NFL Nation: Kevin Garnett

Cameron Jordan should suit Patriots' needs

February, 26, 2011
INDIANAPOLIS -- California defensive end Cameron Jordan isn't bashful about revealing how he plans to perform in the NFL.

[+] EnlargeCameron Jordan
AP Photo/Dave MartinDefensive lineman Cameron Jordan is considered versatile enough to play in any scheme.
"I'm a competitive person," Jordan said with a smile on his face. "I don't lose."

Jordan just gave one of the more entertaining news conferences from the NFL scouting combine so far. He's near the top of a deep class. Scouts Inc. rates him the fifth-best defensive end and the 18th-best overall player.

The Miami Dolphins draft 15th and wouldn't appear in the market for Jordan's services. The Dolphins have a crowded defensive line that might leave last year's 28th pick, Jared Odrick, a backup. As for pass-rush stability, sacks specialist Cameron Wake and last year's 40th overall pick, Koa Misi, already are on the roster.

But Jordan looks like a fit for the New England Patriots. They need front seven help and will draft 17th and 28th -- if they don't trade out of those spots.

ESPN draft analysts Mel Kiper and Todd McShay each project Jordan going to the Patriots at No. 17, the pick they acquired from the Oakland Raiders for Richard Seymour.

"The Patriots are a phenomenal team," Jordan said.

Jordan checked into the combine at 6-foot-4 and 287 pounds. He played left end in Cal's 4-3 defense, but he isn't concerned with switching to a 3-4 position -- possibly outside linebacker -- or punter, by the sounds of it.

"My motto is: Draft me, and I'll play anywhere," Jordan said. "I don't care where I play. I just want to be on the team. I want to play football. That's what I love doing.

"I have shown I can stand up. I can play a 3-technique. I can play a 5-technique. Put me anywhere, and I'll play."

Three minutes into an engaging interview, a reporter asked Jordan whether he can transform from a happy-go-lucky guy into a vicious tackler on game days.

"If you see my film, I'm hitting people. I'm laying people out," Jordan said with a laugh. "Actually, there's sort of a switch because I still have the smile on my face, but it's all for a different mode.

"It'll put the biggest smile on me to hit a quarterback and hear the wind come out of his chest. That just pleases me the most."

Jordan is the son of former Minnesota Vikings tight end Steve Jordan, a six-time Pro Bowler.

Despite the bloodline, Jordan's dream was to play point guard.

"That's what I thought I was going to be," Jordan said. "I thought I was going to be the next A.I. [Allen Iverson]. I don't think I have the frame for that. I'm a little bigger than he is. I thought I was going to be Kevin Garnett. That didn't pan out as well.

"Football better suits me."

Typical kid, Jordan admitted he hasn't taken all of his old man's advice.

"He always gave me tips on how to beat a guy, control a guy," Jordan said. "He gives any tips that he can. I may listen to about 45 percent of it.

"He is my father, so I listen to most of it. But 55 percent does slip in one ear and out the other. He'll tell you the same thing.

"My father was a great player, but I'm going to be better than him."

Posted by's Bill Williamson AFC East blogger Tim Graham's piece on whether LeBron James could play in the NFL got me thinking. Taking James out of the mix, I aligned four NBA stars with each AFC West team, just for fun, of course.

Denver: Orlando center Dwight Howard

Why: The Broncos need big men on defense. Put Howard in Denver's 3-4 defense, and the first-team All-NBA center could make an instant impact.

Kansas City: Boston forward Kevin Garnett

Why: Garnett is one of the best defenders in the NBA. He is a superstar. The Chiefs need impact defensive players.

Oakland: Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant

Why: The Raiders need offense and Bryant is instant offense. I have heard Bryant say he could have a Randy Moss impact as a receiver. That is exactly what Oakland needs, even though they didn't get it when they actually had Moss. Perhaps Bryant would be the answer to Oakland's receiving needs.

San Diego: New Orleans guard Chris Paul

Why: Paul is one of the great defenders in the game. The Chargers need safety help and the point guard could be the quarterback of San Diego's defense.

Hit the comment section with NBA players you think could be a fit for your favorite team.