In the days leading up to the NFL draft, ESPNBoston.com will identify players who project as solid fits for the Patriots:
Player: Cameron Jordan
Position: Defensive end
Listed height/weight: 6-foot-4 1/8, 287 pounds
Scouts Inc. rank: 6th (scouting report)
Draft projection: First round
Why he’s on our list: Jordan is one of the top defensive ends in the draft for teams that run the 3-4 defense, and has experience in the scheme at Cal, which adds a different twist to the scouting evaluation. He is also the type of lineman who could have impact on third down rushing from an interior position.
Key stat: In 32 starts over the last three seasons, he has 33 tackles for a loss.
Workout stat: Clocked 4.74 at the combine, leading some to consider the possibility he could play outside linebacker for 3-4 teams.
Steve Muench of Scouts Inc.: "At 6-foot-4 1/8 and 287 pounds, Jordan has the frame to develop into an excellent "5" technique (defensive end) in a base 3-4 front. He has good upper-body strength for a player with ridiculously long arms (35 inches), so he can hold his ground, lock out blockers and locate the ball. His motor is non-stop and consistent -- both of film and at the Senior Bowl. While he wastes a little too much motion setting up offensive tackles, he has the natural ability to improve his pass rush and he can get to the quarterback with second effort. To cap it all off, his father Steve Jordan was a six-time Pro Bowl tight end for the Vikings. Jordan is an excellent fit for New England, but he could also line up at left end in a four-man front. His stock has been rising since the Senior Bowl, and he now looks like he could move ahead of Wisconsin DE J.J. Watt and be the No. 2 defensive end off the board behind Robert Quinn. As a result, New England may have to move up to get him. He would be an excellent value pick at 17."