Today we use our 2013 NFL Draft prospect profile to look at a player who looks to be a "combine riser." People in the draft community already recognize how insanely athletic and freakish Oregon defensive end Dion Jordan is, but the combine should put it on display for the casual draft follower.
Jordan has, I'd say, an unparalleled combination of height and speed. Jordan is listed at 6-foot-7, 243 pounds, but is so athletic that he has even lined up against wide receivers in coverage. Jordan entered college as one of the nation's top 10 tight end recruits. Jordan has terrific length, and plays with aggressiveness. He has good functional strength and active hands, he also has a good repertoire of pass rush moves he'll try, but he needs to continue to improve them. His best move is clearly just outclassing the offensive linemen with his speed. He has good flexibility to bend under the pad level of offensive linemen and perhaps the best closing speed of any defensive end/rush linebacker prospect in the draft. Teams are desperately looking for answers to how to cover players like Jimmy Graham, Tony Gonzalez and Rob Gronkoswki. Dion Jordan could be that solution.
The only big knock on Jordan is this: what is he? Versatile is a blessing and a curse. Every year you hear about offensive players who are "athletes" ,meaning they don't really have a position (like Dexter McCluster, Randall Cobb and Josh Cribbs as a few examples). These guys can be great players in the NFL, but you can't limit them to doing one thing. You don't hear about it on defense, but Dion Jordan is that. He's a defensive weapon, he's a player who shouldn't be relegated to one role and if he is, it will be a waste of his physical abilities. Use him properly and the sky is the limit. He also has a shoulder injury that caused him to miss the Senior Bowl, so that will be a question for teams.
My comparison: athletically he's like Manny Lawson (who at 6-6 ran a 4.43 40-yard dash and a 1.55 10-yard split at the combine. Lawson has had a good career, even though he was never the pass rusher the 49ers wanted for being a first-round pick. He has excelled in coverage and been a good run defender.
Does He Fit With The Giants?
Well if you ask any Giants fan here at Big Blue View they'd say "no, Perry Fewell won't know how to use him." I think that'd be an unfair criticism, but he's a different type of special player and it'd be interesting to see how the Giants could use him. But he might be a better fit in a 3-4 system.
These two videos are from @jmpasq be sure to follow him on twitter (or visit draftbreakdown.com for plenty of other videos)
Big Board Rankings
CBS Sports - 27th
National Football Post - 8th
Mocking the Draft - 11th
Sports Illustrated - 12th
Big Blue View Board - 7th
Ziggy Ansah is the player most equated with being a "boom or bust" prospect, but it could be that Jordan is even more of that. Jordan is an athlete who doesn't come around all too often. Jordan should be selected in the first 20 picks in the NFL draft if he tests out as well as he looks on tape.
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