By TomE. Curran
Heading into the NFL draft, Tom E. Curran plans a series of looks at potential Patriots draftees. Today's player: Cam Jordan.
Cam Jordan, 6-4, 287DL, California
The Skinny: Possibly the most versatile of all the 3-4 defensive end prospects, Jordan is a smart, engaging, unique player whose dad Steve was a six-time Pro Bowl tight end for the Minnesota Vikings. He and Wisconsin's J.J. Watt are seen most often as the best fits for the Patriots' most pressing need - a suitable replacement for Richard Seymour. Bill Belichick has spoken of how rare it is to find the guy who's 6-5, 270 and runs 4.7. Here's one that's 6-4, 290 that can do that. And he's smart as hell.
Gotta Have Him: Let Wes Bunting at the National Football Post explain. "I can't think of a better fit for the Patriots. With what they do and the versatility of this guy? He can handle a lot of volume. If you have to go to nickel situations or pass rush situations, you can play him as a (five-technique off the outside shoulder of the tackle). But he could kick to the (3-technique between the guard and the tackle) and with more teams going to one down lineman, at 6-4, 290 he can stand up and run off the edge. You ask a running back to help in blitz pickup on that? He'll get mauled. I can't give you a straight-up answer on who he reminds me of. There's not that many who can do what he does at his size. I almost fell out of my chair when he had a 4.7 at the Combine."
Don't Need Him: Well, he's got a bit of a quirky Cal personality. Football isn't life or death -- or at least there's room for a sense of humor in it -- so maybe he gets downgraded for being too light about things. And if the Patriots want a pure pass rusher, it's not him. But those are small flaws.
Forecast: Bunting has him going to the Patriots at 17. Others have Watt going to the Patriots and Jordan going to San Diego. It's a close race between those two positionally. Bunting says that Jordan's versatility and the fact he's just a little bit better anchored because he's a smidge shorter makes him more enticing. If Jordan doesn't go 10 to Washington and is on the board when the Patriots pick at 17, it would be eye-opening if they passed on him.
Patriots Draftability: 9