Prospect: Dion Jordan, OLB, OregonDion Jordan

Height: 6’6¼”

Weight: 248 lb.

Athleticism:

  • All-around stud athletically which showed up at the combine
  • Impressive long speed in pursuit or in man coverage, covers ground quickly with long strides
  • Sudden foot quickness, twitchy player
  • Very flexible player with impressive body control for his size
  • Tall with a very lean frame, room to fill out which is needed
  • Deceptively strong considering his lean frame, not only a finesse player

Intelligence/Effort:

  • Instinctive player who reacts to what he sees very quickly, has a natural feel for the game
  • Occasionally exposed on misdirection, screens, option play due to overt aggressiveness, flies upfield off the snap consistently
  • Has experience from a variety of positions defensively, from rushing the passer to coverage responsibilities
  • Extremely high motor, chases the ball until the whistle every snap

Pass Rush:

  • Has a diverse repertoire of pass rush moves that come naturally to him, including a spin, swim, and rip
  • Developed ability to dip around the corner, stay balanced, rip through contact, and bend back to the inside to get to the quarterback
  • Very active hands as a rusher, bats away the hands of blockers to keep his frame clean
  • Lacks resistance strength as a speed rusher and gets rooted off his pass rush arcs too easily, forced to compensate with hands
  • Struggles to convert speed to power as well as he should from space, bullrush limited by a rather soft first punch
  • Plays off cut blocks well by extending arms into contact quickly and separating, pops up quickly otherwise
  • Doesn’t often miss easy sacks due to high foot repetition and ability to break down in space

Run Support:

  • Deceptive strength when taking on blocks, sinks his hips and absorbs contact before shedding
  • Sheds blockers with violent hands, accelerates away from contact immediately, could stand to lower pad level some
  • Frequently makes tackles after chasing down runs from the backside, gets into the backfield and redirects down the line with burst to close
  • Technical tackler who wraps well, sinks his hips, and drives his legs through contact
  • Guilty of slow-playing too many runs at him instead of attacking and forcing the issue

Coverage:

  • Quick and efficient backpeddling to drop in coverage, accelerates backwards with burst and covers ground quickly
  • Flips his hips cleanly and can run with the fastest of tight ends in man coverage
  • Reads the eyes of quarterbacks well in coverage and can mirror/spy mobile quarterbacks
  • Maximizes contact when jamming receivers or tight ends with repeated punches
  • Size and length to get hands to the ball at a high rate and shrink passing windows

Overall:

Dion Jordan received a ton of pre-season hype prior to his senior season and lived up to it and then some.  He proved to be one of the nation’s most versatile and athletic defenders.  After converting to defensive end from tight end following his redshirt freshman season, Jordan quickly grew into the role.  He only finished his senior season with 5 sacks, but that doesn’t tell the whole story.  On many passing downs, he moved outside to cover slot receivers and did so with much success.  Jordan’s skillset and versatility are truly rare and not something to be taken lightly in favor of statistics.  That doesn’t mean there are no questions surrounding him.  He may be an injury prone defender when you consider how slight his frame is.  He was plagued by a shoulder injury for most of his senior season.  He didn’t miss any time as a junior though, which means that the injury concerns could be overblown.  That’s up to teams’ medical staffs.  The bigger question may be, “Where does he fit?”  Dion Jordan is a unique prospect in that there aren’t many others like him year to year.  Ultimately, he should thrive immediately in a 3-4 outside linebacker role, especially in a defense that wants to get creative with their usage for him.  His long-term upside may be highest as a SAM linebacker in a 4-3 in a role similar to Von Miller’s for Denver.  Either way, he’ll appeal to a high percentage of teams in the league and with his athletic ability and track record he seems a lock for the top five.

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