While there is no such thing as a consensus in the 2013 NFL draft, most seem to believe that Oregon hybrid pass-rusher Dion Jordan is the best player in this class when it comes to pressuring the quarterback. That doesn't guarantee that he'll be successful at the next level, but he'll have every opportunity to excel.
Since the NFL is a passing league now more than ever, quality pass-rushers are at a premium. There are quite a few talented rush linebackers and defensive ends in this year's draft, but Jordan arguably has more potential than any of them. There are a lot of teams that would love to have him, but only one lucky organization can select him.
Here are the three most ideal landing spots for Jordan in the wild and unpredictable 2013 NFL draft.
Jordan is talented enough to produce in a number of different systems in the NFL, but there is no question that the perfect place for him is Philadelphia. The Eagles are making the switch to a 3-4 defense this season, and while they have some talented defensive ends that they'll attempt to switch to rush linebackers, they need a natural fit at the position, and Jordan has the ideal body type.
In addition to that, former Oregon head coach Chip Kelly now occupies the same position for Philly, so there is a great deal of familiarity. Kelly obviously deals more with the offensive side of the ball, but a head coach oversees everything and handles recruiting at every position in college, so he is fully aware of what Jordan can do.
Sometimes the relationship between a college coach and a player can be overstated when they both make the jump to the NFL, but all the pieces are in place to make this happen. There's a decent chance that Jordan will be available when the Eagles pick at No. 4, and if he is, then the Eagles absolutely must pick him. There is a definite need at rush linebacker, Jordan is the best one in the draft and he played for Kelly in college. It wouldn't be a stretch to say that this is the best potential fit in the entire 2013 draft.
New York Jets
Aside from the Eagles, the best landing spot for Jordan in the top 10 is with the New York Jets. Gang Green is in rough shape, but with the No. 9 and No. 13 selections in this year's draft, they have an opportunity to turn things around. Defense has been the Jets' calling card since Rex Ryan took over as head coach; however, the dominance wasn't there in 2012 and much of that had to do with the lack of a consistent pass rush.
It takes multiple players to repair that type of problem, but Jordan is a guy who can make an instant impact. He is one of the most athletic players in the draft at any position and he would be perfect for the Jets' 3-4 scheme. The Jets' defense is in a transitional period with cornerback Darrelle Revis now in Tampa Bay, but a strong pass rush can make the secondary appear much better than it is.
The Jets may be somewhat reluctant to pounce on Jordan or any other rush linebacker due to the colossal bust that Vernon Gholston turned into a few years ago, but a franchise can't operate out of fear. New York has to find a pass-rusher, and Jordan is an obvious pick if he somehow slides to the Jets at No. 9. It isn't likely that he'll be there, but the Jets will have a major steal on their hands if he is.
Which team would be the best fit for Dion Jordan?
The only way that Jordan isn't available to the Eagles at No. 4 is if the Jacksonville Jaguars snap him up at No. 2. The Jags are a total wild card in this draft because they need help at so many positions. They're likely to go with the best player available and that could very well be Jordan on their board. The Jaguars have struggled to pressure the quarterback for several years, so finding a pass-rusher at some point in the draft has to be a priority.
As good as Jordan may be, it is unclear if he can play defensive end at the NFL level. The Jags are a 4-3 team right now, so Jordan would have to play that position for them. At 6'6" and 239 pounds, he is incredibly athletic and dynamic, but he may not possess the strength necessary to go head to head with huge offensive tackles. With that said, Jordan is used to playing as a down lineman, so that could very well be his preference.
Jordan's measurables suggest that playing rush linebacker makes more sense, but he should have the tools necessary to get to the quarterback regardless of where he lines up. The Eagles and Jets have other key pieces in place on defense, but Jordan would be "the guy" for the Jaguars. Playing in Jacksonville may be less desirable than Philly or New York, but it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world for Jordan.
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