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Saints rankings: No. 3 DE Cameron Jordan

I'm ranking the top 20 New Orleans Saints players leading up to training camp. It's based on their current value – meaning both past accomplishments and potential are taken into account. Think, who would you want on the field most in Week 1 this season?

At No. 3, it's defensive end Cameron Jordan.

Profile: Year 4, Age 25, 6-foot-4, 287 pounds

Analysis: Jordan was sensational in 2013, earning his first trip to the Pro Bowl with 12.5 sacks in the regular season, followed by 2.5 more sacks in the playoffs. The former first-round draft pick had already established himself as a top-10 Saints player before last season. But the marriage with new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan helped Jordan become a true breakout star.

Jordan started strong last season, which was huge for the Saints' confidence since their pass rush was their biggest question mark heading into the year. And he never really let up after that. His performances in late-season victories at Atlanta and at home against Carolina especially stood out -- as did his remarkable effort in the playoff loss at Seattle, among others.

Jordan could probably best be described as a power rusher, but that doesn't do justice to his versatility. He's played both inside and out during his career with the Saints, and he has thrived as both a pass-rusher and a run defender. His athleticism and effort in pursuing plays across the field are as impressive as his pass-rush skills.

Jordan was listed as a 3-4 defensive end last season, though he spent most of his time on the edge of a four-man front opposite of pass-rushing outside linebacker Junior Galette, who finished with 12 sacks of his own. The two worked brilliantly off one another, often flushing the quarterback out of the pocket and into the other's path.

Previous rankings:

No. 20 (tie) RBs Mark Ingram/Khiry Robinson

No. 19 WR Kenny Stills

No. 18 S Rafael Bush

No. 17 LB David Hawthorne

No. 16 CB Champ Bailey

No. 15 P Thomas Morstead

No. 14 OT Zach Strief

No. 13 RB Pierre Thomas

No. 12 DE Akiem Hicks

No. 11 S Kenny Vaccaro

No. 10 LB Curtis Lofton

No. 9 G Ben Grubbs

No. 8 OLB Junior Galette

No. 7 WR Marques Colston

No. 6 G Jahri Evans

No. 5 CB Keenan Lewis

No. 4 S Jairus Byrd