Dion Jordan | Defensive End | Oregon | 6'7'', 246 pounds |
2012 Stats: 44 tackles, 5 sacks
At the University of Oregon, the game of football is played at a different speed. Ducks defensive end Dion Jordan fits that mold to a tee, possessing rare movement skills for a man of his stature. The senior is wrapping up just his third season playing on the defensive side of the football after being recruited to Oregon as a tight end.
The Ducks aren't regretting moving Jordan to the defensive side of the ball. He led the team with 7.5 sacks as a junior. Jordan's sack numbers dropped in his senior season, but he has shown his versatility in coverage. Jordan appears primed to the first Oregon Duck defensive player drafted in the top-15 since Haloti Ngata
Pros: Dion Jordan possesses a rare blend of size and athleticism. At 6-feet-7-inches tall, Jordan moves like a safety. He has fluid hips in coverage and excellent explosion off the line of scrimmage. Oregon frequently called upon Jordan to cover tight ends and slot wide receivers one on one. Jordan's quickness and straight line speed will allow him to matchup with the athletic tight ends NFL teams are utilizing.
As a pass rusher, Jordan has plenty of room to grow, but few players in this class rush the edge like he does. Jordan gets incredible bend around the edge, showing the flexibility to maintain his speed and get after the quarterback. Jordan also has tremendous length for a pass rusher, which he combines with an explosive first step off the line off scrimmage to consistently beat tackles. Jordan also has great closing speed both when getting after the quarterback and chasing down ball carriers in the open field.
The biggest pros to Jordan's game are his upside and his versatility. This is just Jordan's third season playing defensive end after coming to Oregon as a tight end. He can stand up and play in space as a rush linebacker, but he also has the frame to add some weight and become a dominant 4-3 end. The possibilities are plenty if a creative defensive coordinator gets his hands on Jordan.
Cons: While Jordan is an explosive athlete, he needs to become a more physical player to reach his full potential. He often gets completely washed out in the running games. On occasion, Jordan has allowed himself to be blocked by wide receivers far too easily. As a tackler, Jordan has a ways to go. He can lay the wood on ball carriers, but too often takes sloppy angles or fails to wrap up. A disappointing number of tackles slipped through his arms this season.
As a pass rusher, Jordan needs to be stronger. His speed moves are on an elite level, but he needs to be able to out muscle opposing linemen to get to the quarterback. I would love to see Jordan develop a wider array of pass rush moves if he plans on playing down in a 4-3 consistently. While he was constantly trying different moves, Jordan needs to continue to develop his pass rush moves at the next level. His hand use is also inconsistent, as he lets guys into his chest too often.
Conclusion: Jordan is such a rare prospect. He has so much ability, and the only challenge for his NFL team will be finding a way to utilize all of it on the field. Jordan's upside is that of a difference making franchise player on defense. He has the athletic upside to warrant a top ten selection.
Comparison: Aldon Smith, San Francisco 49ers - Jordan isn't quite as physical or refined a prospect as Smith was coming out, but the combination of size and athleticism along with the versatility makes this a decent comparison.
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