Oregon defensive end Dion Jordan believes he displayed his toughness last season, when he played five games with a shoulder injury that requires surgery.
But there is still much to prove for the standout pass rusher, who totaled 29 sacks in the past three seasons.
Jordan gave a glimpse of his athleticism Monday at the NFL Scouting Combine. The 6-foot-6, 248-pounder tied for third in his position group in the 40-yard dash with a time of 4.6 seconds and tied for fourth in the broad jump with a leap of 10 feet, 2 inches.
Jordan will undergo surgery on the labrum in his right shoulder as soon as he leaves Indianapolis.
He said the procedure will be done at the Kerlan-Jobe center in Los Angeles and expects rehab to last between three and four months.
Projected as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense, Jordan is among the players the Browns could consider with the sixth overall pick.
Some draft analysts question whether Jordan can add the muscle he will need to play in the NFL and wonder if his injury was the reason why he couldn’t gain weight. Mike Mayock of the NFL Network suspects so, but compared Jordan to San Francisco 49ers outside linebacker Aldon Smith, a 2012 Pro Bowler who has 33.5 sacks in his two years in the league.
“Dion Jordan has had trouble in keeping weight on and part of the problem has been that shoulder,” Mayock said Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium. “So if you want to like Dion Jordan, and I do — Dion Jordan could be an Aldon Smith-type of defensive player — but he has to put on 20 pounds. To do that, he has to get the shoulder right.”
Jordan said he believes he has the frame to add weight.
“Strength is key,” he said. “I feel like it plays a lot into the longevity of playing in the NFL. It’s a big-boy game.”
Former Browns General Manager Phil Savage, now executive director of the Senior Bowl, wonders if Jordan can make the transition to outside linebacker.
“He’s an unusual player because he’s really tall,” Savage said. “They used him in space a lot this year in their 3-4. He would walk out in coverage and he did not rush every single snap. He’s more of a fluid athlete than an explosive power pass rusher.
“I think he’s got to answer some questions in terms of really making the transition. Is he an outside ’backer or does he go and gain more weight and become a defensive end in the 4-3? I think that’s the question that teams are going to be asking themselves.”
Jordan came to Oregon in 2008 as a tight end, but was switched to defense in the spring of 2010. He said he didn’t complain, figuring it was the quickest way to get playing time. Now he considers it an advantage.
“I understand defenses because I played on the offensive side of the ball, I understand a lot of the offensive schemes,” he said. “And my size, a [6-6] outside linebacker is kind of unique. Things worked out for the best for me. I would rather do the hitting than get hit.”
Smith deal not done?
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee and ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the 49ers were still shopping San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith as of Monday. According to Barrows, they will owe him $8.5 million if they don’t trade or release him by April 1.
Monday afternoon in a radio interview with 92.3 The Fan in Cleveland, Jason La Canfora of CBS stood by his Sunday report that a deal for Smith is “effectively complete.” He added that he believes the trade partner to be the Kansas City Chiefs. Multiple reports have linked the Chiefs to Smith.
The Browns have also been suggested as a logical landing spot. Schefter also mentioned the Arizona Cardinals, and La Canfora suggested the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Some wonder if La Canfora’s report is an attempt by the 49ers to spark more interest in Smith. La Canfora did not name the trade partner on Twitter on Sunday. He said the deal cannot be finalized until the start of the league year at 4 p.m. on March 12.
Other notable numbers turned in by players who could be targets of the Browns in the first round: BYU defensive end Ziggy Ansah (4.63 40, sixth; 34.5 vertical jump, tied seventh, 9-10 broad jump, tied 10th); Texas A&M defensive end Damontre Moore (4.95 40; 35.5 vertical, fourth; 10-2 broad jump, tied fourth); Florida State defensive end Bjoern Werner (4.83 40, tied 13th).
Browns defensive line coach Joe Cullen helped run position drills Monday. … Browns players Joe Haden, Billy Winn and John Hughes will appear from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Greater Cleveland Auto Show at the I-X Center. On Saturday, Phil Taylor is scheduled to be there from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Josh Cribbs from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. … Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o ran the 40 in a disappointing 4.82 seconds. “Anything 4.7 or better would be phenomenal; 4.8-plus is going to be a concern,” Mayock said Sunday. Te’o tied for eighth in the vertical jump (33.0) and was sixth in the three-cone (7.13 seconds).
Marla Ridenour can be reached at email@example.com. Read the her blog at https://ohio.com/marla. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MRidenourABJ and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sports.abj.