The Jacksonville Jaguars have the second overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, which means for the most part their options are wide open as far as who they should pick. The next player we're going to look at is one of the most scheme diverse defenders in the entire draft, Oregon Ducks defensive end Dion Jordan.
|NFL Comparison||Julian Peterson||Projection||1st|
Oregon's Dion Jordan played a lot of different positions in his time with the Ducks, predominantly at stand up rush backer and at defensive end. One of the most attractive things about Jordan as a prospect is the fact that he can wear so many hats and that's he's very comfortable playing in space, especially in coverage.
Jordan will draw a lot of attention from teams running a 3-4 scheme as an outside linebacker, but he should also be attractive to 4-3 teams as well. Jordan does a good job edge rushing and has exception closing speed. He bends the edge well and can get low, despite being 6'7".
The first play we're going to look at Jordan just blows right past the left tackle for the sack. He's lined up as a stand up rusher and explodes off the snap, swats away the tackle's hands when he tries to engage and just gets around the edge to sack the quarterback.
A pretty cut and dry pass rushing play where Jordan is quick off the snap and doesn't let the tackle get his hands on him. This is just a glimpse of some of his pass rushing ability.
The next play Jordan is lined up standing up again as an edge rusher, as Oregon has a little pre-snap movement to confuse the quarterback and his protection shifts. This gives Jordan a one-on-one matchup with the right tackle. Again Jordan is just too quick off the snap for the tackle to engage.
Jordan swats away the hands again to turn the corner and get to the quarterback, but he just can't wrap him up. While Jordan doesn't get the sack here, he still is a massive disruption to the play and closes in on the quarterback, forcing him out of the pocket.
The final play we're going to look at is something Jordan did quite a bit of and is partially why he doesn't post massive sack numbers. Jordan is a ridiculous athlete, and that's not in any way shape or form hyperbole. In the final play we're going to look at he's playing in coverage, over the wide receiver in the slot.
While it looks like Jordan is just settling into a zone on the play, he actually does exactly what you would want a strongside linebacker in coverage here to do, which is ride the receiver on his route taking away the inside and getting him toward the sideline. He then tails off into his zone and breaks towards the play after the pass.
Jordan does this a lot for the Ducks, often covering wide receivers. While most will stick him as a 3-4 outside linebacker, I personally think he would fit well as a 4-3 SAM linebacker, kind of in the mold of ex-49ers and ex-Seahawks linebacker Julian Peterson. He can do everything you want a SAM linebacker to do in a traditional 4-3, but he can also rush the passer on nickel downs with either his hand on the ground or as a stand up blitzer.
There have been some recent reports that Jordan played around 225-230 pounds during the season at Oregon and struggled to keep his listed weight of about 245 pounds, which isn't a huge deal if you're playing him at standup linebacker. He does need to get stronger though, as he can sometimes get washed out of plays by strong offensive tackles in the running game. If he's playing the SAM role in a 4-3 however, he's likely not going to be taking on tackles like he would as an end or a rush backer. He could also fill the role of the LEO or the SAM in the style of defense Gus Bradley ran with the Seahawks, based on his versatility.
Jordan is also dealing with a labrum injury, which should be healed by the time the draft rolls around. I'm 50/50 on if I would be okay with Jordan at the No. 2 slot, but if the Jaguars get a trade down partner outside of the Top 5, I think he will be a strong candidate.