The 2021 NFL Draft season is upon us and the first wave of free agency is now over. Now, scouts, coaches, and general managers will hit the road as all eyes will turn to the draft.
Among the 32 teams building their rosters to compete for the next Lombardi Trophy is the Jacksonville Jaguars, who hold 10 picks in this season’s draft -- including the No. 1 overall pick. The Jaguars are entering a new era under Head Coach Urban Meyer, and the 2021 draft will serve as a catalyst to the Jaguars’ rebuild moving into the future.
As we march closer and closer to April’s draft, we will look at individual draft prospects and how they would potentially fit with the Jaguars. Instead of looking at any negatives, we are going to look at what the players do well and if they could match what the Jaguars need at the specific role or position.
In this edition, we take a look at Miami tight end Brevin Jordan, one of the top tight ends in this year's entire class.
With the Jaguars already admitting they are looking for a pass-catching tight end in the mold of Jordan, should he be on their radar at the start of Day 2?
Ranked by most recruiting services as the top tight end in the 2018 high school class, Jordan was ranked a four-star when he committed to Miami over other teams such as Alabama, Auburn, and others. He didn't disappoint early on, either, earning second-team All-ACC honors as a true freshman after recording 32 receptions for 287 yards and four touchdowns in 11 starts.
Jordan took his game another step further in 2019, becoming a finalist for the John Mackey Award and earning first-team All-ACC recognition for a season in which he caught 35 passes for 495 receiving yards and two touchdown catches.
Jordan missed three games in 2020 but once again had a productive season as a pass-catcher, catching 38 passes for 576 yards (15.2 yards per catch) and a career-best seven touchdowns, giving him 13 touchdown grabs in three seasons as a starter.
What Brevin Jordan Does Well
It isn't too hard to figure out exactly what type of weapon Jordan is. Miami utilized him all over the formation, lining him up in-line, in the slot, as an H-Back, and out wide on the perimeter. They could afford to move him around because he was a walking mismatch thanks to his blend of size (6-foot-3, 245 pounds) and athleticism.
Jordan is a fluid mover in space, eating up yards quickly considering his frame. He is able to win footraces in one-on-one coverage and would consistently beat safeties and linebackers when left isolated in man coverage. In terms of speed and agility to get open before the catch and the explosion needed for after the catch, Jordan checks all the boxes.
In many ways, Jordan doesn't even look like a tight end after the catch. His success rate of forcing a missed tackle in one-on-one situations is much better than most tight end prospects because he shows a variety of imaginative moves (including a nasty jump cut for his size). He is overall just too big and agile of a player to bring down easily once he gets a head of steam and his stupendous contact balance makes it even tougher to limit his yards.
Jordan's athleticism makes him a threat on plays that ask him to get yards after the catch, which is why Miami was the rare offense to put an emphasis on tight end screens. His speed off the line of scrimmage and downfield also makes him a threat to stretch the seam. He is able to make cuts on downfield routes that are simply silly for a player of his size.
Jordan also shows some effort and physicality as a blocker. The strength at the point of the attack and the overall consistency isn't there, but he doesn't shy away from contact either. He won't be mauling any defenders but an offense can still have him on the field without completely tipping their hand.
How Brevin Jordan Would Fit With the Jaguars
If you are looking for the type of tight end the Jaguars need the most badly as of today, Jordan fits the bill. He is an athletic pass-catcher who can create with the ball in his hands as well as provide Trevor Lawrence with a downfield target.
There are some questions about Jordan's hands and his ability to win contested catches, but he is a good fit for what the Jaguars are missing at the tight end position. He is athletic and excels as a pass-catching threat from multiple alignments, something the Jaguars don't have on their roster.
The Jaguars have their road-grading blocking tight end already in Chris Manhertz, so if the biggest knock on Jordan is his blocking, then the Jaguars likely shouldn't be too concerned about his fit.
"We have two different style of tight ends, one is a ‘Y,’ which is—on the line, basically an extension of your offensive line, a very good blocker, but also very functional in the pass game. We identified the guy, had him at the top of the list and that’s [Chris] Manhertz and we got him," Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer said following free agency. "The next one is the ‘F’ and that’s the primary pass catcher, but also a functional blocker. We have not addressed that."
Other than Kyle Pitts, no tight end at the top of this draft class fits that style of tight end that Meyer is looking for more so than Jordan. As a result, his fit with the Jaguars is a relatively simple one.
It is hard to nail down where an appropriate draft slot for Jordan is. He is immensely athletic and has produced as a pass-catcher, but he isn't dominant in every phase as a receiver. Add in the fact that not every offense will value him the same, and it is hard to imagine he will be off the board in the first 35 picks. His draft stock may most resemble Irv Smith's from 2019, when the Vikings took him at No. 50 overall.
If the Jaguars take Jordan at No. 33, they are likely passing up on a safer impact player, but they would be taking a high-ceiling player at a major position of need. Jordan is a significantly better prospect than Josh Oliver was in 2019 and he could go on to prove to be worthy of such an early pick thanks to his valuable skill set.
Jordan at No. 33 is a bit rich, but it could likely be accepted easier than taking Pat Freirmuth at No. 33 since Jordan fits better. With this in mind, the most ideal slot to pick him would be at No. 45 overall. He is a talented player who is unlikely to slip all the way to No. 65, and the need at tight end is big enough to warrant the early selection.
For all of our 2021 NFL Draft profiles, click below.