Steelers 2013 Draft Prospect Profiles: DE/OLB Dion Jordan – Oregon

On Monday we started our look at potential early round draft prospects for the Pittsburgh Steelers by breaking down LSU outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo and today we will look at Oregon defensive end/outside linebacker Dion Jordan, who you have probably seen associated elsewhere as a prospect for the Steelers.

Below is my quick profile on Jordan along with his college stats and a few videos on him. In the comments below please add the strengths and weaknesses that you feel that he has and why you think that he is or isn\’t a prospect for the Steelers.

Jordan is another defensive end/outside linebacker project that has an interesting build just like Mingo. At 6 foot 6, 243 pounds, the Oregon product is lengthy yet a little light in the britches. He looks more like an NBA draft prospect than an NFL prospect at first glance.

Jordan lined up on both sides of the Oregon defensive line, mostly as a standup edge rusher outside the tackle. He has a quick first step and his very athletic and pliable for a player of his size. He uses his long arms to get inside of the chest of blockers, but doesn\’t possess a very strong base underneath him. He does not have a wide variety of pass rush moves just yet and generally uses his speed and shoulder dip to gain the edge against tackles. He is not a strong bull-rusher as he lacks good overall strength and leg drive.

Because of his size, Jordan is very susceptible to cut blocks by running backs when he doesn\’t use his hands and arms properly and has shown some problems in his ability to keep his feet when blocked below the waist.

Jordan has showed that he can hold the edge fairly well and discards blockers with his long arms when defending the run and he also flows down the line well in backside pursuit, and has quick closing speed when doing so. He will tend to try to dance around blockers sometimes instead of taking them straight on.

As previously mentioned, Oregon used Jordan in a variety ways. At times he was used in the slot against a tight end or slot receiver and at other times was asked to drop into a zone outside for flat coverage. He turns and runs well, but will never be confused as a defensive back.

Jordan needs to fill out his frame and get stronger. In the long run I feel most teams will view him more as a 4-3 defensive end than an outside linebacker prospect. In my tape study I have a hard time envisioning him playing the 3, 4 or the 5 technique in a 3-4 defense. In my opinion he would best fit a team that uses a wide-9 defensive front.

Dion Jordan Career College Stats
Assisted Tackles48
Solo Tackles73
Assisted For Loss8
Solo For Loss25
Loss Yards144
Assisted Sacks3
Solo Sacks13
Sack Yards96
Pass Breakups2
Forced Fumbles4
QB Hurries4

  • steeltown

    No way. I agree with Bryan, this guy is a 4-3 type player. He doesnt seem to get much leverage off the edge at 6’6 and IF he puts on 15-20lbs he’ll lose some of that quickness (only 6’6 prospect I would want is Ansah)

  • SteelerDave

    Definitely not a fit with us, same as Mingo. No way.

    This draft is key. We must get it right.

  • Thom Kay

    Love this prospect, don’t think he makes it to 17. His height is a good thing! Aldon Smith and Demarcus Ware are tall, and they are awesome. Jordan is taller, but that’s fine. He’s very athletic and can rush the passer and is excellent in coverage. Looks like he could potentially cover guys like Gronk or Jimmy Graham. Just what the Steelers need.

  • steeltown

    I guess you have a point, but I think Ware and Smith are closer to 6’3 – 6’4

  • Kysteeler

    I would have to agree with you. Ansah will more than likely be a 4-3 guy as well

  • jr

    Dont you alway agree with bryan?

  • SteelerDave

    I have closely followed all the 1st round graded LBs in this class and sadly feel that none of them are a good enough fit for us. I truly think we are best served going another position in the 1st and picking up a LB or two in rounds two through five. 1st round I am leaning towards Warmack – something I never felt I would say.

  • mokhkw

    Yep, again not a Steelers LBer. If they’re getting pushed around in NCAA then they’ve got zero hope of being with the Steelers. Both Mingo & Jordan look like athletes but not football players, the Steelers won’t fall for that like other teams will.

  • TJimmy

    Not sure an olb is the first priority this year. Worilds seemed to play well enough with getting pressure on the qb.

    ILB Sean Spence was drafted last year to fill that spot. Coaches dont like to admit they wasted a pick either so that may not happen.

    They really need to groom a TE or Safety soon so I would predict they will choose one or the other if a quality player is available.

  • mokhkw

    Agreed. it’s like all the teams wanting a QB this year & looking for one in the 1st Rd when none of them are 1st RD grades. Some fans want an OLB in the 1st Round but none of them fit the Steeler’s system so I can’t see it happening either. My $s are on a NT in the 1st – typical Steelers unsexy pick where they get a good football player over a bunch of guys who have great athleticism but never pan out. Doubt they’ll make the same Alonzo Jackson mistake again this soon either.

  • Clint Martin

    Steeltown really? I keep saying this Ansah has terrible numbers playing against lesser opponents. I think the kid has a great upside but he will be drafted to a

    4-3 defense as a DE. I could see Giants taking him to add to there D-line they pick at 19

  • Clint Martin

    I don’t think Steelers take a OLB in the first round. Worilds has shown he is playing solid football.What the Steelers need is healthy players less injuries. Sean Spence back. Jason Worilds is only 24 years old. Even a first round guy at this position will struggle Worilds played DE in college at 6’2″ 262 LB. Worilds will replace Harrison when he retires.

    Lamar Woodley 2nd round in 2007 also predominantly played DE in college 6’2″ 265LB. If anything I think they take a tweener from the DE position for the future.

    How they have been doing for years.These players in only my opinion are to tall to play this position in a 3-4 defense not good leverage they get pushed around way to much 6’6″ 243 compared to Harrison’s 6’0″ 243. A 320 LB lineman will get that skinny frame and throw them around!

  • Shannon Stephenson

    If we are looking for a 3-4 OLB lets look at what we have and try to find guys that are in that mold…instead of these tall guys find a guy 240 6’…someone lower to the ground with a low center of gravity like Harrison…then he doesnt need to put on a lot more weight.

  • Can we do a prospect profile on WR Cordarrelle Patterson? I love this kid! Wide Receiver-Running Back-Guard. These are the Steelers real needs, not defense.

  • I don’t think OLB is a priority either. They could probably get through the first 3 rounds before even thinking about OLB. Who’s going to play Wide Receiver though? What about Guard? Running Back?

  • mghjr88

    He will probably be gone by the time the Steelers pick, but I really like Georgia outside linebacker Jarvis Jones

  • Garrett Hunt

    At the 6:00 mark in first video, he absolutely destroyed the tackle.

    Hs strengths to me are versatility, tough/scrappy play, speed, coverage, length. All these qualities seem to me to b a good starting point for an OLB project. With good technique and packing on some muscle to fill his frame, I could see him becoming a great player.

    On the other hand, we don’t really need a project, we need an immediate impact unless the coaching staff plans on having a healthy Harrison next season… thats the only way I see us drafting him.

    Personally I think he would be a good fit for the Steelers in the long run, and would like the pick based off the little i’ve seen. Obviously the combine and interviews are key, but I see potential and that is what we need. Next generation of defensive stars.

  • Garrett Hunt

    Size and athleticism remind me of Julius Peppers… not that Jordan does or will perform near Pepper’s level. The way the league is moving, athletic dominance seems to be a key factor in today’s stars.

    Jordan’s frame may not be similar to the style of OLB’s Steelers are accustomed to, but that doesn’t mean bulky, low center of gravity beasts are the only type capable of success on our team.

  • RedCarpetDefense

    Nice article, keep’m coming….would rather they grab DE Margus Hunt from SMU. Has good height, plays well enuff against the run and gets good pressure on the QB from a 3-4 DE. Could be a 3 down player, heck 4 down (he blocks kicks too!). Him and our two OLB’s (whoever they are in 2013) could really turn things around from pressure=turnover standpoint.

  • mokhkw

    I think you’ve nailed it. Used to be that before 1/2 of the NFL decided to switch to a 3-4 that we had plenty of choices in regards to “tweeners” that didn’t suit a 4-3 as a DE or OLB, now those types of players are harder to find & you have to draft them earlier than before, but the Steelers always seem to do a decent job of finding them. I can’t ever recall the Steelers drafting a LB who was over 6’3″ since Cowher’s time & I think it’s for the reasons you stated above. I think the Steelers will draft 2 LBers this year, but I can’t see anyone who fits & is of value in Rds 1 & 2 so expect them to be mid or late round picks. ( David Bass, Corey Lemonier, Lerentee McCray etc.)

  • Clint Martin

    This year again teams will draft QB’s regardless of draft grade by rounds.Someone will drop to us we did not expect I could see Chance Warmack.
    What can’t the Steelers do well? RUN THE BALL!! When was the last time we had a 1,200 yard runner?

  • JPDQ

    In my mind, there’s two things to consider going into this year’s draft. One, the article posted here a few days ago about the offense’s per game point production under Ben was very telling. What was it – 22 or 23 points? No matter the offensive weapons (Bus, FWP, Mendenhall, Hines/Burress, Hines/Randle El, Hines/Wallace/Brown) this offense doesn’t put up points and throttle people like, say, the Patriots do. As another poster pointed out, it almost makes me think we should focus on defense each year more heavily than offense, because apparently, no matter who we have for Ben to throw to or hand off to, we aren’t gonna score more than around three touchdowns a game. That’s why we win games (and championships) with defense.

    Two: our biggest problem this year (barring injuries) was lack of turnovers. How do you create turnovers? Pressure on the QB. Even if Harrison and Woodley were healthy, based on what I saw this season, we weren’t getting to the QB. If we were to draft a quick, athletic pass rushing “specialist” that would be fine with me. Look at the guys who lead the league: Watt, Smith, Miller, Wake, Matthews. These guys are quick and know how to get to the QB.

    Face it, the NFL is becoming more of an athlete’s game and less of the prototypical “football player’s” game. And that means offensive linemen (well, except for ours) are becoming more athletic, too. They are faster and can stuff our LBs with relative ease. Like I said on the Mingo article, you get a guy that only comes in on third downs and collects 6 or 7 sacks, he’s still leading the team.

    Just something to think about…

  • steeltown

    Nope.. in fact SteelersDepot has called me out for disagreeing in the past, which is fine, we are ALL here giving our opinions and debating

  • steeltown

    I agree with you about him most likely being a 4-3 Defensive in the Pros, was only saying of all the 4-3 DE could be hybrid OLB type players, I like Ansah the most

  • steeltown

    I dont think they go DL in the 1st Rd again, of course its always ‘best player available’ so I could be wrong

  • steeltown

    Yep, best player available which most likely wont be an OLB, just like last year. I sound like a broken record but would love for them to trade back a few spots and get Elam or Reid and then try and snag Chase Thomas

  • Garrett Hunt

    Priority or not, they will take the best player available… doubtful they draft just for need.

  • Clint Martin

    Dave not trying to be a jerk but how bout showing players that will actually be OLB in a 3-4 defense. This kid is a DE for a 4-3 defense. And he has to put on weight to play it.

  • mokhkw

    Like any good GM, Dave puts all options on the table & I think that’s a good thing. Bear in mind he’s writing mostly about 1st Rd picks which limits the pool of players at LB somewhat.

    While I agree with you about Mingo & Jordan, there are rare times when players like this do fit any scheme (Aldon Smith, Julius Peppers, Jevon Kearse.) I don’t see it with these 2 but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t take a look at them regardless.

  • Clint Martin

    Ohh ok

  • Clint Martin

    I know He is showing any player that the Steelers might look at.

  • Clint Martin

    I have to fix this the only teams that might require a QB before the Steelers pick is Buffalo and Arizona

  • Clint Martin

    Drafting this kid would be like drafting Huey Richardson 6’5″ 238 lbs all over again we run a 3-4 defense

  • moderatelysane

    He’s definitely raw. Too tall and lanky to be a steelers OLB. Doesn’t have the power of Woodley or Harrison. Breaks down surprisingly well for his length. I agree he’s a better wide 9 fit.