him stay. Coaches were disappointed about his leaving.”
“Nobody thought he had a problem. It’s not like he showed up to meetings or practice high or anything like that. I think he just got around with the wrong people not associated with the football team that persuaded his bad decisions.”
“I’m not aware of any concerns the staff had for him coming out of high school, as his arrest in October of 2010 was his first incident.
“It seemed he got along with everyone on the team and I can’t think of any point where he was in confrontation on field or off. If football is all he has to focus on, then he’ll thrive because he knows this is his last chance. I’ve gotten a lot of calls from NFL scouts about him, so I know there’s interest.”
The fact that this same person has been the main voice for Josh Gordon’s time at Baylor for NFL scouts should be noted. This glowing report of Gordon shows that he’s not the major character risk that he has been portrayed as, at least during his time with Baylor. Coaches, the people who knew him best, didn’t want a mistake mean he had to move on.
I’m unsure what happened at Utah still (hopefully, another update coming), but this report from this Baylor highly creditable source speaks that, if he’s with the right crowd at the next level, he should be a fine NFL teammate and player. And as you can read from the report, he’s a 2nd round talent in my book.
UPDATE – 5:06 PM EST
From Baylor source on interest around Josh Gordon:
“I haven’t talked to any one team more than others. But I will say that a head coach has inquired about him.”
Also, it seems his reasons for leaving Utah were because of financial need. He is from Houston, TX, and went to Lamar High School in Houston. He was considering transferring to Houston University or Stephen F. Austin to finish his career closer to home, but the financial need must have been severe. To be eligible to leave school and enter the supplemental draft for financial reasons, you have to appeal to the NFL, and something drastic would have had to happen between January and June. I’ll hope to find out more on his financial issues soon.