Why Dion Jordan Would Be a Great Pick for the New York Jets

Erik Frenz@ErikFrenzSenior Writer IFebruary 8, 2013

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 02:  Defensive end Dion Jordan #96 of the Oregon Ducks calls out in the second quarter as the Ducks take on the Wisconsin Badgers at the 98th Rose Bowl Game on January 2, 2012 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

The New York Jets have used their last three first-round picks on defensive players.

Even still, the argument could be made for the Jets to target another defensive player with the ninth overall pick.

In his most recent mock draft on ESPN.com (Insider content), Mel Kiper Jr. predicts the Jets will select Oregon defensive end Dion Jordan

The selection of Jordan would provide a shot of youth and a boost in athleticism to the outside linebacker spot.

Kiper shared his thoughts on Jordan to the Jets:

I'm a big fan of the interior, with Muhammad Wilkerson and Quinton Coples in place, but the Jets could really use an edge rusher. Jordan is light, but he has long arms, great athleticism and I think can be a guy they don't need to shuttle in and out depending on downs and matchups. He has star potential, and the pass rush gets some help.

Calvin Pace and Bryan Thomas combined for just 5.5 sacks in 2012. Pace and Thomas finished 28th and 30th, respectively, in ProFootballFocus.com's pass-rushing productivity, which measures the amount of pressure created on a per-snap basis with weighting toward sacks. Keep in mind, only 14 teams actually ran the 3-4 in 2012, so the Jets' two starters were on par with some backups on a per-snap basis.

Pace could be an early roster cut, and Thomas' contract expired, likely meaning the end for him with Gang Green.

Whether the Jets move on from one, both or neither of those two players, the Jets need to begin looking to the future at outside linebacker. Pace and Thomas are a combined 65 years old (32 and 33 years old, respectively).

Jordan is listed as 6'7" and 243 pounds. That's a bit lean for the Jets; Pace (263) and Thomas (266) both weight at least 20 pounds more than Jordan. There are defenders that more closely fit that mold, including BYU defensive end Ezekiel Ansah.

Still, Jordan should be just fine, all things considered. He's not incredibly stout at the point of attack, but the Jets could use more athletic outside linebackers rather than the big, unspectacular edge-setting types like Pace and Thomas.

His versatility could be a key tipping point for the Jets. Not only can he rush the quarterback from either a two- or three-point stance, but scouting reports on Jordan indicate he lined up in coverage, even on slot receivers at times, and held his own. 

He has really come into his own in the past couple of seasons, tallying 23.5 tackles for loss and 12.5 sacks in his junior and senior years. He was recruited as a tight end, but has made the transition quickly. 


Erik Frenz is the AFC East lead blogger for Bleacher Report. Be sure to follow Erik on Twitter and "like" the AFC East blog on Facebook to keep up with all the updates. Unless otherwise specified, all quotes are obtained firsthand or via team press releases.