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Commitment Analysis: Jordan Burch is a Duck

Breaking down the impact Jordan Burch could have on Oregon's roster in 2023.
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After Kayvon Thibodeaux left, DJ Johnson became Oregon's main pass rushing threat. Even before he announced he would be heading to the 2023 NFL Draft, Dan Lanning and the Ducks knew they had to add some more pieces to get after the quarterback. 

On Wednesday, the Oregon Ducks landed their biggest addition of the offseason in former South Carolina edge rusher and five-star recruit Jordan Burch. Today we're going to break down what his commitment means for the Ducks.

Oregon started retooling their pass rush by recruiting their own roster. Brandon Dorlus announced his return for one more season and Tony Tuioti's best lineman was back. Then, the coaches looked to the high school ranks--adding four edge rushers to their 2023 class.

They topped things off by plucking Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco product Matayo Uiagalelei right out of Lincoln Riley's backyard at the eleventh hour during the early signing period. They were also able to hold off a strong push from Deion Sanders to hang on to Blake Purchase, the top player in Colorado.

READ MORE: What Evan Williams' commitment means for Oregon

You can't forget Teitum Tuioti and Jaeden Moore either, as they both had strong senior seasons and Tosh Lupoi continues adding intriguing talent to the fold. 

Despite all of those additions, they still needed more. Highly-rated recruits are great, but they aren't always capable of contributing right away. After taking so many edge rushers, Oregon knew they had to be selective in the portal. It couldn't be just anybody.

Enter Jordan Burch, the No. 8 overall player in the 2020 class (per 247Sports Composite) and the No. 2 defensive tackle in the country. A name Dan Lanning was more than familiar with from his days recruiting Burch at Georgia. 

At 6'6", 275 pounds, Burch is a physical specimen, who one source described to me as "uber athletic". He's got long arms that will make it difficult for quarterbacks and ballcarriers to escape a tackle. Oregon's newest addition can get after the quarterback (40 QB pressures in '22), set the edge in the run game and has elite speed for a player of his size. 

With his athleticism also comes some positional versatility. Although he projects as a true defensive end that will likely play the 5 tech on the outside, you could add some weight to his frame and kick him inside at times to play a 3 tech between the guard and tackle.

Now that Burch is added to the defensive line, along with Casey Rogers returning, the staff has a bit more flexibility to play Dorlus on the inside, where I think he's made most of his impact as a Duck. Keyon Ware-Hudson, Sam 'Taki' Taimani, Keanu Williams and Jake Shipley all figure to be back next season as well, only adding depth to the group. 

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Mase Funa likely starts on the edge opposite of Burch, giving the Ducks strong veterans on both sides of the front seven. The challenge now becomes getting all of these players on the field, finding the perfect combination.

READ MORE: Oregon TE Cam McCormick enters transfer portal

This is shaping up to be Oregon's deepest defensive line since the days of Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner, and that's exactly what the Ducks need. The Pac-12 may have the best quarterbacks from top to bottom of any conference next season, and Dan Lanning will need a strong group in the trenches to harass the likes of Caleb Williams, Cam Rising and Michael Penix Jr. 

When I talk to recruits and players about Lanning and before him Mario Cristobal bringing the SEC to the West, it's players like Burch that are central to that. You don't often find players with his blend of size and athleticism out West. Let's be clear, that's not to say they don't exist.

Oregon signed A'Mauri Washington (6-4, 305) from Chandler, Arizona, Tevita Pome'e (6-3, 315) from Layton, Utah, and My'Keil Gardner (6-2, 275) from Peoria, Arizona, in 2023. But you don't find them as easily as you do in the Southeast and they typically need more time to get developed. 

The bottom line is this. Burch is a player with an incredibly high ceiling. Maybe the coaches at South Carolina weren't able to tap into his full potential.

But Dan Lanning sure has a track record to make you believe he'll be able to crack the code. And the players Burch is surrounded by should make it hard to isolate him like we saw with Thibodeaux in his final year.

Huge addition.

READ MORE: CB Cole Martin ready to get developed at Oregon

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