Background: Growing up, Gordon was frequently involved in both football and baseball, but on the diamond is where he garnered most of his athletic success. With the game entrenched into his genes, as his uncle, Greg, was a starting pitcher at Stanford (2004-2006), who went on to become the second-overall pick by the Colorado Rockies in the 2006 MLB draft. A product of Terra Nova High School (CA), he was predictably a baseball star. As a pitcher and infielder, he was drafted by the New York Mets in the 36th-round of the 2015 MLB draft.
Even though he experienced so much success in baseball, it was football that he chose to continue with afterwards. Having never played the sport until his freshman year of high school, as a first-time varsity starter during his junior season, he threw for 3,410 yards and 32 touchdowns. Capping off his final season, he set a new Central Coast Central Section record by throwing for 4,899 passing yards to go along with 49 touchdowns.
The totals during his final two seasons helped him become the school’s all-time leading passer. Despite his totals, he didn’t receive any scholarship offers. Keeping his football aspirations in play, he elected to attend City College of San Francisco, which is a small public community college. There, he went on to record 3,864 passing yards and 37 touchdowns during his only season there. Still with no offers, Mike Leach stumbled upon Gordon and he signed with the Cougars.
Continuing to stay patient, he redshirted during his first season on campus (2016). Following that point, he would have to wait another two seasons before seeing extended action. As the permanent starter in 2019, he started all 13 games. During that time period, Gordon went on to set new single-season program records for passing yards (5,579), completions (493), and passing touchdowns (48).
Scheme Fit: Air Raid or Uptempo West Coast
Round Projection: Late 5th-Early 6th-Round
Quick ¾ Release: A huge credit to his success in the Air Raid offense is how quickly he’s able to get rid of the ball. As soon as targets flash into his vision, he’s shown to be capable of getting the ball to them right after. Not an over the top release, but rather a ¾ one that involves a violent finish that enables him to get the ball into his desired areas.
Pocket Poise/Anticipatory Throws: Gordon seems to always remain in control of his body as his eyes remain downfield amid all of the chaos. There’s never a sense of panic with where his process speeds up and he demonstrates outlandish movements. Slight side steps, shoulder turns, and body bends to cancel out pressure was frequent and he’s also able to make throws on the run. Fully aware of his arm strength deficiencies, he’s able to anticipate where targets are going to be multiple steps prior to their arrival.
Personal Drive/Motivation: Gordon shows to be in great control of the offense. Knowing where to go with the ball, he has a non-stop work ethic, which helps him maximize his abilities. Gordon fit the mold perfectly of what Leach looked for in his quarterbacks. Mentally tough, passed over many times by others, but smart even though they don’t contain the strongest arm in the world. Similar to his predecessor, Gardner Minshew, the former Cougars signal-caller uses all of his past experiences of being passed over as fuel to his fire to perform at high levels.
Inflation Rate: We are starting to see more variations of the Air Raid offense enter the NFL, but there’s always the risk of inflation when talking about ones who have been involved in the system. A favorable system and while there are lots of well schemed plays, there’s lots of variations of manufactured touches that make things mistake proof for signal-callers. Gordon may face a bit of a learning curve during his early years in the NFL if in a different system with dissimilar terminology.
Overall Arm Strength: Gordon doesn’t possess an overly strong arm to consistently attack the deeper areas of the field. Many of his deep opportunities involve throws to targets with large amounts of separation and plenty of room for error. His passes can get caught hanging in the air longer than normal because of the lack of intensity behind them at times. It’s easy to see the rainbow type of trajectory that his passes take, indicating that there’s a lack of juice behind them.
Play Extension: A bad habit that Gordon has is giving away his release timing of the ball. Known as “burping the baby”, he will sit in the pocket and pat the ball repeatedly until he releases it, but before the trigger goes off in his head to fire away, he gives the ball one hard final pat before releasing it. Not a quarterback that will make a habit of extending plays with his feet, but he’s more than capable of doing so and creating wow throws off-platform. Most of his wins and impressive throws will come within structure from the pocket though.
Projection: While not having an overly strong arm, Gordon is the type of late-round quarterback that teams should be more than willing to take a chance on. Possessing fantastic leadership skills, work ethic and drive, he’s the kind of player that will be refused to be denied no matter how many failures that he experienced previously. Teams will wonder what Gordon looks like outside of the Air Raid system. A likely late-round selection, but he has the requisite traits in order to be more than a serviceable backup with his ceiling being a spot starter who has moments of high-end play in spurts.