The New Orleans Saints spent a 3rd round choice in the 2010 draft on a little-known tight end named Jimmy Graham out of the University of Miami (Fla.). Graham was an athletic project that had played just one year of college football after excelling as a basketball player for the Hurricanes.
After catching 31 passes and scoring five touchdowns as a rookie, Graham exploded into one of the most productive tight ends in NFL history for the Saints over the next four seasons. Graham has put together a successful 11-year career and sits near the top of several New Orleans franchise receiving records.
The Saints have been searching for an adequate replacement for Graham since trading him away after the 2014 season. Jared Cook had a Pro Bowl campaign in 2019, but was his contract was voided after last season because of a high salary and disappointing year.
New Orleans traded three draft picks last spring to move into the 3rd round to select TE Adam Trautman out of Dayton. Trautman showed promise and will be the team's starter in 2021. The team has little depth behind Trautman after releasing Cook and reliable veteran Josh Hill this offseason.
Because of the lack of depth at this position, the Saints may look to draft another tight end to develop alongside Trautman. Perhaps they turn back towards ‘‘The U'' and the subject of today's draft spotlight.
BREVIN JORDAN, TIGHT END (MIAMI FLA.)
Pro Day 40 = 4.67 sec.
One of the nation's top recruits coming out of Bishop Gorman H.S. in Las Vegas, Jordan hoped to add to the rich tradition of tight end talent when choosing Miami. He started 11 of 12 games as a true freshman, catching 32 passes for 287 yards and four touchdowns to earn 2nd team ALL-ACC honors.
Despite missing the last two games of his sophomore year with injury, Jordan hauled in 35 receptions for 495 yards and two scores. The production was good enough to earn 1st team All-ACC and be named as a 2019 Mackey Award finalist.
He missed three games in 2020 with a shoulder injury, but finished with 38 receptions for 576 yards and 7 scores in just eight contests. Jordan finished his Miami career with 105 receptions for 1,358 yards and 13 touchdowns over 26 games played.
Jordan has tremendous athletic ability, but it isn't always clear on the field. He can have trouble escaping from press coverage when coming off the line. His route precision needs to improve at the next level, and he must be more explosive in his breaks across the middle.
Improvement was obvious last season, but Jordan has struggled with drops in traffic and is inconsistent on contested throws. Much of his production came on broken field runs or busted coverage. He must be more aggressive through the intermediate zones to be a reliable target for his quarterback.
Jordan's blocking has been questioned, but a closer look reveals possibility for growth. He’s actually a willing blocker and has even shown the ability to neutralize a defensive end, but needs to refine his technique with good coaching. He shows the potential to be an every situation tight end with improvement in this area.
Brevin Jordan is a mismatch for most defenses as a receiver. Too big for most defensive backs and too fast for average linebackers, Jordan was a deep threat throughout his collegiate career. He is effective off the line of scrimmage, but is an even more valuable weapon from the slot.
Jordan is lethal on quick slants, especially from the slot. He is excellent at finding open areas and presenting a target for his quarterback on broken plays. He has terrific acceleration after the catch and is a punishing runner in the open field.
Jordan breaks sharply on out routes through the intermediate zones. Once securing the catch, he turns upfield quickly as a runner. He has a long stride in the open field, making it difficult for defenders to gain ground.
Brevin Jordan was a productive three-year starter for a storied college program. His route crispness and elimination of drops was especially clear in 2020. Likely to come off the board in the second or third round, Jordan will be a valuable offensive tool that will be a mismatch for any defense with his continued improvement.