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2013 NFL Draft: Is Dion Jordan the best pass rusher in this class?


One of the tougher players to get a handle on in this draft is Oregon LB Dion Jordan. Physically, he's as exciting a prospect as there is in this class. He's 6-6, 250 with 34 inch arms that give him fantastic reach. You'll struggle to find any player in college or the pros who is more prototypically built to play in these hybrid 3-4/4-3 systems we're seeing in the NFL.

However, how he's built and how he plays are two different things. Despite his tools as a pass rusher, Jordan has not put up gaudy sack stats. He had just 5 last year, which is not exactly the production you're looking for from a guy you're considering taking with a top 10 pick. Some of that is due to the scheme and what he was asked to do (namely be in coverage more often) but still you probably would have liked to see him fill the stat sheet a bit more.

That said, he's still a favorite of draft pundits who despite the production, project him as the best pass rusher in the class.

"With Dion Jordan, I truly believe he can be the best pass‑rusher in this class when it's all said and done," said ESPN's Todd McShay. "I also think what makes him rare or separates him from a lot of guys is his ability to drop coverage. You just don't see many guys, I haven't, that are 6'6″, 248 LBs, that can swivel their hips and change directions and do the things that he can do and has the awareness in space that he has."

"Those long arms help him get to the quarterback when he's close, and he closes as fast as any edge rusher in this class. So I would put him ahead of all those other guys, Ansah, Mingo, and anybody else in terms of his ability and potential as an edge rusher at the next level."

Mike Mayock also loves Jordan's potential but still thinks he's going to need time to develop.

"I think is two years away from being an Aldon Smith-type player," said Mayock said. "He's got frightening athletic skills, and he's a year away. He would be a situational pass rusher year one. And if he puts 20 pounds on, I think he's going to be a perennial all-pro. I really like the kid. But again, that's a little bit of a risk-reward. You're betting on this kid two years from now."

Howie Roseman has previously said that the Eagles pick at #4 won't be a "project" type guy. He's going to be ready to step in and play right away. Does Dion Jordan fit that profile?

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