Dion Jordan is one of the scariest defensive players in the Pac-12. With Jordan returning for his senior year in 2012, the Oregon Ducks might have the strongest front-seven in the conference.
In 2011, the Praying Mantis was among the best defensive linemen in the country. He led the Ducks with 7.5 sacks and 13 tackles-for-loss on his way to a first-team all-conference selection. As if Jordan wasn't impressive enough last season, Oregon coaches seem to be even higher on him this spring.
In fact, Jordan has been so impressive that offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich has compared him to Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs.
Helfrich coached at Arizona State when Suggs was wearing a Sun Devils uniform. According to Oregon Live, Jordan reminds Helfrich of the all-pro linebacker.
“[Dion Jordan] is really approaching that,” Helfrich said. “He presents those same issues. He’s kind of the total package in a lot of ways. He’s big and he’s fast. He’s physical. He’s put on a little more weight. He’s smart. He’s getting more and more polished...We couldn’t practice when Terrell was out there, and Dion is presenting similar issues.”
Helfrich's offense has to go up against Jordan and his front-seven every day, so this really says a lot. I know the Praying Mantis isn't exactly a first-round NFL prospect at the moment. However, I see unlimited potential. A former tight end, Jordan not only has great size at 6'7" and 241 pounds, he has excellent 4.6 speed.
With three starting linebackers returning for the upcoming season as well, I am expecting big things from this Oregon defense. I wouldn't be surprised to see Dion Jordan's name in the running for Pac-12 defensive MVP in 2012, especially after hearing how impressed the coaches have been with him so far this spring.
Watch for the Praying Mantis to dominate in the Ducks' spring game on April 28th.
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