– Oregon was known for offense under Chip Kelly but one defensive player is the guy who is making the most noise in the build up to this year’s NFL Draft. He’s DL/LB Dion Jordan.
– Jordan is considered one of the elite pass rushers in this draft and believes he’s ready for the NFL at either OLB in a 3-4 or DE in a 4-3. Here’s his thoughts on that and more.
(talking about his shoulder) … I’m going to have surgery as soon as I leave here. I’m doing everything I can to make sure I can compete with these guys coming Monday.
(what been able to do? Light weight. I’ve done different things, I’ve worked out hard. Modified weight. I’ve done everything I can to make sure I can weigh in. I weighed in pretty big today, I feel light at 248.
(What did you measure again?) My height was 6-6 1 /2 and my weight was 248.
(Is that your playing weight?) my playing weight was close to 240 at the university.
(You started your career on offense?) Not at all. I understood that that was the best opportunity for me to get on the football field, so I took it. Coach Kelly and my position coach, Coach (Jerry) Azzinaro, they had a plan for me and I stuck with it. And things worked out for the best for me.
(A lot of guys go to Oregon because they love the offense) Man, I imagined myself running down the field, catching the ball from Darron Thomas or Mariota but things don’t work out that way. You’ve got to adjust. I adjusted and I took the opportunity and ran with it.
(do you look back now and see yourself as a natural defensive player) Yeah, I would rather do the hitting than get hit. It’s a lot better.
(you’ve lined up everywhere, you’ve had your hand in the dirt, you’ve covered slot receivers, What do you bring to the NFL?) Pass rush. I feel like me lining up all over the field on defense shows my athleticism, shows that I understand the game and that I did a lot for the university. But my whole thing is getting after the quarterback, so pass rush would be my No. 1.
(People said you were a different kind of athlete. What does that mean, ya think?) I think it just shows that I have the ability to, I understand the game, I understand defenses because I played on the offensive side of the ball, I understand a lot of the offensive schemes also. So it plays to my abilities, just understanding a lot of little things and just my size, a 6-7 outside linebacker is kind of unique, I feel like.
(when is your surgery) Next week I’m getting my shoulder taken care of. In Los Angeles at the Kerlan-Jobe center.
(what are you looking at coming out of that surgery) Give me about 3-4 months as far as my rehab. I’m going to attack my rehab after the surgery as hard as I did before, just to make sure I’m able to show up to camp and compete with all the other guys.
(is it your labrum? Your rotator cuff? ) It’s a labrum. A labrum injury.
(how’d you hurt it) No, it wasn’t the 2-point conversion. I hurt myself the middle of our season, Colorado game, and it was just an unfortunate event. I went and made a tackle the wrong way. They say you shouldn’t arm tackle and I got the worst of it. But you know, I’ve dealt with it, I only missed one game last season, I dealt with it, and I feel like it shows my toughness, that I finished the season, I stayed true to my team and I made sure as a leader, as a senior of our team, it shows I’m willing to win and do what it takes to compete.
(More on Chip’s offense) In the NFL, it takes good defense to win. You know? You can have the best offense and all the talent you want on the offensive side of the ball, but it takes good defense to win. Somebody’s got to stop the guys on the other side. I understand that, I understood that at our level, the college level. We had to have a good defense and we developed and we got much better and we supported coach Kelly’s offense and I’m pretty sure he understands that now.
(What’s it like to practice against that offensive tempo in practice?) It’s unique. As a defensive player, keeping up with guys like a Kenjon Barner, chasing him down the field, or LaMichael James or even a DeAnthony Thomas, those guys are very special. As a defensive player, being able to keep up with those guys Monday through Friday, when we get to the game on Saturday, it’s pretty easy for us as far as the game speed. I’m used to that type of tempo.
(Will it be different only having a couple of uniform options?) It’ll be much better. I won’t have to deal with a lot of questions about what’s your favorite uniform.
(“So what was your favorite uniform?”) I enjoyed the throwback uniforms. Something different. It was always unique.
(3-4 teams more interested in you or what?) I get a lot of talk from 3-4 defenses, mainly because that’s what I played at the college level and it’s the best spot to utilize my athleticism.
(potential as a pass-rusher) It shows my athleticism. It shows that like I said I can line up all over the field and get after the quarterback, it shows that I understand defense, just adjusting to the defense on the fly, and just my speed. Just having the speed to come off the edge every play. I never came off the field. I was all three downs, even four downs if you needed
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