Dion Jordan   DE/OLB   Oregon

TALENT BOARD ROUND  1

 

STRENGTHS

Dion is a 6'7" player who has the athleticism to play multiple positions for your defense and all at a high level.  I have seen him line up as a linebacker, defensive end and in coverage like a safety because of his skills, speed and fluidness.  He gives excellent effort on every play and shows leadership skills through his play on the field.  He is the type of player you build your defense around once you decide in which position he will be most impactful.  As a defensive end he shows a terrific burst off the line to rush the passer and gets into the backfield to disrupt plays as quickly as any defensive lineman in this draft.  As a stand up linebacker in a 3-4 defense, he shows the ability to beat his player one-on-one on the line along with the coverage skills and football intelligence to cover and intercept balls thrown to his side of the field on screens.  Dion has the speed to stay with, and cover, receivers down the field as well.  He does a solid job stringing out sweeps and is a solid tackler.  When he lines up in the slot in coverage, he can play man-to-man coverage and shut down any pass catching tight end in the NFL.  Because of his unique athletic talents, he will impact the day after you draft him.  I call him Dion (Neon) Jordan because he lights the field up with his talents. 

 

CONCERNS

Dion has to get stronger and attain more bulk to his body without it affecting his overall athletic ability.  Right now he has the body type of a track star playing football and until he bulks up, injuries will be a concern.  Injuries will keep him off the field and stunt his football intelligence because of a lack of game repetitions; therefore, bulking up is a priority.  Dion also has to decide where he fits in a defense. My guess is as a OLB in a 3-4 defense or as a DE in a 4-3.  He will impact in either style of defense at those positions.  He uses good techniques when defending against the run, but right now he is not stout enough for the NFL to impact right away.  In college, unless he got into the backfield and guessed right, he was making too many tackles after the running back had gained the needed yardage.  Once again bulking up will address these issues and Dion looks on film to have the work ethic to overcome anything the next level can throw at him....that's if he can get bigger and stronger.

 

BOTTOM LINE

Years ago, the Raiders had a player called The Stork.  Ted Hendricks bounced around the NFL until the Raiders traded for him because no one knew what to do with him in spite of the fact that he was impactful for every team for which he played.  He was "different" and most coaches don't handle "different" very well.  Dion is "different" also and I suspect most teams will pass on him because they won't know what position he will play.  You don't pass on athletic players with good production, excellent work ethic and leadership skills just because you don't know what position they might play. Draft Dion, use him as a specialty player until he gets stronger and, before the end of his 1st year, he will find his way onto the field as a starter and at his impact position.  Think about it:  Dion has the potential leadership skills to be your coach on the field, cover tight ends like a safety, rush the passer as a stand up OLB or as a down defensive end in a 4-3 and you don't think he should be drafted early in this draft?  Seriously?  There is one team in the top ten that understands the impact this kid will have in the NFL and in spite of the fact that Dion is injured right now and will need surgery, I suspect they just might be smart enough to draft him.  Dion will not be able to work out much before the draft, which may affect his draft status along with the fact that he is "different".  Personally that would not bother me at all, but it will bother some others in this draft. 

 

Drew "The B.S. Detector" Boylhart

Feb/2013