After analyzing Prince Amukamara as a potential Cowboys draft pick, I told you I wouldn’t be doing a ton of draft analysis until I finish all of my 2010 Player Grades. But it was so much fun, I couldn’t stop. Plus, today’s feature—Cameron Jordan—would play defensive end in a 3-4, and I’ve already graded the Cowboys’ defensive linemen in 2010.
In that post, you’ll notice the highest grade given to a defensive end was a "C" handed out to Stephen Bowen. That’s pretty sad. The Cowboys desperately need a defensive end who can rush the passer, even if it means moving Jay Ratliff to the position. If that’s the case, nose tackle will be a huge need. If not, Jordan will be on the Cowboys radar with the ninth overall selection...
Jordan is made to play defensive end in a 3-4 defense. He’s 6’4”, 280 pounds with a solid frame which could add a little bulk. At that size, he’d be a pure run-stuffing defensive end in a 4-3, but in the Cowboys scheme, he’s actually a bit “undersized.” For a defense in desperate need of some pass-rushing ability from the linemen, that could be a positive.
Jordan would be a “finesse” 3-4 end, using his quickness to get to the quarterback. His swim move is one of the best I’ve seen coming out of college, and he uses the spin move well too. He can get neutralized at times, but that never happens when he doesn’t lose his leverage (something that takes place when he is ineffective with a finesse move). Still, I think his athleticism and strength will be more than enough to hold up against the run.
Jordan also has experience in a 3-4 defense, which is always a positive. Overall, I’m pretty high on this kid. Although he needs to play under control more often, I’ll take a high motor guy over one who disappears on film any day of the week. I’ve watched a handful of Jordan’s games, and I don’t see much bad tape.
The highest I’ve seen Jordan projected is to Dallas, so there’s a possibility the ‘Boys could trade down if they covet him. His selection would probably be dependent on the future of Jay Ratliff: if the Cowboys acquire a pure 3-4 nose tackle and move Ratliff to end, Jordan is unlikely (although I think a Jordan/Ratliff/Shaun Rogers defensive line would be quite formidable, with Stephen Bowen coming off the bench). If Rob Ryan decides to leave Ratliff at nose tackle, securing an upgrade at defensive end is absolutely necessary. Jordan fits the bill.