Cameron Jordan, DE, California Golden Bears
40-Time: (NFL Scouting Combine Time Feb. 23 - Mar. 1 to be added)
Cameron Jordan uses the power swim move quite often to get by offensive linemen with a good deal of success, making him a legitimate threat as a pass rusher. He even impressed observers during Senior Bowl practice with the effectiveness of the move. He has long arms and big hands which help him fight off blockers. His hands measured 11 ¼ inches, while his arms measured 34 ½ inches at the Senior Bowl. He's also very strong and shouldn't have trouble against NFL linemen as he looks to rush the passer or hold the edge. Jordan can penetrate the line of scrimmage on running plays to redirect or grab ball carriers and his strength also allows him to be a force against the run as he holds up his lane very well. He's a hard worker who won't quit on a play whether fighting off blocks in the pass rush or chasing down ball carriers.ll.
He's also an effective tackler. If he gets his hands on the ball carrier, don't expect him to free himself from his grip. He's not a burner in the speed department, but he does take good angles. He's quick out of his stance and gets a good first step, especially against slower tackles and guards when he plays inside. Jordan is also very versatile in terms of being able to play in both a 4-3 and 3-4 defensive scheme, which should help his draft stock. He was a three-year starter at Cal.
Although Jordan is explosive out of his stance and gets a good first step, he may run into problems against quicker offensive tackles. He isn't a pure power rusher, but he isn't exactly a speed edge rusher, either. Against some of the quicker tackles, he may have trouble, but he has a good repertoire of moves to help him get by blockers. He also needs to play with leverage on every play, something that tends to give him problems as it's difficult to take advantage of his strength when he fails to gain leverage. Jordan does not have the greatest lateral movement which may cause problems in pursuit around the line of scrimmage, but he is very dedicated and quick enough on the edge to at the very least redirect the ball carrier.
Jordan received rave reviews in Mobile, Alabama in the week of practices leading up to the Senior Bowl. He beat just about anybody they threw at him and it's safe to say he made one of the biggest draft board climbs. Jordan was given recognition as an honorable mention All-American by Pro Football Weekly in 2010 and was a first-team All-Pac-10 selection.
He probably fits best as a 3-4 end, although he could really play most positions on the defensive line. Jordan recorded 11.0, 9.5 and 12.5 tackles for loss in his three seasons as a starter, and recorded 4.0, 8.0 and 5.5 sacks. He was arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence in 2008, for which he served a one-game suspension, but he is an extremely high character prospect and the incident should not have any impact on his draft stock. His father, Steve, played tight end for 13 seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, earning six Pro Bowl trips.
Potential NFL Team, Round
Jordan had been regarded as a mid- to late-round pick prior to the Senior Bowl, but following the week he spent in Mobile, he could hear his name called as high as #7, which is where the San Francisco 49ers pick. New coach Jim Harbaugh, who is very familiar with Jordan from his days in the Pac-10, made Jordan the first player the 'Niners interviewed leading up to the draft according to reports. That certainly says a lot about Jordan and his chances of becoming a top ten pick. The Cowboys, picking ninth, would be a good spot for Jordan, too, as they could look to add youth and talent to their defensive line. Washington could look his way with the #10 pick where he'd work alongside Albert Haynesworth, while Houston could also look at him as they transition to the 3-4 defense. Other top-20 possibilities include the Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots and San Diego Chargers.
Danny Hobrock, a sports journalist covering NCAA Football and MLB is the editor of our college football content. His work for Xtra Point Football has garnered national attention and is critically acclaimed. You may email Danny directly @ [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @ DannyHobrock
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