Like athleticism? Then you’ll like versatile Oregon defender Dion Jordan. The 6-6 and 248 pound DE/OLB clocked a 4.60 40-yard dash time at this years NFL Combine and proved to everyone just how solid of an athlete he really is.
Versatility is clearly the number one thing that jumps out at you when watching Jordan. One play he’ll rush with his hand in the dirt. The next play he’ll be rushing from a standing position on the other side of line. After that, he’ll jump outside and cover whoever wants to line up in the slot.
Jordan’s bread and butter is lining up on the edge in the standing position and pass rushing with speed. If an offensive tackle doesn’t have a good first step and quick feet, Jordan has the ability to blow past them and wreak havoc in the backfield. Although he didn’t have an overwhelming number of sacks, Jordan has the ability to force the quarterback out of the pocket allowing others to make plays.
Jordan also seems to have a lot of other solid characteristics. Even though he is fast for his size, he takes good angles when in pursuit, instead of having the mindset that he can run anyone down. He’s also a pretty solid tackler and has shown that he can hit with some pop.
In terms of pass coverage, it seems that a lot of times that he was in coverage, he was asked to play zone. When running in man coverage, Jordan doesn’t seem to have outstanding technique. I saw him get turned in the wrong direction a few times. These are things that can be worked on, but it seemed to be something he could get through in college with his athleticism.
One thing I did notice from Jordan is that he tends to be a one trick pony. He doesn’t have a strong ability to rush with power. If he can’t get around you, he’s not going to go through you and he doesn’t have outstanding ability to get off blocks. This is worrisome at the next level where offensive tackles play at a much higher level then a lot of the guys Jordan saw in the Pac-12.
When Jordan breaks into the NFL, he’s going to need to work with his coaches on his technique. If he can get out of the silo of speed rushing and become a more balance rusher, he could be a real disrupting force for years. However, if he can’t develop a better skill set, his athleticism will only take him so far.
Check out this video of Jordan against Stanford, via DraftBreakdown.com.
So is Chip Kelly ready for a reunion with Jordan? We’ve heard him say that he “just has a special place in my heart.” However, I wouldn’t read into that too much. The NFL is a business and there are some things that you have to leave your heart out of. One of them is the player you draft with the fourth overall pick.
Jordan has a lot of natural ability. However, I think some of that will level out when he makes the transition to the NFL. He won’t be able to beat offensive tackles strictly because of his athleticism. If the Eagles remain at the four spot, I think that’s a bit too high to make a play for Jordan.
If a trade took place and the Eagles ended up picking a bit later on, I’d be more willing to see him come aboard. He has the ability to line up in a number of different positions and is the type of guy a defensive coordinator loves to have due to the possibilities he opens up.