Will Carroll is taking a look at the top draft picks in the 2013 NFL draft with any medical questions. Carroll takes a look at the full spectrum of info, including injury history and exclusive medical insight from Dr. Neal ElAttrache, a medical consultant to many pro teams and the current L.A. Dodgers team physician.
Dion Jordan, 6'6", 248 pounds, Linebacker from Oregon
Jordan played most of his senior season with a torn labrum. The injury prevented him from doing many of the things you would think would be necessary to show himself as a top player, but he pushed through. Without being able to use both arms to block passes and use the full range of his moves on blockers, Jordan's athleticism allowed him to put up solid but not eye-popping numbers.
Jordan had shoulder surgery just after the combine in March. The labrum was repaired, and minor damage was cleaned up inside his shoulder. He should be ready for training camp with only minor limitations. Teams do not seem concerned with the injury or surgery.
There is some concern about Jordan's weight. He played much of his career in the 220's due to the pace of Chip Kelly's defense. His height allays some of those concerns due to his leverage and ability to alter passing lanes, but he would not fit into a power-rush team. Comparisons to Dwight Freeney, another undersized rusher, have been made, though they do not play similar styles.
Jordan also had questions asked of him at the combine about a high school accident. That incident, detailed in this article, left him with second- and third-degree burns over 40 percent of his body. His inspirational comeback and no sign of issues with his body in his four years of play render this mostly a moot question, but is noted in the interest of understanding Jordan's physicality.
Jordan dominated at the NFL Scouting Combine, putting up impressive, even unexpected numbers across the board. Despite his known athleticism, his speed and acceleration still impressed scouts. He also did well in the other aspects, doing all parts except the bench press due to his shoulder injury.
Weighing in at 248 also impressed teams, some of which were worried about his size. His numbers and bigger size made him a lock for the first rusher picked, according to most observers, leaping over Bjoern Werner and others.
Jordan did not participate in Oregon's pro day since he was recovering from surgery, but few teams seem concerned with this after his combine performance. However, his shoulder will be checked by teams during pre-draft visits.
"This kind of injury normally recovers in 10 to 12 weeks. We would have taken a look at all the medicals at the combine and then followed up a few weeks after the surgery. One of the things that matters more than most think is the quality of the doctor. It's why so many go to the top doctors, like Jimmy Andrews or Dave Altchek. Team doctors know them and trust their work. I don't think this kind of injury to this kind of player is going to worry many." —Dr. Neal ElAttrache
Jordan is widely expected to be picked fourth, by his college coach, Chip Kelly, according to several mock drafts, including that of Bleacher Report's Matt Miller. Kelly would get a player that can help install his fast-paced defense as well as augment a poor pass rush from the Philadelphia Eagles. Peter King said at the NFL combine that Jordan to the Eagles was "the one pick you can write in pen."
Jordan's shoulder injury was corrected by surgery and should have little to no effect on his pro career. Several players at this position have come back from this kind of surgery with no long-term effect. The time he needs to heal will have him back for training camp, allowing him to integrate with whatever team grabs him in the draft.
These reports were compiled from various cited sources. All draft data courtesy NFL.com. Inside Look is exclusive to B/R from Dr. Neal ElAttrache of the Kerlan-Jobe Clinic and former team physician for the Los Angeles Rams. Dr. ElAttrache helps give insight into what the team doctors for NFL teams will be looking for in this type of player with injury concerns.
Will Carroll is the Lead Writer for Sports Medicine at Bleacher Report.