Jordan Tripp   LB   Montana

TALENT BOARD ROUND 3

STRENGTHS
Jordan is one of the more athletic defensive players in this draft. He has excellent change of direction skills to go along with terrific size, strength and speed. He is smart and looks on film to have leadership qualities through his play on the field. He reminds me a lot of the Panthersí Luke Kuechly. He is a run and chase linebacker with the instincts to play more than one linebacker position once he settles in. He can cover as well as any linebacker in this draft and is smart enough to be used on all three downs in zone coverage or single coverage on bigger pass catching tight ends. Jordan is physical and doesnít back off from attacking running backs in the hole and or taking on blockers to help make a tackle. He is always around the ball because his pre-snap read of the offense is very good. His impact position for the next level should be as an outside linebacker in a 4-3 defense with the potential to be moved to the middle in time. Jordan is an underrated linebacker in this draft because of the competition level he played against in college, but given the time at the next level, Jordan should be an impact linebacker for the team that drafts him.

CONCERNS
The level of competition is a concern because of the position Jordan plays. He will have to go up against bigger offensive linemen who are much faster and smarter than any he has ever gone up against so far. For the first time in his life, Jordan will not be the best and most athletic player on the field. Jordan has to learn how to get off blocks better and he has to become a better form tackler. Even with his college competition, opposing players break his tackles. That will not do at the next level and will be the deciding factor for Jordan to becoming a starter or just a specialty linebacker used on passing downs.

BOTTOM LINE
Jordan has a problem wrapping up and using the correct form when he tackles, but itís not from a lack of effort. Itís strictly a lack of techniques. Jordan is not breaking down (slowing down) to gain control of his body to make a tackle. He goes full force and misses tackles or arm tackles players. It will be hard to teach him the correct techniques because, first, he has to realize itís a problem for the next level. Then he has to practice tackling and with the CBA rules in place right now, it will be difficult for him to break the habit and understand the timing and the changes he will have to make in practice. That means he will have to learn on the job and sometimes thatís the worst way to learn. Itís like trying to teach a quarterback how to slide if they have never done it before. Teaching a player how to break down before he makes a tackle is very hard and it could cause Jordan to be a worse tackler than he is right now as it may cause him to hesitate and over-think the process. Regardless, Jordan is smart and athletic and given the time, should not have a problem. So drafting him early might be a smart thing to do if you run a pure 4-3 defense because he could become as good as Panthers LB Luke Kuechly. Thatís the overall ďpotentialĒ that Jordan has for the team that selects him.

Drew Boylhart
APR/2014