Dion Jordan I Oregon I OLB/DE I 6062 I 248 I Senior
40 Time: 4.60
Overview: Dion Jordan plays the game at a different speed than most DE’s. He’s best suited to play as a rush linebacker in the 3-4 or SLB in the 4-3. I don’t think he’s going to maximize his abilities as a 4-3 DE unless he adds some bulk/strength. He was rumored to be playing this season in the 225 range. Jordan spent most of his senior season standing up and showed NFL scouts his ability and upside as an NFL linebacker. Jordan has the athleticism to cover backs and tight ends. He has elite pass rushing skills but still needs to develop as more than just a speed rusher. His athleticism will drop jaws at the Combine and will win over height/weight/speed guys in February. The upside for Jordan to be taken in the top five of the draft exists and could become reality after he blows the top off of Indy.
Pass Rush: Jordan possesses the speed and burst that should make him an effective pass rusher. He displays great bend off the edge and straight line speed. His bend off the edge is freakish as he loses no speed through his bend, which is rare. In addition to his ability to bend, he has as explosive of a first step as anyone in this draft. The problem with Jordan as a pass rusher is that he has limited pass rush moves and most of his sacks came as a result of beating tackles around the edge. At nearly 6-foot-7 Jordan struggles as he’s such a big target and lineman overpower him or shove him further up the field. Jordan will have to add some power and more technique as a pass rusher if he wants to take his pass rushing skills to an Aldon Smith level.
Run Defense: It’s tough for a guy that is 6-feet-7 inches tall to win leverage battles against lineman that outweigh him by over 50 pounds. Jordan is going to struggle in the NFL to play 4-3 end unless he can get stronger. He is easily blocked by tight ends, fullbacks, and wide receivers this season. He isn’t a great tackler as his feet have a tendency to get dead on contact. There’s a lot of improvement needed before Jordan is a solid run defender.
Size/Strength/Athleticism: At rush linebacker, they don’t get any better than Jordan in terms of size and athleticism. He lacks the functional strength needed to be an elite end in a 40 front but teams may overlook that with his blend of height and athleticism. Jordan’s speed off the edge is rare and I’m not sure that there is anyone in this draft that brings what he does in terms of speed and athleticism off the edge.
Bottom Line: Dion Jordan was a WR in high school and it shows with his speed and overall athleticism. He’s a rare athlete that prime for development as an elite edge rusher. I think he’s going to be best served by being drafted to a 3-4 team as a standup linebacker and would intrigue me on the strongside of a 4-3. He showed solid coverage skills this season and could excel at the next level in coverage. Whoever takes Jordan has to take him knowing that it’s a shear upside pick and there is growth needed. That said, the upside may be worth the risk. I’m not sure there’s anyone in the NFL that brings the similar athletic abilities at his size. He’s cut in the mold of Aldon Smith but isn’t as complete a player as Smith was coming out of Missouri. I think his upside in the draft could be as a top five pick for a team that is looking for a rush linebacker with high sack potential. With good coaching, Jordan could find himself being a steal if he falls past the tenth pick.