Jordan, Ansah Create Buzz At Combine

Tom Coughlin was asked last week to discuss how the Giants arrived at the Jason Pierre-Paul pick back in 2010.

“We went to the workout of JPP at South Florida, and we were just standing there, observing, and he did a back flip at what… 270 pounds or whatever it was? We said, ‘Well, maybe this is a pretty good athlete here,’ ” Coughlin explained.

Of course, the draft process is a lot more complex than that, but teams in Indianapolis this week have their eyes open for the next great defensive player. In 2011, the Broncos got Von Miller with the second pick. The Cardinals took cornerback Patrick Peterson fifth. And the Texans grabbed J.J. Watt at No. 11.

All three are special, game-changing players. While this draft doesn’t feature an impressive quarterback group, there are several stand-out defensive options with great upside.

One of them is Oregon defensive end/outside linebacker Dion Jordan (6-6 1/2, 248). We wrote about Jordan over the weekend, and this morning, he ran an unofficial 4.53 40-yard dash. NFL Network’s Mike Mayock, who previously compared Jordan to San Francisco’s Aldon Smith, said in two years, “He’s going to be one of the major disruptive forces in the NFL.”

Jordan is going to have offseason shoulder surgery, but there is a lot to like. He’s long, athletic, versatile and was a productive player in college. Chip Kelly also seemed to love his intangibles – specifically Jordan’s toughness. He played five games last year with the shoulder injury.

There’s still a long way to go, but as of Feb. 25, Jordan has to be on the short list of potential Eagles targets.

UPSIDE OF ANSAH

When it comes to high risk, high reward prospects, BYU’s Ezekiel Ansah is at the top of the list. At 6-5, 271, he ran a 4.62 40 today.

“I’m willing to bet on the kid,” Mayock said last week. “I think he’s going to go earlier than later. When you get these kind of guys, and [Jason Pierre-Paul], he’s way more raw than JPP was a couple years ago. People want to use that comparison, but he’s not there yet. But I think he’s going to become a good player.”

Ansah really only played one full season on defense, totaling 4.5 sacks and 13 tackles for loss last year. He grew up playing soccer and basketball in Ghana, tried out for the hoops team at BYU, but didn’t make it and switched over to football.

“I was really athletic,” Ansah explained. “I didn’t want to just sit around and go to school. I wanted to do something. Since basketball didn’t work out, I wanted to do football.”

Ansah is being looked at as an outside linebacker or defensive end. He’s expected to be a first-round pick.

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  • limodriver27

    Both EZ Ansah (lack of experience) and Dion Jordan (shoulder surgery with 3-4 month rehab) are impressive at size, speed and physicality, but are “wait and see/risk-reward” players. Can we afford to go first round with either and hope they become J.P.P.-like players? Jordan might have the edge, having played in CK’s scheme.

  • ICDogg

    With Jordan hurt and Star with his newly found heart issue, Ziggy is looking more and more like a guy to consider if we don’t go O-line. He’s strong, he’s fast, he’s tall, and I think he could really be something special.

    • dgwright91

      My issue with him is he so raw and does he have the ability to play SAM because we already have Cole, Curry, and Graham to play Predator

      • ICDogg

        I think he does have SAM/LOLB ability, and in fact may be best suited for that role.

        • dgwright91

          I didn’t like what I saw in the LB drills and I feel like Dion Jordan could allow our DC to create exotics blitz packages with him and Kendricks coverage ability. I think we could even stay in our base formation even more with him being some what effective in the slot.

          • ICDogg

            fair enough

  • dgwright91

    I think Jordan would be great at 4 I mean he is the best SAM in the draft, is able to cover and rush the passer. I don’t think he is a much as a wait and see prospect. I definitely think he can have a larger impact his rookie season than Kendricks did. The Eagles are in a rebuilding phase and I think that needs to be considered when looking at the draft. We really dont need a rookie impact player next year since we arent one player away or anything from the superbowl. I think drafting Jordan will net us a return his rookie season as well as set us up for future success at one of the main cogs of the projected defensive scheme.

  • Tom W

    I dont understand why people are dinging Jordan bc of his shoulder injury. Its a standard procedure that young players typically recover 100% from. A 3-4 month rehab gets us to July 1 at the latest. They don’t hit in OTAs in June so I bet he can practice then as well. He will be ready for training camp w a month to regain strength in the shoulder. Scouts say he is a year away from every-down player, but his upside as a pass rusher, qb spy, and TE cover guy is undeniable. We aren’t going to be good this year anyway. I have liked him all offseason, but now I am concerned that either the Jags or Raiders may grab him in front of us : ( because they also have needs for a pass rusher. I like Ziggy as well, but he is even more raw (and unproven) than Jordan. Their performances combined w Star’s heart condition and Jarvis Jones’s spinal condition could move both of them into the top 5.

  • PaoliBulldog

    What a great story about Ansah! And how sad for Lotuleilei.

  • aub32

    If you haven’t seen it, you should check out the YouTube video where JPP does 13 back hand springs in a row. Hell, maybe they should add that to the combine as a workout.

    PS Osi tried to duplicate JPP’s performance and looked like he nearly broke his ankle.

  • Dilleria

    Have you guys seen the highlight reel of Dion Jordan….match it up to any pass rusher/defender in the draft this year and it just doesnt come close….the guy is a straight up beast…when he hits, he hits hard, when he wrap-up tackles he does it with an aggression I havent seen before AND he can cover…you really can’t go wrong…

    • JofreyRice

      He also covered slot receivers and put some nasty jams on TE’s. I’d be OK with him as the pick. Amazing athlete that understands a lot about the game.

    • http://twitter.com/PhiIs_Goodman Phils Goodman

      You should probably watch more than the highlights.

      Compare Jarvis Jones in action to Jordan:

      youtu.be/Aqor83DnzMg
      youtu.be/JMoel8E3HaE

      It’s neat that Jordan can go in the slot, but you can see that as of yet, Jordan is completely one-dimensional as a pass-rusher. The plan is go wide almost every time.

      • Dilleria

        I agree that Jarvis Jones is a beast among men, but he’s also got a medical issue that can take him out of football at anytime….it’s a huge risk

  • http://twitter.com/PhiIs_Goodman Phils Goodman

    Brandon Williams can walk on his hands at 340 pounds:

    youtu.be/rIpo1xF7IhI

    • JofreyRice

      I think there are some viable options to grab for NT in FA, but I’d be cool with Williams. Didn’t see him in games, but I read that he handled himself pretty well in the Senior Bowl, and he was not overwhelmed by the Nation’s best interior lineman. If they grab him in the 2nd, I’d be down with that.