Over the last decade or so we’ve seen an interesting trend on the offensive side of the ball, and at the tight end position in particular.
For a long time, tight ends used to be undersized offensive tackles, blocking specialists who could run and catch a bit. But relatively recently they have been getting smaller, faster, and in general becoming much more dangerous receivers. At the same time we’ve seen some offenses become increasingly innovative in how they use them.
Those hybrid tight ends, who blend the athleticism of receivers with the size of tight ends, are being lined up across the offensive formation and are some of the most dangerous offensive weapons in the NFL.
Miami tight end Brevin Jordan is one of those new model tight ends and has gotten better each year in college. He decided to enter the 2021 NFL Draft after a season that saw him average 15.2 yards per catch and score 7 touchdowns, both career highs.
But what does he bring to the NFL?
Prospect: Brevin Jordan
Games Watched: vs. Florida State (2020), vs. Clemson (2020), vs. Duke (2020), vs. North Carolina (2020)
Red Flags: Shoulder (2020)
Games Played: 26
Receptions: 105 receptions
Yards (yards per catch): 1,358 yards (12.9 per catch)
Total Touchdowns : 13
Games Played: 8
Yards (yards per catch): 576 yards (15.2 yards per catch)
Total Touchdowns : 7
Best: Athleticism, receiving ability, competitive toughness, versatility
Worst: Play strength, blocking technique
Projection: A starting offensive weapon in a 12-personnel offense.
Miami tight end Brevin Jordan is a good sized, versatile prospect who played a variety of roles in the Hurricanes’ offense.
Jordan was listed at tight end, but aligned as an in-line and detached tight end, H-back, slot receiver, and wide receiver. He appears comfortable executing out of each of those alignments, serving as both a receiving threat and as a blocker.
As a receiver, Jordan shows solid route running ability with a reasonably diverse route tree. He has good quickness in and out of his breaks, as well as good stop/start quickness on comeback routes. Jordan also has good speed on vertical routes, generating big plays on post, corner, and seam passes. He has soft, reliable hands, generally adjusting to the ball well and extending to pluck the ball out of the air to maximize his catch radius and not allow the ball into his chest plate. Jordan is also capable of producing yards after the catch, using his strength to break tackles or quickness to force missed tackles.
Jordan is a willing and competitive blocker in both pass protection and in the run game. He is unafraid of contact and works to sustain his blocks for as long as necessary. Miami used him both as an in-line blocker on running plays as well as a space blocker on screen plays, where his athleticism allows him to get into position against athletic defenders.
But while Jordan shows great competitive toughness as a blocker, his blocking still needs work. He is prone to allowing his hands to drift wide, giving up inside leverage and potentially inviting holding calls. He can also allow his base to narrow and knees to straighten, which compromises his mechanical advantage.
His relative lack of size can also show up when blocking defensive linemen, which Miami minimized by asking him to work in double-teams with offensive tackles.
Overall Grade: 8.0 - This prospect should be an immediate contributor and a starter early in his career in the right offensive scheme.
Miami’s Brevin Jordan projects best as a moveable offensive weapon in a 12-personnel offense that makes use of passing concepts to stress coverages. Though he is listed at tight end, he should be a piece that is lined up across the offensive formation to create and exploit mismatches with defensive personnel.
Jordan is too big for most defensive backs to deal with easily, while at the same time too athletic for most linebackers. He also brings some upside as a blocker in pass protection and run blocking, though Miami frequently tried to scheme him as part of a double-team when he was lined up at tight end to minimize his exposure against defensive linemen.
Jordan still has work to do polishing up his technique as both a blocker and as a receiver. He has a reasonably broad route tree, and has some savvy in how he runs his routes. Jordan shows an understanding of pressing his stems vertically as well as using body language to hide his intentions. Likewise, teams will need to work with Jordan to improve his hand usage and and play with more consistent leverage when blocking. He will likely never be a punishing people-mover of a blocking tight end, but he can continue to improve his effectiveness.