Dion Jordan facing 4-month rehab, eyeing teams with 3-4 defenses
INDIANAPOLIS — It was Florida prospect Sharrif Floyd who said he preferred watching the Disney Channel to NFL games, but Dion Jordan took a page out of the PBS “Sesame Street” playbook by allowing his press conference to highlight the numbers three and four.
Jordan revealed two key pieces of information regarding his NFL future during his short presser, both involving a 3-4 spin.
First, Jordan told reporters that he will require three to four months of rehab after undergoing labrum surgery next week. Then, moments later, he said that he’s been drawing more attention from teams that run 3-4 defenses, as opposed to those with 4-3 base looks.
Both tidbits figure to come up quite a bit with Jordan looking like a safe bet to go in the draft’s first round — possibly even in the top 10, where several teams find themselves in need of pass-rushing prospects.
The shoulder injury may give those teams pause, though. The lengthier portion of the timeframe Jordan provided likely would rule him out of any mini-camps or Offseason Team Activities and possibly put in jeopardy his status for the start of training camp. While he’s expected to be fully healthy for the regular season, those summer absences could hinder his potential for an early-impact arrival.
Jordan said that he originally suffered his injury during Oregon’s 70-14 rout of Colorado on Oct. 27. He then missed the Ducks’ win over Cal two weeks later.
“I tackled a guy the wrong way,” said Jordan, who will participate in all combine drills except the bench press. “They tell you that you shouldn’t arm tackle …”
Jordan’s admission that he sees a brighter future for himself in as a 3-4 outside linebacker lines up with most scouting reports — his frame (6-foot-6 1/2, 248 pounds, as of Saturday) and athleticism may translate better to that role than to 4-3 defensive end.
“A lot of talk from (teams running) 3-4 defenses, mainly,” Jordan said Saturday, when asked which franchises have reached out to him. “That’s what I played (at Oregon), it’s the best spot for my potential.”
Jordan recorded 7.5 sacks in 2011 and 5.0 in 2012, while averaging 43 tackles over those two seasons. Oregon used him in a variety of ways, from pass-rushing to covering slot receivers. He actually committed to Oregon as a tight end, before switching to the defensive side of the ball before 2010.
That background should show up in a big way when Jordan runs through combine drills on Monday — he could post some of the better scores seen on the defensive side of the ball all week.
After that, it’s off to surgery and then the three-to-four month wait before he gets his NFL shot.