There are a few guys that we'll be profiling that will most likely not be available when the Colts select at pick #24, but because this draft is so wide open, and have seen guys be the #1 pick as well as the #22 pick, we're going to go ahead and profile them, in the off chance they fall to the Colts. One guy who will most likely be gone early, yet it isn't certain, is Oregon OLB Dion Jordan.
Jordan is a physical freak, standing 6'6" and weighing 248, about 10 pounds heavier than he played at in 2012. He mostly played as a 4-3 DE last season, but the Ducks Defense was ever-changing (who knew?) and there were times he'd drop into coverage and play more of an OLB position, so he has a little experience doing it. He'll almost certainly be drafted as a 3-4 OLB, and he won't be completely green.
Even though Jordan has become a sure-fire first round pick on the defensive side, he didn't begin his career in Eugene as a defensive player. He was recruited as a Tight End out of Arizona, and played sparingly as a Freshman. In the offseason, Head Coach Chip Kelly came to him and asked if he would switch to Defensive End. This may not be a big deal at most schools, but Oregon is known for their fire-drill Offense, scoring tons of points, etc., and their defense gets little mention nationally. How did Jordan take the news?
I understood that that was the best opportunity for me to get on the football field, so I took it. Coach Kelly and my position coach, Coach (Jerry) Azzinaro, they had a plan for me and I stuck with it. And things worked out for the best for me...I imagined myself running down the field, catching the ball from Darron Thomas or Mariota but things don't work out that way. You've got to adjust. I adjusted and I took the opportunity and ran with it...I would rather do the hitting than get hit. It's a lot better.
For his career Jordan finished with 121 tackles, 14.5 sacks and 29 tackles for loss. Because of his receiving skills from high school, Jordan played in some goal line situations on offense, and actually scored four two-point conversions in his career. I'm guessing he'll be doing some of the same in goal-to-go situations at the next level.
If Jordan is still sitting there at pick #24, I expect someone from the Colts to sprint to Roger Goodell and select Jordan, as he'll instantly improve the Defense, and getting another speed rusher on the other end from Robert Mathis. My guess is that Jordan will be long gone by the time the Colts pick, but guys fall in the draft for really no reason, so we can hope, right?
Tall end/linebacker hybrid with excellent length. Definitely not contact-shy, extends his long arms to land a strong punch on blockers, can disengage to chase plays from behind or grab ballcarriers coming into his area. Also willing to mix it up when challenged.
Might be an end/linebacker ‘tweener for some teams due to his tall, lean frame. Must improve upper-body strength to get off blocks and gain leverage against NFL-caliber linemen. His height will make it more difficult for him to get low to stop ballcarriers’ momentum or corral them in the open field.
Pros: Dion Jordan possesses a rare blend of size and athleticism. At 6-feet-7-inches tall, Jordan moves like a safety. He has fluid hips in coverage and excellent explosion off the line of scrimmage. Oregon frequently called upon Jordan to cover tight ends and slot wide receivers one on one. Jordan's quickness and straight line speed will allow him to matchup with the athletic tight ends NFL teams are utilizing.
Cons: While Jordan is an explosive athlete, he needs to become a more physical player to reach his full potential. He often gets completely washed out in the running games. On occasion, Jordan has allowed himself to be blocked by wide receivers far too easily. As a tackler, Jordan has a ways to go.
Comparison: Aldon Smith, San Francisco 49ers - Jordan isn't quite as physical or refined a prospect as Smith was coming out, but the combination of size and athleticism along with the versatility makes this a decent comparison.
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