2011 NFL Draft: Could Cameron Jordan Continue Viking Family Tradition

Ray TannockSenior Analyst IMarch 19, 2011

Cameron Jordan is not only one of the top ranked defensive lineman the 2011 NFL Draft has to offer, he also is the only one with a tie to the Minnesota Vikings' franchise.

Now that doesn’t mean the Vikings are going to just jump out there and scoop him up, but it does mean Cameron Jordan has a chance to carry on a small family tradition of wearing purple should the Vikings decline on selecting a QB with their first selection.

What tradition is that you ask?

Cameron Jordan’s father—Steve Jordan—played for the Minnesota Vikings as a standout TE from 1982 to 1994.

Steve Jordan is quite possibly the most decorated, accomplished TE in Vikings history:

  • 498 receptions for 6,307 yards in 176 games. (12.6 yards a catch)
  • 28 career TDs
  • 6 time Pro Bowler
  • He’s even the most decorated fantasy TE in Vikings history with a total 808 career points for crying out loud—stat taken from ProFootballReference.com

In fact, Jordan’s father was so good the next TE who even comes close is Stu Voigt. the TE before him who played 11 years for the Vikings (1970 to 1980).

Cameron Jordan, however, is simply looking to just become the next NFL great, and playing for the Vikings as his father did would be the icing on the cake.

Jordan’s collegiate career at Cal was nothing short of incredible:

  • One of the most versatile—if not the most—defensive lineman in the draft who can play in both a 4-3 set and a 3-4 set.
  • Played in 50 of 51 possible games and made 32 starts at Cal from 2007-10.
  •  Honorable mention All-American (Pro Football Weekly) and first-team All-Pac-10 choice as a senior in 2010 after two consecutive honorable mention All-Pac-10 campaigns in 2008 and 2009.
  •  175 tackles (88 unassisted, 87 assisted), while adding 34.0 tackles for loss (-122 yards) and 16.5 sacks (-89 yards) to rank just outside the school's all-time top 10 in each of the latter two categories.
  • Added one interception that he returned for three yards, five pass breakups, four forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries that he returned for a total of 41 yards and twice for touchdowns.

But is there even a chance Jordan will play for the Vikings?

Defensive linemen seem to be all the rage this year, and when averaging out all the talk and mock draft data, there’s a good chance that roughly 62 percent of the first round will be selected defensive lineman.

Recently, I did a Vikings Mock Draft that had the Vikings go QB with their first selection, but there is a huge chance the big three QBs (Blaine Gabbert, Cam Newton, and Jake Locker) all go before Minnesota’s 12th pick.

That leaves a huge decision for the Vikings: Go QB with the first selection, or grab an elite DL in the first round.

There’s plenty of talent at QB to conceivably say the Vikings could wait, but there is also the concern of whether or not Jordan will even be available.

My guess is he will be.

There will probably be a choice between Wisconsin’s J.J. Watt, and Cal’s Cameron Jordan. But when it comes to versatility and tailored skill set, Jordan is the better talent hands down.

Add in a little bit of family nostalgia with the hopes that the kid can do for the franchise what the father did, and you have yourself an interesting situation where Cameron Jordan could in fact continue a ‘Viking family tradition’ of sorts.

Here’s to hoping, anyway.