Oregon is set to play Kansas State in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl on Thursday and the offense for the Ducks has been getting all the headlines all season long, but the Ducks have a defender that will have NFL scouts salivating in senior defensive end Dion Jordan.
At 6-7 and 240 pounds, Jordan possesses incredible length and a freakishly long wingspan that will help him knock down passes, but lacks the bulk you like to see in a base defensive end. However, he has enough athleticism and versatility in his game to line up as a pass rush specialist on third downs early in his career as he bulks up to the 260-pound range.
I think Jordan could play in a 3-4 scheme as an outside linebacker or in a 4-3 scheme as a rush end and his ability to fit in a number of fronts will boost his draft appeal. Jordan reminds me of Aldon Smith who was the seventh pick in the draft two years ago and had 14 sacks as a rookie for the San Francisco 49ers as a rookie and is developing into one of the best pass-rushers in the league after 19.5 in his second season.
Jordan may not get selected as high as Smith in a draft that is loaded with defensive talent, particularly along the defensive line, but Jordan is likely to hear his name called in the first 15 picks.
With his toughness, speed and relentless effort, Jordan is capable of being a match-up nightmare on third downs as a rookie and developing in to a complete end as his body gains more strength and weight to hold up in the run game and he develops the instincts that develop with more experience.
Look for Jordan to make a couple plays in the Wildcats backfield and get to Heisman finalist Collin Klein and prove that he will be the best player on the field on Thursday night.
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