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NFL Draft 2011: Can Cameron Jordan Fall to the New England Patriots at No. 17?

MOBILE, AL - JANUARY 29:Defensive lineman Cameron Jordan #97 of the North Team during  the Under Armour Senior Bowl on January 29, 2011 at Ladd-Pebbles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images for Under Armour)
Sean Gardner/Getty Images
Tony SantorsaSenior Writer IIApril 4, 2011

For recent seasons, New England Patriots fans have begged for a play-making pass rusher around NFL draft time—this year they might get their wish.

One of the draft's top pass rushers, California's defensive end Cameron Jordan, could very well fall right into New England Patriots' head coach, Bill Belichick's lap. 

The Patriots currently sit at 17th overall, and Jordan's stock and projection fall right in the mid-first round. 

If Jordan slips to New England, will the draft him? 

 

Strengths

Right off the bat, you have to acknowledge that Jordan has some good bloodlines—his father Steve Jordan was a six-time Pro Bowl tight end for the Minnesota Vikings. He's got the genes to excel in the NFL. 

From a defensive end standpoint, Jordan is one of the draft's top pass rushers. His senior season at Cal, he tallied up 5.5 sacks and recorded 12.5 tackles for a loss. 

Jordan is extremely explosive off of the ball, and is a well-rounded defensive end. He can get to the passer and he's got a real strong nose for the ball—he's always making plays. 

With his large 6'5" and 287 lbs. presence on the outside, he tends to force teams to run away from him and in-between the tackles.

From New England's standpoint, he played in a 3-4 defense at Cal, so he's got plenty of experience playing as a 3-4 defensive end.  

Along with his great skill set, Jordan is a very hard working with a great motor and is one of the biggest competitors on the field. 

 

Weaknesses

The lone glaring weakness about Jordan is that he doesn't always use good leverage. Sometimes, he rushes standing up and can get blocked rather easily when he allows blockers to gain control of him.

He has one personal off-the field issue in 2008 when he was suspend for the season opener after being arrested for a suspicion of a DUI.

 

Conclusion

Jordan played his college ball as a 3-4 defensive end, and is a perfect in New England's defense. 

Just imagine this, Jordan as one of the Patriots' defensive ends and Ty Warren as the other, with Vince Wilfork as the nose guard—that could be extremely destructive and a offensive coordinator's nightmare. 

If Belichick has a chance to draft Jordan, which is a strong possibility, he definitely will. 

I have preached the "Patriot-mold" idea many times before, but Jordan fits the mold better than any player in the 2011 draft class.

 

NOTE: This article was first seen at PatriotsPlus.net. Be sure to follow Tony Santorsa on Twitter @   TonySantorsa. 

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