Former Oregon Ducks star pass rusher Dion Jordan is visiting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers today and tomorrow, according to a tweet from NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport. The Bucs hold the 13th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft and are expected to draft a cornerback like Xavier Rhodes, but they also have a huge need for a pass rusher. The fact that both their pass rushing situation is a mess and their cornerback situation is a mess makes the Bucs need to upgrade somewhere on pass defense dire.
The Bucs elected to not re-sign budding star defensive end Michael Bennett, and I don’t think they were justified in their decision-making on that one. They never viewed Bennett as a priority, and the fact that he had a torn rotator cuff was not a correct justification for allowing him to walk for a meager $5 million to the Seattle Seahawks. Bennett broke out as a pass rusher last year despite the injury, and he was clearly their only consistent pass rushing source. What separates Bennett from a lot of other young defensive ends is his run defense, and he is excellent in that regard.
Jordan is an extremely talented player in his own right, and it would be interesting to see what the Bucs do here. A two-day visit shows that the Bucs likely have significant interest in Jordan, but the fact that the Bucs have the 13th pick in the draft makes it unlikely that they would draft Jordan without having to trade up. To guarantee selecting Jordan, they would have to trade into the top five. To have a shot at taking him, they would have to move up into the top ten.
IJordan fits best as a 3-4 OLB and playing him as a 4-3 OLB would not be taking advantage of his very unique skill-set as a pass rusher. At Oregon, the Ducks used to use Jordan in so many different alignments, and he is so athletic that he would even cover slot receivers. He would be a unique fit in a 4-3 defense, and it will be interesting to see if the Bucs believe they can get the most out of him in that manner.