Will Cam Jordan Return to Dominance?

Cam Jordan arguably belongs on the Mt. Rushmore of Saints greats. New Orleans' defense will need him to rebound and return to greatness in 2021.
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Cam Jordan turns 32 on July 10, is now one of the team’s elder statesmen. He is also coming off the least productive campaign since his rookie season.

The New Orleans defensive success depends on a rebound year for Jordan and his return to greatness in 2021.

Saints All-Pro DE Cam Jordan celebrates one of his four sacks on Falcons Matt Ryan.

CAM JORDAN'S EARLY YEARS

Looking to bolster their defensive line, the New Orleans Saints used the 24th selection in the 1st Round of the 2011 NFL Draft on University of California defensive end Cameron Jordan.

Son of six-time Pro Bowl TE Steve Jordan of the Minnesota Vikings, Cam had 16.5 sacks and 34 tackles for loss in four years at Cal.

Jordan started 15 of 16 games as a rookie in 2011. He had only one sack, 4 QB hits, and 2 tackles for loss among 18 total stops. 

The young defensive lineman would have a major impact for the Saints, and on the entire NFL, after that point.

Cam Jordan is one of the greatest players in New Orleans Saints history.  He’s been voted to six Pro Bowls over his ten-year career, including each of the last four years. 

His 94.5 career sacks rank second in franchise history, behind only NFL Hall of Famer Rickey Jackson.

Jordan has double-digit sack totals in five different seasons, with his career-high of 15.5 coming in 2019. He has been credited with 184 quarterback hits and has 184 tackles for loss, 21 fumbles forced or recovered, and 2 interceptions.

New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan (94). Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan (94). Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

CAM IS A HIGHLY RESPECTED LEADER

More than just an elite pass rusher, the 6’4 and 287-Lb. Jordan is one of the league's best-run defenders along the edge. He is considered one of the NFL's better all-around defensive linemen and was one of the few bright spots on an abysmal defense through the middle part of the last decade.

The New Orleans defense has risen into one of the league's best units over the last four years. Jordan's play on the field and leadership in the locker room to the young players have helped key their turnaround.

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His 7.5 sacks and 26 pressures were still second on the team in 2020 and good enough for a Pro Bowl bid. However, he rarely appeared to be the difference-maker he has been throughout his career. 

He was handled by a single blocker in several games last season, sometimes even by a reserve lineman.

Jordan has never missed a game in his career, appearing in all 171 of his team's games since 2011.  A pillar of durability, Jordan has started 156 consecutive games, including playoffs. 

He has never appeared in less than 83% of the team’s defensive snaps before last season's career-low of 78%.

Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston (3) is sacked by Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan (94). Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY

Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston (3) is sacked by Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan (94). Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY

SAINTS D-LINE NEEDS CAM TO REBOUND

Is Cam Jordan on the downside of a great career, or did he just have an off-year in 2020? He’s dealt with nagging injuries in each of the last two years, but never missed a game.

New Orleans lost DE Trey Hendrickson, who led the team in sacks last year, in free agency.  

Marcus Davenport, the 14th overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, hasn't lived up to expectations.

The Saints also have questions at the cornerback position opposite Marshon Lattimore and unproven depth at linebacker.

This team will need to generate pressure up front, the kind they've gotten with 145 sacks over the last three years.

The New Orleans pass rush includes first-round choice defensive end, Payton Turner; expect a breakout season from DE Carl Granderson, and star DT David Onyemata is in the middle of the team's defensive line push.

However, they’ll still need a return to form from one of their all-time greats — Cam.

New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan (94) sacks Denver quarterback Kendall Hinton (2). Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY

New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan (94) sacks Denver quarterback Kendall Hinton (2). Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY

Cam Jordan arguably belongs on the Mt. Rushmore of New Orleans franchise greats, especially in the Sean Payton era.  The Saints will need him to revert to that kind of greatness if they will be among the NFL's elite defenses in 2021.


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