This is the 14th in a 20-part series examining some possibilities for the Browns in the 2013 NFL Draft, including extensive looks at the most likely prospects for the No. 6 overall selection, potential targets later in the draft, trade-down scenarios, what the other teams in the AFC North might do and the top players coming out of Ohio State and the Mid-American Conference.
Each morning will bring a new, daily posting leading up the NFL Scouting Combine on Feb 20.
Today we look at potentially the most athletic, versatile defensive player in this class who could rise up draft boards.
Dion Jordan, Oregon, senior
Height/Weight: 6-foot-6, 243 pounds.
Current overall prospect ranks: NFLDraftScout.com: 26th; Scout's Inc.: 11th; ESPN's Todd McShay: 11th; ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr.: 13th.
Current projected draft position: At the moment, ESPN has Jordan ranked higher and going higher in the draft than NFLDraftScout.com. McShay has the Detroit Lions taking Jordan with the No. 5 pick. Kiper has him going No. 9 to the New York Jets. NFLDraftScout.com's Dane Brugler sees the Saints taking him off the board at No. 15 and Rob Rang, also of NFLDraftScout.com, has Jordan falling all the way to the Atlanta Falcons with the 30th pick. That's a range of 25 picks in the first round.
Overview: Jordan went to Oregon as a highly touted tight end and then made the switch to defensive end in the spring before his sophomore season in 2010. Before his junior year, Oregon changed their defensive alignment to fit Jordan's athleticism, creating a hybrid, pass-rushing role. He responded with 7.5 sacks and earned First-Team All-Pac 12 honors. As a senior, Jordan displayed his versatility to a greater extent, lining up as a defensive end, a linebacker and even covering receivers in the slot. While trying to best use Jordan -- a tall, athletic pass rusher with great length and speed but not ideal bulk -- Oregon had him rushing from a standing position most of the time. As a senior, he had 44 tackles and five sacks.
What they're saying: Jordan has rare athleticism for his size with loose hips and smooth footwork to naturally move in any direction. ... Looks like a small forward in football pads with his tall, long frame and flexible joints. ... Fluid change of direction skills. ... Very good first step with natural bend and closing burst off the edge. ... Active and doesn't quit. ... Violent hand use, uses quick hands to make it tough on blockers. Fiery demeanor and has a good head on his shoulders. ... Good awareness and experience lining up all over the front seven. ... Sky is the limit with his athletic potential. ... Still a bit raw, could refine pass rush and hand use but is so athletic he has great upside. ... Still needs to get stronger in his upper body. ... Has very good range, uses long arms and closing burst to bring in ball carriers. ... Must get stronger, but there's no questioning his toughness and effort.
NFLDraftScout.com player comparison: Chandler Jones, defensive end, New England Patriots.
Why he fits the Browns' needs: With the Browns switching to a 3-4 multi-front scheme, Jordan is certainly athletic enough to fit as a rush linebacker on the outside. He's long (at least 6-foot-6), explosive and athletic, with a rare combination of fluidness and speed for someone his size. That being said, he's still raw, will take refining and will need to add some bulk to survive in the NFL. There are also a high number of pass rushers who could go as high as No. 6, so Jordan has competition. But for someone who's athletic and only played the position for three years, he has the chance to shoot up draft boards because of his potential. As shown above, analysts have a varying opinion on where he'll end up -- the Nos. 5 and 30 picks of the draft carry a very wide range of value -- so Jordan has about as much to gain as anyone at the combine.