Dion Jordan OLB Oregon #96
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Size/Athleticism: Tall and skinny. Definitely needs to add some weight in order to become a more well-rounded player. Rare athleticism for his size. He’s capable of being a versatile player at the next level due to his size/athleticism combination and should be coveted by teams running a hybrid scheme.
Run Defense: Lacks the strength to consistently hold up at the point of attack. Can get driven backwards by linemen once he’s engaged. Elite straight-line speed for a linebacker. Speed allows him to make an impressive number of plays in pursuit. Second effort is impressive; always fights to the whistles and always gets back up to pursue ball carrier when knocked down. A very smart run defender who stays in his space and doesn’t over commit. Occasionally asked to spy on the quarterback (vs Stanford, for example) and does a nice job keeping his eyes in the backfield and mirroring his movements.
Pass Rush: At his best when he wins off the snap and can blow past slow-footed linemen. Does a great job using leverage to generate a surprisingly effective bull rush considering his relatively lack of size. Needs to refine his pass-rush moves. He relies too much on his speed and would benefit from learning how to use his hands more to fight past stronger offensive tackles.
Coverage: Elite coverage ability for a 3-4 linebacker. Occasionally lined up in man coverage over tight ends in the slot. Has the speed to stay with most tight ends and the height and strength to cause issues for them in jump-ball situations. Experience dropping into zone and man coverage.
Intangibles: Still developing as a defensive player. Originally committed to Oregon as a top-rated tight end recruit. Converted to defensive end in 2010.
Durability: Missed time with a shoulder injury in 2012 and had offseason surgery. Slowed by an ankle injury in 2011.
Comments: Jordan is a freak athlete for a guy his size. He looks like a basketball player lined up at linebacker. Oregon used him in a variety of roles, asking him to blitz, drop in coverage and spy on the quarterback. That type of experience makes him uniquely prepared for the NFL, and coaches that run a hybrid scheme should fall in love with the options he brings to the table. He definitely needs to bulk up, especially if he’s going to end in a 4-3, but he has the frame to add some weight without losing his quickness. He compares favorably to Shaun Phillips, who excelled both in coverage and as a pass-rusher in his prime in the Chargers 3-4 scheme.