Jordan has as much athletic talent as any tight end, or for that matter, wide receiver in this draft. He has played both positions in games this year. He has been spread out wide as a true wide receiver and he has lined up in a three-point stance depending on down and distance situations. When they do happen to throw the ball to him, he shows excellent pass catching skills and the ability to gain yardage after the catch. His workouts at the combine show that he has as much speed and pass catching ability as most of the wide receivers in this draft. He shows good quickness off the line and has those long strides that will make it very hard for defensive backs, linebackers and corners to cover him the further he gets into his routes. That's if he ran routes. He shows the ability to adjust to the ball in the air and go up with strong hands to catch the ball at its point. He is an excellent athlete and so fluid that his talents are deceiving. Jordan does a good job blocking as a wide receiver. He gives good effort at the college level when he is used as an in-line blocker as a Tight End. Jordan is a sleeper in this draft. If USC had bothered to throw to him, I think people would see that for themselves.
It's real simple: USC does not throw to any of their tight ends. They use them to block. Even when Jordan was spread out wide, they did not throw to him; they used him to block. They would bring him inside, put him in a three point stance and use him to block. Later, he would go to the bench, get a drink then go back into the game to...you guessed it, block. Jordan can block pretty well, but it is not his strength.
In the USC-Washington State game, Jordan started out as a wide receiver. Steve Havili scored on an off tackle play. Tryon Smith sealed the corner and Jordan took out the cornerback, not allowing him to get into the play. Play after play, all Jordan did as a wide receiver was block. He never ran a route so I don't know how well he can run routes. Then, they pulled him to the tight end position and used him to block; he struggles, but the effort is there. I'm not sure Jordan knows what to do with his feet and he struggles with his balance, but I like that he is making an effort. He tried a cut block once and it didn't work out too well because his timing was off. In the third quarter, they finally threw to Jordan -- a pass in the flat. The timing was off and by the time the QB threw the ball, Jordan was too close to the out of bounds and was stopped for a three yard gain. That play showed me Jordan's athleticism as a pass catcher. Until then, I could not figure out why they used him as a wide receiver. I kept running the play over and over trying to find a flaw in the way he caught the ball. A simple pass that, in most cases, just about everyone who has any kind of talent can catch; however, it was the way Jordan caught the ball that struck me. There was no struggle at all and, although the pass was late, Jordan ran easily with his head turned to the QB waiting and staying on the correct route path. He caught the pass, never stumbling when turning his hips and made another athletic move that Tony Gonzales might make after he catches the ball. A move only few others can make. I made some notes and watched him block the rest of the game. The first note I made to myself was to ask why USC didn't use this kid more in the passing game? I forgot about Jordan until recently and took note of his combine and workout numbers. If you look closely, you will see his workout numbers are equal to most wide receivers. So if this kid has no red flags, he is the type of player that I would draft very quickly in this draft if I need a pass catching tight end or a future wide receiver who could become a match-up nightmare. He looks smart, has excellent pass catching skills, and just needs to be given the chance to get on the field. He is a true sleeper and I would not hesitate to draft him as early as the second round because he still has a lot to prove and his upside is tremendous. Look for him on Rob's boards, but I assigned a high Talent Board Rating on Jordan because my gut factor is high on this kid and signals to me that this kid could be something special.
The BS Detector
Drew Boylhart April/11