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NFL Draft 2015: Scouting the Big Ten - Melvin Gordon, Ameer Abdullah, Kenny Bell, Devin Funchess, and Stefon Diggs

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The Big Ten is full of interesting prospects that could fit in with Seattle. So let's hear about them from the guys that know them best.

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A few weeks ago, I broke down numerous Penn State prospects and why they would fit in with the Seahawks. I did this because I have a different view on them than most draft analysts, seeing as I spent the last four years watching them play (I'm an editor over on Black Shoe Diaries, for those who don't know). This approach can lead to insights on Jesse James, Adrian Amos, Donovan Smith and company that the typical national draft analyst may not know (even if it can also lead to some slight exaggeration of their abilities/potential). For that reason, I reached out to a few of the other Big Ten sites across SB Nation to gain some insights on some prospects commonly linked to the Seahawks. So without further adieu, let's hear it from the guys that know the potential future Hawks best.

Melvin Gordon

Position: Running Back

Height/Weight: 6'1"/215 lbs.


Melvin Gordon possesses a potent combination of power, speed, vision and balance. Gordon can run between the tackles but break to the outside if needed. He showcased his lateral quickness and explosion in short areas with fantastic times in the 20- and 60-yard shuttle at the NFL Combine. He has the strength to break arm tackles, along with agility and balance to keep plays going down the field. If teams worry about him not running somewhere in the 4.4s, he led the FBS with 17 runs of 40-plus yards and 10 runs of 50-plus -- along with runs of 10-plus (60), 20-plus (35) and 30-plus (21) yards. All this while facing defenses that routinely stacked the box with eight to nine defenders.


He fumbled more in 2014, which is a concern. stated he was "stuffed" (runs resulting in zero or negative yards) on 19.2 percent of his carries, but when facing defenses stacking the box to contain a one-dimensional offense that lacked a passing game (116th in FBS), this is a skewed stat.

Many still question his pass protection and receiving skills. He improved greatly in both from 2014 than 2013 (one of the reasons why he came back for his junior year) though could still add some seasoning due to less experience. He caught 19 receptions and three touchdowns in 2014, the latter which made up 20 percent of the Badgers’ passing total.

Important Things to Know:

Work ethic. As noted over the season during games, Gordon would be up until the wee hours of the morning, texting teammates to see what they were doing to get better, all while he was in midst of a workout. Whatever may cause teams to worry, Gordon is a tireless worker who will work to hone his game further at the pro level.

Thanks to Jake Kocorowski for his thoughts! For more on Melvin Gordon, visit Bucky's 5th Quarter.

Ameer Abdullah

Position: Running Back

Height/Weight: 5'9"/205 lbs.

Ameer Abdullah wasn’t supposed to be a Running Back; lots of SEC teams wanted him as a Defensive Back. However, Ron Brown and Tim Beck saw better. He’s got some ability and want to return both punts and kickoffs, and had success as a Freshman doing that.


He's not scared to run between the tackles, especially in short yardage situations. Six yards per carry in his final two seasons helps that cause. Like Rex Burkhead, he’s learned how to get the extra yard and not lose yardage, especially in short yardage situations. He can come out of the backfield and make the play catching the ball. His touchdown in the last minute vs. McNeese State was flat out greatness, but the catch to get the first down versus Northwestern the previous year was just as important. Without that catch, Ron Kellogg doesn’t hit the Hail Mary.


He has been known to fumble the football more than a good back should. It wasn’t that much of a issue his Senior year, but it’s hindered his reputation in some folks eyes. He was injured at times during this past season while also accumulating over 550 touches over his junior and senior seasons, so durability could become a concern. I doubt it will be an issue unless he picks up a serious injury, though. His pass protection is probably his biggest issue. Has a hard time picking up blitzing LB’s, especially if he’s smaller than the blitzer, which will be basically all of the time in the NFL.

Kenny Bell

Position: Wide Receiver

Height/Weight: 6'1"/197 lbs.

The career catch and yardage leader for wideouts at Nebraska played all four of his years in Lincoln. He came out of Boulder where his dad (Ken Bell) played for the Denver Broncos.


Bell is a fantastic route runner and downfield blocker. He would be an ideal fit in a spread offense where package plays come into play. He consistently seemed to be Nebraska’s best player on wide receiver screens and blocking plays this year. He has great hands and ball awareness. He did well on 50/50 balls downfield where he had to battle corners, especially on post routes and other deep developing routes. He is a versatile receiver, who can play in the slot or split our wide.


He loved talking to the media, almost too much sometimes. He was always very accessible, but at the same time, rubbed some folks the wrong way with his outspokenness.

In the bigger games, he tends to nearly disappear. In the McNeese St game, he only had one catch. While he had two touchdowns versus Iowa, including the game winner, he only had three catches in the game altogether.

He could have some concussion issues, along with injury issues. He had a groin/hamstring issue his junior year, and then got knocked out versus Iowa in Lincoln.

Thanks to Brian Towle for his thoughts! For more information on Abdullah and Bell, visit Corn Nation.

Devin Funchess

Position: Tight End/Wide Receiver

Height/Weight: 6'4"/232 lbs.

The first thing you notice about Devin Funchess on film, whether it's at tight end or wide receiver, is just how large he is. At 6'5", 235 pounds, he is quite a load to bring down in the open field.

He’s very athletic for his size and has a strong build. He really does look like a basketball player pulling down a rebound at times with his long arms and big hands (John Beilein knows; he tried to get him to tryout for the men’s basketball team at Michigan). He doesn’t exactly possess top-end speed like some had initially speculated, but Funchess’ skill set and athleticism make him a threat in the middle of the field.

Funchess definitely has room to bulk up and get stronger. He’s a big guy, but he’ll have to improve to match the physicality of defenders in the NFL. As good as he was at times at Michigan, he is still extremely raw in the passing game. Far too often he drops extremely catchable balls and takes his eyes off the ball to look upfield and see if he can make a play. He is not all that great of a route runner, either. I wouldn’t call him "lazy," but his effort left a lot to be desired in his time at Michigan.

Funchess is a very good athlete but he is extremely raw. He looks like a round two prospect, but could come off the board later in the first round. He has the tools to be very good, but it will be up to an NFL franchise to put it all together.

Thanks to Anthony Broome for his thoughts! For more information on Funchess, visit Maize 'N Brew.

Stefon Diggs

Position: Wide Receiver

Height/Weight: 6'0"/195 lbs.

Stefon Diggs is one of the better-rounded receivers in this draft, and he's absolutely the best receiver Maryland has had since Torrey Smith. I think Diggs's upside is higher than that, though. He's not an especially big guy, but he's extremely explosive in and out of his cuts, he can sky for a football and he's got cushy hands. Diggs plays physically even though he'll never be a receiver whose game is predicated on size, and he's going to require either a dominant man-to-man cornerback or two or three guys to deal with him.

Diggs probably got a bit of a reputation for some of the pregame shenanigans he got into before Maryland played Penn State last year, but he was generally regarded as a good citizen during his time in College Park. He's supremely confident, and I suspect some NFL team will get excellent value when it takes him in the fourth round, or somewhere around there.

Thanks to Alex Kirshner for his thoughts! For more information on Diggs, visit Testudo Times.

So there you have it. Think any of these guys sound like fits for the Seahawks?