The Arizona Cardinals keep coming up as a possible trade partner with the Minnesota Vikings for star running back Adrian Peterson. The Cardinals want to add a bigger, physical back to complement Andre Ellington. But if Arizona truly would like Peterson, they are not resting their laurels on landing him. They are also looking closely at some top running back s in this year's NFL Draft.
On Monday, it was reported by Rand Getlin of Yahoo! Sports the Cardinals brought in Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon for a visit.
Gordon is 6-1, 215 pounds and was super productive at Wisconsin. He had 10 straight games in which he rushed for at least 120 yards, and in eight of them he rushed for at least 150. He had five games with at least 200 yards, including one for 408 yards, which set a single game record (only to be broken shortly thereafter).
Gordon is projected to be perhaps the first back taken in the draft. He might not be available when the Cardinals make their pick in the first round.
Gordon isn't the only back the team is interested in.
Indiana running back Tevin Coleman will also be visiting the Cardinals soon. Coleman is projected to go a little later in the draft, perhaps in the second round.
He is a little smaller than Gordon at 5-11 and 206 pounds, but is faster, expecting to run a 4.9-4.44 40-yard dash at his Pro Day in April. He did not run the 40 at the NFL Combine after having had surgery to repair an injured ankle.
He rushed for over 2000 yards for Indiana, including eight games of over 200 yards. He had eight touchdown runs of at least 60 yards.
Drafting one of these players would mean significant savings compared to trading for Adrian Peterson, although the production is less known.
Arizona has not had a running back drafted in the first two rounds work out for them since coming to Arizona. They either have injury issues or are no good.
Would you rather see one of these two promising backs taken by the Cardinals, or would you rather see Peterson in Cardinal red, being the better known commodity, even at the higher cost?