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Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon to visit Ravens before the draft, sources say

Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon to visit Ravens before the draft, sources say
Melvin Gordon participates in a receiving drill during Wisconsin's campus pro day. (John Hart, Associated Press)

The Ravens were considered likely to draft a running back even before they cut veteran Bernard Pierce following his arrest on a driving under the influence charge.

As they continue to evaluate running back draft prospects, sources said they have scheduled a predraft visit at team headquarters with Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon.

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Gordon had a formal meeting with the Ravens at the NFL scouting combine. He played for Ravens running backs coach Thomas Hammock at Wisconsin until last season.

"I learned a lot from him," Gordon said of Hammock during the combine. "He's a big reason I'm standing here today. He's taught me so much, from the mental aspect of the game. He brought me a long way. It's a tough road. I went through a lot, but I can definitely say I have him to thank for being here."

Gordon is the latest Wisconsin running back headed to the NFL, following the path of Montee Ball and James White. Gordon rushed for 2,587 yards and 29 touchdowns last season.

Gordon is known for his combination of size, moves and speed. He's drawn comparisons to Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles.

"I watch a lot of running backs," Gordon said. "I try to take little pieces of their game and mix it with mine. Every running back is different, Jamaal Charles is his own man, but we are similar. He's got that little burst I don't have."

Gordon is expected to be the first back selected, as Georgia standout Todd Gurley is recovering from a knee injury. Gordon could be available when the Ravens pick at No. 26 in the first round, especially considering running back is no longer regarded as a high-priority position in the NFL.

"It's a passing league," Gordon said. "It's hard to say it's a devalued position. Maybe they didn't feel the running backs the last few years were first-round material. We have to change that this year."

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