Column: Dreamius Smith could complement Melvin Gordon


Just when we thought the running back position was dwindling and teams wouldn’t draft one of the many promising backs until late in the 2015 NFL Draft, the St. Louis Rams and San Diego Chargers, in the first round, took Georgia’s Toddy Gurely and Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon respectively.

Gordon, however, wasn’t the only running back the Chargers acquired. San Diego also gave former West Virginia running back Dreamius Smith a chance to play in the NFL.

Clearly the Chargers are putting a lot of their eggs into Gordon’s basket and rightfully so. Gordon has a lot of potential to be a star in the NFL, but how about Smith, does he even stand a chance with Gordon on this roster?

He does.

The Chargers were in need of a running back, but in reality teams are in need of running BACKS.


Most teams in today’s NFL will carry three during the season and Smith has the opportunity to be one of those three guys.

While it’s still really early, I fully believe Gordon will be the team’s number one running back when the 2015 season begins. But, who will be number two? Smith is a good candidate.

Aside from Gordon, the Chargers have Danny Woodhead who is coming off a broken fibula that he suffered in week three. With Woodhead coming off an injury and his health uncertain — Smith, if he works hard enough, could very well be Gordon’s backup.

Sep 6, 2014; Morgantown, WV, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers running back Dreamius Smith (2) rushes the ball against the Towson Tigers during the third quarter at Milan Puskar Stadium. West Virginia won 54-0. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Two players that perhaps throw a wrench into Smith seeing playing time is veteran Donald Brown and a promising young gun, Branden Oliver.

Oliver showed a lot of promise this past season. He carried the ball 160 times for 582-yards and scored three touchdowns. He won’t be an easy back to beat out.

Smith, at 5-foot-11 and 215 pounds has surprisingly good speed and was, in my opinion, underrated and underutilized during his final season at West Virginia.

Going undrafted wasn’t surprising, Smith isn’t anywhere near the Gordon’s or Gruely’s level, but he has a tremendous work ethic and is not someone to sleep on.

If Smith can prove his worth during the summer and remaining offseason, perhaps he trumps the likes of a wounded Woodhead, or maybe we see the case of a young, hungry player beating out the old veteran in Brown.

He won’t be a starter and maybe he won’t even be second on the depth chart, but if the Chargers elect to keep three backs on the roster, Smith has a good chance to be one of three.

I still believe that even though Smith has the capability to torch defenses with his speed and can often make nifty cuts to pickup a little extra, a little more weight wouldn’t hurt the former Mountaineer.

Working with NFL trainers and coaches, I could see Smith molded into more of a bruising back. The one who almost plays the role of fullback. A guy who picks up the tough, short first down or pummels his way into the end zone in a goal line situation. His ability to run well in open space and make shifty moves, that’s an excellent bonus — but were he could really shine is short yardage plays.

Don’t count out Smith playing in the San Diego backfield this coming season.