2013 NFL Draft – Option 2 for Pick #6 – Cleveland Browns
Dion Jordan – Defensive End/Outside Linebacker, University of Oregon
Analysis: Even though veterans Paul Kruger and Quentin Groves left the Ravens and Cardinals, respectively, to play outside linebacker for the Browns – the team needs depth. Currently, Jabaal Sheard will be converted from defensive end and will become another edge linebacker. Running a 3-4 scheme with multiple fronts and many substitutions (for the varying situations), and the franchise could be looking to add a dynamic athlete who gets after quarterbacks regularly. Plus, with a physical game like football; injuries can occur and players need to fill in.
In 2012, the Browns accumulated thirty-eight sacks as a team (averaging just over two per contest), which was just above the league average of thirty-six and a half. Getting into the upper portion of the league (this season) will help out the unit immensely; opposing quarterbacks would see more pressure – leading dire situations and possible mistakes being made.
Biography: Believe it or not, Jordan was recruited by Chip Kelly to be a tight end. After his redshirt season, however, the athlete converted to defensive end. He spent three seasons on the defense and played terrifically. His number of total tackles went from thirty-three in 2010 and increased to forty-four in his final season. As a frame of reference, these totals are on par with defensive standout Star Lotulelei, (whom had forty-four and forty-two tackles, respectively, in his final two years at the University of Utah). Jordan also ran in three two-point conversions, had two pass deflections, and forced four fumbles in his collegiate career.
However, NFL scouts and front offices are looking at output revolving around sacks and stops for losses from the former University of Oregon star. Sacks were compiled to seven-and-a-half in 2011 (fourth in the Pac 12) and five in 2012. Tackles for losses were also abundant; Jordan recorded thirteen of these in his redshirt sophomore year (fourth in the Pac 12) and ten-and-a-half in his final season in college. Collectively, the extremely athletic player has been solid in his job as an edge defender.
Looking at the measurables, Jordan is six-feet six-inches and weighs two hundred forty-eight pounds. This is very good size for the NFL, especially for where the Browns would want to play him – outside linebacker. His 4.60 forty-yard dash is much quicker than a few of his counterparts; this could possibly be the difference between being drafted in the top five and later in the first round. However, like Dee Milliner, Dion Jordan finished his collegiate career with a shoulder injury that required surgery.
Conclusion: While he is extremely dynamic and talented, its not certain whether Dion Jordan would be a starter with the Cleveland Browns for the opening of the 2013 season. He could likely learn from his coaches and the veterans on the roster until an acceptable comfort level is met. Selecting the speedy linebacker could cause nightmares for opposing offenses – not only would quarterbacks have to double check their blindside, but blocking schemes may have to be altered (reducing the number of receiving targets).
The arguments for going in another direction are based more on his position. The Browns’ front office may feel they did an adequate job in addressing their linebacker corps in free agency and may try to target other areas early in the draft. Also, Jordan may be viewed as a part-time player and therefore not worthy of a top ten draft selection. The injury issue must also be checked out and confirmed that this was an isolated incident; otherwise teams (like the Browns) might be hesitant to choose Jordan.
I would be perfectly content with the Cleveland Browns taking Dion Jordan with the sixth overall draft pick; he has been dominant and could really help this defense. This is reliant upon Dee Milliner’s situation however, I would prefer the cornerback but the Oregon athlete is a worthy option.
Additional Outside Linebacker Options: Should the franchise seek additionally draft selections (i.e. getting their second round pick), the Browns may want to trade down in the first round. Two outside linebacker options whom may be available a few selections later are Jarvis Jones (University of Georgia) and Barkevious Mingo (Louisiana State University). Both are rated lower and have concerns – Jones’s spinal stenosis and Mingo’s lack of production, but some general managers look at value during the NFL Draft.