Over the past few weeks we've discussed the LB position quite a bit. We've talked about DeMeco Ryans as the new leader, talked about the fight at WILL between Casey Matthews & Brian Rolle, debated whether Jamar Chaney earns a spot on the roster, speculated about rookie Mychal Kendricks starting at SAM over Moise Fokou... We even mentioned Greg Lloyd.
The one name we haven't uttered? Akeem Jordan. And of all the non-starters on the defense, he may be the toughest to take a roster spot from. Why? Special teams.
If you're a backup LB, you're going to play special teams. So when the team is filling out its roster and deciding who fits where, how guys play on special teams becomes very important. The good news for Akeem Jordan's job prospects in 2012 is that he's a very effective special teamer.
According to Football Outsiders, Akeem had the 13th most return tackles in the NFL last year with 13. 12 of those tackles were categorized as "return stops," which FO counts as tackles that force a below average return on a play. So 95% of Jordan's special teams tackles resulted in a below average return. There is real value in that.
And Jordan is not a one year wonder either. He has the 10th most return tackles in the NFL over the last three seasons. So Jordan is a core special teams player which means he's got a leg up on any backup LB on the roster.