Anthony Gordon Is Flying Under The Radar (2020 NFL Draft)
Anthony Gordon, Washington State
Weight: 205 pounds
40-yard dash: NA
Hand Size: 9 3/4 inches
(Games Scouted: UCLA (2019) | Oregon (2019) | Washington (2019) | Air Force (2019) | Houston (2019))
There are always going to be players that you (as a talent evaluator) like more than the general consensus. Whether that’s because this player fits certain traits that you value more highly at the position, or for other various reasons, there are always going to be players that you are willing to “stand on the table for” and go against the grain.
One of those players in this class for me is Anthony Gordon, a QB out of Washington State. Gordon wasn’t able to find the field until this past season after sitting behind Gardner Minshew the past few years, but he showed out when he was finally given his opportunity. Currently, the buzz surrounding Gordon is that he’s a late-round player in the 2020 NFL Draft, but I believe he should go much higher than where draft media has him pegged to go right now.
Will Gordon have the necessary draft capital to be a starting QB in the NFL right away? Where should we be valuing him in Dynasty leagues?
Those questions are answered below in my detailed scouting report on Anthony Gordon (ratings out of five stars):
Arm Strength/Throwing Mechanics
While Gordon certainly doesn’t have the arm talent of some of the other guys in this class like Justin Herbert or Jordan Love, he has enough to succeed in the NFL. He has the necessary zip to drive it sideline to sideline, but then also has enough to be able to drop it in deep downfield. As for his mechanics, you’re going to be hard pressed to find another QB who consistently throws with as solid of mechanics as Gordon. He’s consistently keeping his footing under him when throwing deep and his hips rotate through nearly every throw. He has a former baseball background, which comes out in some side-arm and off-platform throws when he needs to adjust.
Can I please see the AWS numbers on this throw?
Anthony Gordon couldn't have placed this one any better…
— Kyle Yates (@KyleYNFL) February 15, 2020
Gordon’s accuracy immediately impressed me in the first game I scouted. He’s consistently putting the ball exactly where it needs to be at all levels of the field. Some college QBs will consistently hit receivers in stride in the short passing game, but then fail to put it out in front of their receivers deep downfield consistently. Gordon has an innate ability to be able to know exactly where the ball needs to go even before he releases it from his hand. It’s truly fun to watch…
— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) November 19, 2019
Gordon is not going to be the fantasy football QB that will rack up points based on his rushing upside. He’s best suited for a timing based offense that will allow him to get the ball out quickly, but he has great mobility within the pocket. He’s able to evade pressure and shift around quickly to find a passing lane in the pocket. And, as mentioned above, he has the ability to manipulate his arm to throw off of different angles.
Checkout this awkward arm angle TD pass by @WSUCougarFB QB Anthony Gordon (@gordo1_). Similar sandlot instincts as Gardner Minshew. The NFL game rarely happens how coaches draw it up so QBs must be able to improvise. That is one of Gordon’s strengths.#TheDraftStartsInMOBILE pic.twitter.com/6I5TcSGWqJ
— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) February 4, 2020
Due to the offense he played in that required him to get the ball out quickly, there aren’t many instances on tape of Gordon needing to bail out of the pocket. However, I did notice a concerning trend regarding Gordon being a bit “skiddish” when it came to pressure and not having an outlet. Throughout the season, Gordon got more and more affected by pressure, which caused him to throw off of his back foot more than I would like to see. While he still had room to step into his throw, he would panic a bit prematurely and his accuracy would suffer because of it. In the Washington game specifically, Gordon struggled with the defense only sending four defenders and dropping the rest into coverage. The play calls weren’t adjusted and Gordon wasn’t able to find a passing option before the offensive line let the defenders through. This will need to be cleaned up at the next level.
Anthony Gordon. Quickest release in the 2020 Draft pic.twitter.com/24dsKMfHre
— Sage Rosenfels (@SageRosenfels18) February 28, 2020
Gordon processes through his reads as quickly as the top guys in this class. He’s incredibly efficient at diagnosing a defense quickly and making the correct read. The interception total (16 in 2019) may concern some people, but we have to remember that he threw the ball 689 times. For context, Jordan Love threw 17 interceptions on 473 passing attempts.
Anthony Gordon sees slot defender lined up outside of his slot with safety lined up on the hash. Probably clued him that they would rotate to C1.
Makes a check for WR to run fade.
Quick-release and anticipation don't allow FS to make a play on the ball. pic.twitter.com/IxgR9pVK56
— Ted Nguyen (@FB_FilmAnalysis) January 22, 2020
As mentioned above, Gordon throws with incredible accuracy at all levels of the field. It’s going to be difficult to find a throw on tape that he under-threw or had to cause his WR to adjust completely to the ball while it was in the air. He possesses an elite ability to fit the ball in in tight zone windows and put it right over the defenders outstretched hands. This is one of the best traits that Gordon brings to the next level…
Anthony Gordon. Quick feet. Quick release. Accurate. pic.twitter.com/SdnHEdxlVh
— Sage Rosenfels (@SageRosenfels18) February 28, 2020
Potential Landing Spot
Gordon’s not being talked about enough in this QB class and I have him in my Top-5 rankings at the position. He’s a perfect fit for a West Coast offense that loves to stretch the field occasionally and there are several teams that I’m assuming would love to bring him into their buildings. I expect Gordon to go somewhere in the 4th round of the NFL Draft and I’d be watching teams like New England or New Orleans. If the Patriots keep their scheme the same, he’d be a perfect replacement for Tom Brady if they don’t feel fully comfortable with Jarrett Stidham. As for New Orleans, they need a QB successor to Drew Brees with Teddy Bridgewater moving on to Carolina. Gordon would be able to sit and iron out the kinks, while learning behind one of the greatest to ever play the position. There’s a wide variety of outcomes with Gordon, but he’s someone who I’m looking at in the late 3rd round of a Dynasty Superflex league currently. We’ll see if that adjusts based on his landing spot.
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