It has been well established by now that the New York Giants need to continue to pour resources into their offensive line. Not only do they need to find long-term starters at right tackle and center, they also need to continue to build their depth at every position.
Ohio State interior lineman Michael Jordan declared early for the draft, and has the tools and versatility to intrigue scouts. Could he be a part of the Giants’ continuing offensive line rebuild?
- Athletic lineman. Moves easily as a puller or at the second level in the run game, as well as mirroring defenders in pass protection.
- Versatile player. Has started at both left guard and center.
- Works well in double-teams, as well as working off blocks to reach second-level defenders.
- Consistently looks for work.
- Good length, and flashes the ability to create movement on the offensive line.
- Needs to be more consistent in keeping his hips down and pad level lower.
- Occasionally struggles to anchor against bull rushes and can get put on skates.
- Needs to be more aggressive delivering his punch to defenders.
- Height and long legs work against him if his hips rise.
- Hands might not be quick enough to remain at center.
(Center, number 73)
Does He Fit The Giants?
The Giants need help at center (even if they like Jon Halapio, competition at the position would be good) and depth across the board. Jordan has experience at both guard and center, along with the frame and athleticism that suggest he could be a “Super Sub” in the mold of Kevin Boothe. Considering the Giants’ need for both starters and depth all along their offensive line, Michael Jordan is certainly a fit if the value is right.
He is at his best when playing in double-teams or as a puller. In those situations his athleticism comes to the fore and he is able to seal off defenders from the play or work to the second level. He isn’t a mauling lineman, though when he is able to keep his pads down he flashes the ability to give defenders a hard jolt and put them back on their heels. Instead, he excels at playing angles and gaining position, rather than digging linemen out of gaps through brute strength.
Center in a zone-heavy scheme might be his best position in the NFL, as it would take advantage of his that athleticism and ability to work off of double-teams. His ability to pull, however, might open up some interesting play-action concepts, where he pulls to the outside, only to become a defacto OT for the pass.
Whether or not he is able to become a starter or simply a utility sixth man will depend on whether or not he is able to continue to develop his technique and consistently keep his pads down. His could final draft grade could vary wildly between teams, depending on scheme fit, what position (or positions) they think he will play, and how much development they think he could need.