University of Oregon defensive end/outside linebacker Dion Jordan is projected to be a do it all outside linebacker in the NFL. He’s also widely projected to land with the Jacksonville Jaguars in the NFL Draft’s first round. Because of Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley’s defensive schemes Jordan and the Jaguars would be a perfect marriage.
Jordan is a huge player at 6’6″ tall but moves much better than most athletes who are smaller than him. His fluid movement was an eye catcher at the NFL Scouting Combine and helped propel him into being a top-10 lock in the draft. The Combine confirmed that Jordan is more than just a pure pass rusher and could be a three down linebacker.
Always a top prospect, Jordan’s athleticism and ability to both rush the passer and play coverage are what make him so ideally suited to be with the Jaguars at number two. The Jags employ a hybrid defensive front that features the oft-cited Leo position. The Leo is a rushing linebacker/defensive end type who plays fast and is effective at getting to the quarterback. The Jags already have pass rushing specialist Jason Babin on the roster to fill the position, but Jordan offers more versatility and an ability to disguise the scheme. With Jordan’s ability to cover, rush the passer, and play the run he should be on the field constantly. This gives the Jaguars the ability to disguise what Jordan may do on a given down. For a talent-deficient roster, that’s big.
Jordan’s unique skill set and ideal match was highlighted in the Fansided Editors’ mock draft run by the National Football Post:
The Jags need to drastically upgrade their pass rush and Dion Jordan is an ideal fit as the Leo in Coach Bradley’s defense. Jordan has the ability to be productive both rushing the quarterback and defending against the run. The variety of coverage responsibilities makes him the perfect choice.
Having the privilege to select Jordan for the Jaguars, my reasoning was the same as that stated above by NFP’s Russ Lande. Jordan isn’t heads and shoulders above the rest of the pass rushing class in the 2013 NFL Draft, but he is the top all around player as well as a perfect schematic fit for the Jags. This makes him invaluable to the team and an easy selection later tonight.
– Luke N. Sims
You can also find me on Twitter @LukeNSims